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Learning How to Honor Your Feelings

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When was the last time you honored your feelings? Remember when your friend suggested the two of you go to a place that he or she knew you disliked and you agreed? How about hanging out with a person that made you feel uncomfortable? What about the time you really, really wanted to share your thoughts but was afraid they wouldn't be accepted? Better yet, when was the last time you sat with your feelings, acknowledged them and honored them without saying a word to anyone? 

A friend recently shared with me their disdain for an individual they worked with for quite some time. They learned something new about this person every day it seemed.  Each time, their feelings of resentment and anger grew inside of them-just like a weed. Their impatience began to run short and before they knew it, respect was out of the window! Going to work was painful. Just the sight of them made their stomach churn in anxiety, heart beat fast, and the heat of rising anger consume them everytime they were in this individual's presence. There were no polite answers left, nor was there any patience. Long story short, going to work was downright painful. Instead of honoring their feelings, they pushed them way down, ignored them and continued pushing forward without ever once stopping to acknowledge their feelings.  The first step here would be to stop and ask, "How am I feeling?" . It simply doesn't matter if those feelings are good or bad. Acknowledge them. Sit with them. Honor them. When your feelings are honored, you are able to move forward in a direction that is forthright and clear.  Your time isn't wasted going around in negative circles of confusion because you simply haven't admitted and honored your true feelings. Once you honor your feelings, you can take the next step towards a solution.  Here are a few simple steps to honoring your feelings.

 1.  Stop hiding the way you feel and keep it real with yourself.  No one has to live with you but you.  Do not lie to yourself or suppress your feelings.  Admitting how you feel liberates you and gives you a feeling of raw pride in whatever you have just come to terms with.  At the end of the day, you aren't suppressing your feelings and walking around in a passive-aggressive state, refusing to acknowledge what made you feel the way you did in the first place.

 2.  Let go of and forget judgment.  Do not disconnect from yourself and begin with negative self-talk. Allow yourself to immerse in your feelings without criticism.  Your feelings are worthy of acknowledgment!

3.  Stop replaying the same thing over and over in your head! We love to do this, don't we? Pressing the rewind button a trillion times and getting ourselves worked up over the situation and beating ourselves up because we didn't speak up, be honest, or acknowledge how we truly felt. By continuing to play the story over and over again, it takes us further away from how we felt in the first place.

4.  Get yourself some support. Discuss the situation with a trusted friend or family member who loves and supports you. Sometimes we need a little extra support while working through our emotions. Most importantly, allowing yourself to grow into the best you requires you to listen and support your own feelings!

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