Culturally, we Americans are taught to be stoic. This does not serve us, even though it has in the past. Our next evolution includes learning how to stop suppressing our emotions and instead learn how to allow emotions.
When someone dies we want to feel grief. When brutality happens we want to feel anger. And love is always a choice.
Our white American culture is really good at being stoic, strong and cold. Me included. We have learned through generations how to put on a strong face and make it through a tough moment.
Traveling outside the USA, for many years, has helped me see Americans stereotypically. If there is one thing that I know we need to learn as a culture it is how to properly feel our emotions.
And right now we need to grieve, we need to be angry, and we need to love.
The opposite of feeling is resisting, suppressing and avoiding. We think that we are feeling, when what we are actually experiencing is the tension in our body of resistance, avoidance or suppression.
How to Stop Suppressing and instead Allow an Emotion:
The Allowing Process
- Feel the physical vibration of the emotion in your body.
- Let go of your thoughts and focus on the experience of the emotion in your body.
- Feel the tightness, the heaviness, the heartache, the buzz or whatever the emotion feels like to you.
- Go towards the feeling with your attention.
- Use curiosity.
- Open up, welcome the emotion.
- Sit with it, be with it.
- Allow it to be with you, inside of you.
As you allow it to be with you it will naturally shift and eventually process. The emotion may come back and so you repeat the allowing process.
The opposite of allowing emotions results in depression, anxiety and stress.
What emotion is under your stress, your anxiety, your depression?
We Americans are really good at the opposite. Perhaps it is time to be vulnerable, learn how to allow and feel our emotions, grow, and become a new culture.
It is easy and comfortable to stay the same and even to be silent. It is harder to grow and learn something new. Both are a choice.
I choose to do the hard thing, to stand up and speak, and to be apart of the solution.
What do you choose?
Who do you want to be?
How do you want to show up?
Who do you want to become?
This is part 3 of a 3 part series.
Part One: Deconstructing Normal: All Lives Matter.
Part Two: Who Controls Your Thoughts?