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Emotions just want to be felt

Emotions just want to be felt - a hard lesson I learned in 2020.

For years I looked for adventures abroad as a means of distraction. It was my subconscious coping mechanism to avoid dealing with my feelings. Felt restless, bored or depressed? Let’s book a ticket and find an adventure somewhere. It was easier to go away than to explore what was really going on.

But when I (reluctantly) moved back from Brazil to the Netherlands, my dad unexpectedly passed away, my heart got broken into pieces by a man and there was a very strict lockdown, all within 3 months, there was too much to avoid. Plus I couldn’t travel anywhere anyway, due to the pandemic.

Where I would normally flee to somewhere exotic in Latin America under such conditions, this time I had no other choice than to just feel all the feelings. It was too much, and I couldn’t run. I had to face it, feel it. And not just the feelings of those life events, but also underlying emotions that I carried around with me for years, or even decades. Feelings of unworthiness, not being cared for, fear of abandonment; the results of growing up in an unpredictable and stressful household - everything came out.

It wasn’t a very pleasant phase, but it was necessary. I can see that now.

Because here’s what I learned: emotions just want to be felt. Often we subconsciously do everything we can to avoid truly feeling our emotions. Because we’re afraid that if we allow our emotions to come up, we’ll lose ourselves in them. Our rage will overtake us. Our tears will never end.

But the body just wants us to feel the emotions, so they can be processed and released. It’s that simple. It will never take as long as we fear it to be.

Even though that period in 2020 (that extended well into 2021) was one of the most horrible in my life, I am grateful for it now. Yes, I felt alone, depressed, hurt. I was grieving for having lost my father, a partner, a country I loved living in, the house I grew up in, life as we knew it. I cried for nights and nights (and days). I was feeling all the feelings. And this is exactly why I’m grateful for it. Because I finally felt my emotions, instead of thinking about them, analysing them, or pushing them away.

I feel 10 times lighter than I did before my 2020 breakdown. Just because I finally allowed my emotions to come to the surface.

I know many of us have a hard time truly feeling their emotions. I see it all the time with my coachees and friends. But there are wonderful tools to slowly break down that wall and allow yourself to just be, with everything that wants to be felt.

One of those tools is rebirthing breathwork, a body-oriented therapy that helps your body to relax so emotions and tensions can come to the surface - to then be released. Interested to learn more about breathwork? Find out more here. I would love to guide you through your process.

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