I have a question about feeling feelings.
I have an ongoing situation with one of my adult kids which has been challenging. I do a lot of thoughtwork about it and I think I have a really good handle on myself with respect to how this situation effects me and my part in it. I’ve learned to not argue with reality but accept it. I feel at peace most of the time.
When something does come up that is upsetting with this situation, I try to let myself be sad, frustrated, etc., by writing out my thoughts, describing my feelings (physical sensations) to myself, and having compassion with myself. I do sometimes talk myself out of the negativity pretty quickly, but I do genuinely feel mostly OK. Sometimes I find that I have to “bounce back” quickly because other family members can be pretty negative about what’s going on, and I don’t find that helpful to listen to, so I have to adapt to a different perspective – I guess to protect myself, in a way. And even if I didn’t sometimes feel that pressure to be more at peace and more of a voice of reason among what can become a bunch of crazy ruminators, I wouldn’t know what more I’d do to feel my feelings. I’m the type that doesn’t like to wallow. Feeling my feelings can almost be something I do out of obligation, because I believe I should. Maybe I should dare myself to be miserable for a day to practice and get more comfortable with misery. 🙂 That sounds beyond awful!
The reason all of this has come to my attention is because when things happen with this child, while I feel like I’m coping intentionally and as best I can, I notice that I don’t sleep. I wake up at 3 or 4 a.m. and I’m wide awake, mind racing. So clearly I’m not handling things as well as I could be. The reverse it true, too. If something positive happens with this child, I sleep great! My well-being seems too tied up with my child’s actions. I get that, but I don’t know what I’m missing. I love the model and feel like I’m pretty good with it. I’m pretty sure my missing link is that I’m not really feeling my feelings.
I hope I’m making sense! I suppose one answer is that I can let my family be negative and not let it effect me. That way I can take more time with my own feelings, which would probably help. In honesty I feel like it takes a lot of energy to just deal with the situation with my child, and I’m not sure I’m yet able to also have resistance to the rest of my people.
Grateful for the help and insight!