Last January I went on a RawBrahs retreat in Nicaragua where about 15 other people and I practiced radical honesty with ourselves and each other. While were there we learned how to embrace and express all of our emotions, including the “negative” ones, instead of running from them or covering them up.
Expressing emotions may come naturally to some people; but I’m more inclined to put on a smile, pretend that everything is okay, and cover up the pain instead of admitting that I’m upset. And in a culture where more and more people pop a pill when they are feeling blue and then post pictures on Facebook about how “great” their life is… I think many other people struggle with this as well.
Learning to embrace your “negative” emotions along with your “positive” ones has many benefits.
- Leads to better communication in your relationships (The #1 one reason couples divorced in 2013 was due to lack of communication)
- Increases the likelihood that you will come to peace with your emotions and eventually move on from them
If you allow yourself to truly feel sadness, strangely enough, you’re more likely to move on from that sadness faster. Alternatively if you repress your sadness you’re more likely to carry it with you for longer; and it will likely be expressed in more passive-aggressive ways… often damaging your relationships with others.
This week I had the opportunity to put what I learned on the RawBrahs retreat into practice. I fully embraced all my emotions including:
- Sadness & Disappointment (I cried publically both at church and at the grocery store… eek!)
- Anger & Frustration (I called somebody an a**hole… can’t remember the last time I did that)
- Numbness (Sat and stared at a wall for a couple hours…)
- Hope & Peace (Danced around like a crazy person and started to feel better)
And not only did I embrace my emotions on a personal level, but I was open and honest to others about what I was going through. It felt completely liberating… I wasn’t even embarrassed about crying in front of strangers!
Next time that something happens in your life that causes you to get upset I encourage you to take a deep breath and embrace all the feelings associated with being upset. It won’t be easy and it might not be be fun… but it will help you heal.
Check out the video from the RawBrahs retreat. It shows what pre-Naturopath Becca looks like (aka about 15 pounds heavier) and I talk for the last minute of it 😉