Part of being human means that one has feelings and these are an important part of who they are. And when one is in tune with how they feel, their life is going to be radically different to how it would be if they were unaware of how they felt.
Ones feelings not only connect them to themselves, they also allow them to feel connected to other people. Having the ability to feel can be the difference between living a life of connection and fulfilment or a life of being disconnected and unfulfilled.
Without this connection, it is going to be a challenge for one to know what they want to do or what matters. And one could find that even if they are around others, they could still feel alone and cut off.
Ones feelings are then an inherent part of who they are and it is vital that one pays attention to how they feel. Their feelings will guide them and give them the information that they need in each moment of their life.
At times, this will relate to what one needs to do with their life in order to be happy and at other times, it could be a sign that one needs to stand their ground and exercise their ability to be assertive.
Their feelings will allow one to know if they have worked too hard and therefore, if they need to take a break or to spend some time by themselves. And they will let one know if another person is safe to be around or if they can be trusted, amongst other things.
When one is connected to their feelings, it doesn’t mean that they will no longer have self control. As it will still be important for one to think and to contain how they feel from time to time.
What it means is that one will accept how they feel and not deny, minimize or ignore their feelings. Their feelings are then being validated and given the attention they need in order for one to live authentically and as a whole human being.
However when one denies, minimizes and ignores how they feel, they are cutting themselves off from who they are. One is then no longer in harmony with who they are, they are in conflict with themselves.
Their feelings are no longer being heard and accepted; one is then invalidating themselves. And this going to affect their ability to live a fulfilling life and this is because they will be estranged from what is taking place within them.
If one doesn’t listen to their own feelings, then there is not much chance that other people will listen to them. When one is not in touch with how they feel, they’re unlikely to show how they feel and the feelings of others could end up becoming more important.
It then won’t matter if one is with someone who is interested in how they feel or not, as one isn’t going to give other people the chance to know what they are feeling. And then there are going to be people who invalidate ones feelings and are not interested in how they feel.
It Starts From Within
But while there are going to be people who have no interest in how one feels, if one doesn’t listen to their own feelings it is going to be a challenge for them to find people that do. Or even if they do come across people who do, it might be hard them to accept the support that is being offered.
And this is because one has to realise that their feelings matter and when this happens, they will no longer put up with people who invalidate them. It will then be possible for them to attract people into their life who care and for them to recognise the people that do care.
However, if one believes that their feelings are not important and this could be an outlook that exists at a deeper level, it is likely to be the result of how other people have responded to their feelings. This could relate to the experiences they have had as an adult, but the experiences they had growing up are likely to have had the biggest impact.
It is during this time that one would have learnt whether their feelings are important or not. And this will also play a part in whether one feels that it is safe for them to show them. These early years will often define the kind of relationship that one has with their feelings.
One may have had caregivers who stopped them from expressing their feelings and therefore invalidated them. This may have happened on the odd occasion or it may have been a way of life. One may have been ignored, abandoned or even harmed whenever they expressed how they felt.
This then sets one up to do the same thing and to ignore their feelings. How other people responded to their feelings ends up being internalised and this then defines how one responds to their own feelings.
In the beginning one had no choice and had to put up with people who invalidated how they felt, but as an adult one does have a choice. And when they form a healthy relationship with their feelings, the people they attract into their will reflect this inner change.
The support of a therapist or a healer may be needed here. They will be able to provide the positive regard that one missed out on whilst they were growing up and have continued to miss out of throughout their adult years. The emotional pain that one experienced all those years ago, as a result of being invalidated, may have stayed in one’s body and will therefore need to be released.
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Oliver J R Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.