Please have your feelings. - by Dr. Aaron Wong, ND, RTC
In a world where feelings are often minimized, dismissed or not allowed, we have a tremendous opportunity in this crisis to transform our patterns for the betterment of our health and humanity as a whole. During these stressful times, we have the chance to take a moment to look at our personal issues and face our shortcomings. Having our feelings can lead us to facing ourselves while moving towards deep levels of systemic healing and growth. It might seem daunting or feel anxious to consciously face our feelings, but in the long run the pay off for sitting through the discomfort that we would rather avoid is often well worth it. I know for myself doing some of this work has brought a greater sense of peace, calm, and clarity into my life.
Common struggles you may identify with during this time:
This pandemic is triggering in so many ways. It can bring so many feelings to the surface:
This global crisis is tremendously triggering for many. In the middle of the gravity and reality of the situation at hand, we are having to also contend with our existing issues. These issues we deal with on the day to day are often deeply rooted in our past childhood wounds. During this pandemic we are dealing with the difficult life situation at hand and at the same time we are seeing the situation from the lenses of our past. During stressful times, we will project our own fear and anxiety onto the situation which can make life overwhelming and difficult to navigate which often makes it harder to make decisions.
As these feelings come up we have the propensity to use strategies to avoid our feelings:
Avoiding your feelings in life is never sustainable yet having and acknowledging your feelings can lead to healthy change and deep levels of healing. Feelings are emotions that are deeply connected to our physical body. When we aren’t processing our feelings, this leads to stagnation or stuckness within our bodies and our lives. As an example, in Chinese medicine stagnant energy within our bodies leads to symptoms like pain, cramps, tightness, mood swings, digestive discomfort, and disturbance in breathing. These symptoms are common for someone who is holding back their feelings as a coping strategy. Allowing for emotions implies movement of energy within our bodies. It allows for energy to flow in its natural state. This natural flow of energy gives us the opportunity for progress and change within the rhythm of life. This principal has helped me to recognize the areas that are calling for attention, need to be felt through, and released. Each time I am able to process my feelings, I feel more clear, calm, and empowered. It has given me the ability and the confidence to navigate other stressors in life more quickly. I also understand this as a learning process and it’s a journey rather than a destination which helps me release the need to do it perfectly the first time.
I am encouraging of people to have their feelings in general, because as a society feelings are often not allowed, not encouraged, or judged as being weak.
Here are 6 tips to allow yourself to have your feelings:
When I am stressed or am going through difficult life changes, sometimes I can navigate my feelings on my own and sometimes things are more challenging and I can’t see my situation clearly and I need extra help so I seek professional help from a doctor who has mental health training or counsellor.
So if you are struggling, please reach out. As always, I am offering online professional counselling appointments integrated into my Naturopathic visits, so please use me as a resource if you feel it would be helpful for you.
Dr. Aaron Wong, ND, RTC
Registered Therapeutic Counsellor