You have no doubt heard or used the expression breaking down. Breaking down, means to show one's feelings, usually sadness. It is inexplicably ironic that a natural emotion is given a negative euphemistic name
Beginning at a young age, boys are primarily valued for achievement, stoicism and heroism. Men are primarily valued for achievement, stoicism, heroism and financial success. Being valued for achievement, success, stoicism and ‘heroism' produces arrogance and grandiosity with little inner well-being.
Thus, men become preoccupied with their own gratification in combination with lack of regard for others' feelings. Thus, in a vain attempt to fill themselves up, men often need bigger and bigger acts to fill the emptiness inside-not unlike the alcoholic-they become addicted to the chase and headiness of the achievement/heroism. It becomes an insidious downward spiral as they push the limits further and further to create the next emotional high.
Girls are rewarded for being cute, pretty and seen, but not heard. They are taught and rewarded for nurturing and supportive behavior, which requires self-examination and introspection. Women are rewarded for being sexy, seen and posturing their behavior in deference to men, while taking a nurturing and supportive role. Thus, co-dependency and low-self esteem is common for many women.
The remedy for the negative effects of any thoughts/feelings in one's life is taking responsibility for them and become accountable to oneself for them. Even though you may deny your feelings, you can not shove them under the rug-because they do not and will not go away if you refuse to acknowledge them. Denied feelings manifest in such symptoms as: anxiety or panic attacks, depression, migraine headaches, MS, cancer, PMS, ulcers, etc.
Thoughts and the subsequent feelings are energy and since energy is matter it is indestructible, thus the remedy is to change the energy. You can change your energy vibrations from negative to positive. Your negative feelings can be permanently resolved.
Albeit most cultures seldom support emotional awareness, the connection between mind and body-your emotions and your physical health-becomes clearer, awareness of the importance of feeling your feelings is paramount. There are a plethora of books, classes, workshops and retreats to help you on your journey to emotional well-being. You also need to trust your ability to process your feelings when they arise. If sadness arises, you need to honor its presence and welcome it, noting where in your body it resonates from, and allow yourself to express it through tears or quietly look within.
While it might take courage to sit with your feelings while the powerful energy of them washes through you, it is well worth it. Setting your feelings aside to process later is OK, but all too often people set them aside indefinitely, thus people are storing them in their minds and bodies and then the only way the body can purge itself of this toxic energy is to expel it through illness or through emotional distress-anxiety, panic, depression, etc. Denying what you need to feel leads to trouble later, which is why being in the midst of your feelings, no matter how uncomfortable it seems, is the best thing you can do for yourself-you are taking care of your emotional and physical well-being.
By Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, PhD 26 years experience
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