Defending Emotions

It’s second nature to want to defend against being excited about someone.

When I was a teenager and through my early 20s, showing excitement over a guy would cause my mother and grandmother to panic.

Their faces would freeze with fear for my well being as they’d say, “Don’t get too excited, you hardly know him yet.”

Thus, when I’m excited about someone, my subconscious races to defend it so Momma and Gamma don’t get upset or worried.

“I know I’ve only known him a month but…”

“I really like this guy. He seems amazing. I mean, of course, I know it’s unlikely anything will come of it and that’s okay…”

And so on. Even though all I ever wanted to talk about was the guy being nice. There were no future plans on my mind. I just wanted to share my happiness with people I thought would be happy for me.

Over time I learned not to do that. Except, I took it too far. Rather than simply not talking to either of them about Big Romantic Feelings, I stopped allowing myself to have them.

I fought feelings with logic, suppressed emotion with reason. And as a result, was miserable.

I was trained to be anxious and I’m working to consciously unlearn those habits. I’m learning to relax into my heart space, to turn down the brain noise and feel pure emotion, is quite difficult.

With the Narcissist, I think I rebelled against a lot of things, including my own better judgment, in getting so deeply involved with him so quickly.

Moving forward, my goal is to be mindful and to allow myself to feel. To feel ALL the feelings; the feelings of affection and joy along with any feelings of unease and warning.

I wish to quiet the old voices in my head that tell me feelings are scary and should be suppressed.

Our true, authentic selves are people who balance emotion and logic well.

When we listen to our gut, when we discard unhelpful old voices, we follow the right course.

When we struggle against our instincts and try too hard to please both others and self, we fail.

Listening to others and respecting their views doesn’t mean having to follow what they think is the appropriate course of action.

Conversely, if we’re excited about something, we can have those feelings without taking action.

It’s okay to just feel. Not just the sad things, the things we know we need to sit with and allow to flow through in order to heal, but the good things, too.

Happiness isn’t something we need to be afraid of. It’s okay. We’re okay.

Sit back and enjoy the ride.

Momma and Gamma would snicker, “Sure, but make sure you put on your seatbelt!”

There’s wisdom in that. And yet… I think it’s possible there is a far greater danger in being afraid of feelings than there is in honoring emotions.

The former led me to safety, but also anxiety, depression, and loneliness.

The latter, life.

* Cover image courtesy of


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