How is psychology for me?
We live in culture that diminishes the importance of emotions. Most of us were not raised to talk about them. In fact, most of us were taught feelings makes you less productive and weak. We were bombarded with messages such as “crying about it isn’t going to help”, “get over it”, and “suck it up.”
We like to believe that we can be thinking machines who should just ignore our emotions, but as the neuroscientist Antonio Damasio reminds us, “humans are not either feeling machines or thinking machines but feelings machines that think sometimes”.
Unfortunately, the only people who have access to emotional education are at the top of the socio-economic ladder, so non-white, less affluent communities are not typically exposed to this information, leaving them at a huge disadvantage.
Affluent or not, we all need to give ourselves the permission to feel hurt, disappointment, and pain. I know it can be terrifying to feel these uncomfortable feelings. Through my work, I have found that many of us believe that once we start crying we will never stop, and that we are too busy to process our emotions. While it may feel safer to just want to get on with our lives without dealing with our feelings, when we respect ourselves enough to take that time, we unlock the power inside of us that helps us navigate through our life’s journey from a place of authenticity.
The bravest amongst us give themselves permission to feel and move through emotions! Uncovering our feelings is how we go from being where we are to where we want to be.