Episode #54: How to Feel the Feelings and Do it Anyway

Dr. Connie Omari:

We have all heard this saying: feel the feelings and do it anyway. But that’s a lot easier said than done, as you say. So today I want to talk to you about the importance of feeling your feelings and doing them anyway. So this is my field of feeling exercise. It’s going to be step by step—five steps, actually—that you need to go through in order to really feel the feelings as you’re going through things.

Now, this is important because the more you repress emotions—in other words, the more you prevent your emotions and what you’re going through from coming to light—the harder life is going to be for you. And the more you struggle internally and externally, okay, so you want to make sure that you are feeling whatever it is that you’re going through. Alright, so how do you go about doing that? Well, let’s start with step number one.

All right, check in with yourself multiple times a day. I was recently in a situation where I was being asked to do something competitive. And I didn’t want to do it; it didn’t seem right. It didn’t feel right. But I was going to do it. And the reason why I was going to do it—well, for a long time, I didn’t know I was eating—was because it was just easier—it’s easier to do in the fight, what I was being faced with. But after a while, it just got to a point where I didn’t know that had I followed through on that thought, or, if I may have it, if I had followed through on the action on that request, the consequences would have been much greater than me just enduring whatever it would be to get to the other side of it. And I realized that fear was dominating and controlling me in that moment and had been for a very, very long time. And so when I say, you know, check in with yourself, like, check in with where the conflict is coming from, a lot of times things make us feel uncomfortable.

There’s no doubt about that. But why? Let’s give a very obvious example, right? Let’s talk about slavery. And I don’t know; I don’t know why this came into my mind right now. But it’s not normal for people to want to be property, right? Like, who in the world says, Hey, you know, I want to be treated worse than animals, you know, like a horse or worsted horses, etc.? Nobody wants to do that. So we’re thinking about why slavery is wrong. And that’s part of the reason why we have such a hard time dealing with things like oppression and stuff today. Because we know that it’s wrong to do that, nobody wants to own other people. But it doesn’t stop racism from happening, because we’re not really stepping in with that feeling like people aren’t willing to say, But I still benefit from that having happened in the past, or I still benefit today. Or the reverse. Well, you know, if I get into this problem, I can always say, But I belong to this group. So that’s why they’re giving me a hard time as opposed to No, you really did steal from the liquor stores, or whatever.

So my point is, and that’s not to minimize, you know, really what goes on in terms of oppression. But there are times when it gets exploited and manipulated against us as well, because we’re not doing our work. We’re not taking the time to reach in and say, okay, ouch, this hurts, or out, this is unfair, or Ouch, this is, you know, for me to look at myself and say that as a woman from middle-class upbringings, I might have an advantage over even another black woman who might have grown up in the projects, right? Because if I look at it that way, then I might have to look at how I have privileges. And people don’t really like to come face-to-face with that. So do your work. Look into yourself multiple times. Okay, as you’re going through something, All right. Then you want to acknowledge the emotions and thoughts; don’t block them. Stop trying to push them away. Okay, your emotions are there for a reason. They are there to protect you. They’re there to keep you safe. I mean, let’s think about it.

The first person who got bit by a snake didn’t learn that a snake was dangerous and toxic. Do you think, evolutionaryally, we’d all be out here getting beat by snakes and dying all the time? Like no, we need to know to fear that emotion, alright, or that experience, because that is something that keeps us to that even before my children. I’m certain right now. My daughter was going to see a snake. I don’t think, to my knowledge, she’s ever seen one in real life. Actually, she saw it in a museum but not in the wild. But she’s never, you know, been threatened by a snake; she would run and scream bloody murder. All right, because she’s already inherited that emotion in her life, she hasn’t learned it. All right, we are oftentimes ignoring things that we are experiencing that are designed to protect us. Okay, if this man hasn’t called you in a week, it’s because he doesn’t want to call you in a week. So don’t put yourself back out there for him to do it again and hurt you again, like, Ow, that hurts. That hurts. The flipside is, gosh, I see this all the time with women trying to get out here and date. They don’t want to move too fast because they don’t want the other person to think they are, I guess, thirsty or hungry for a relationship. And that person then realizes, Oh, well, this person is not serious. So let me not waste my time anymore, and they don’t get what they want anyway. So feel the emotions, acknowledge the emotions and thoughts, and sit in that place.

Step number three: Don’t make emotions wrong. The emotions are yours. They’re yours for a reason. They’re yours to protect. They’re yours to help you. They’re unique to you. And one of the things that I find is that, especially with trauma, people were taught not to deal with the top a lot of times through gaslighting and stonewalling. If you haven’t become familiar with these, I recommend that you go back and look at some other videos. But we’re taught that those things—people telling us that the way that we feel is not true—are not real. So if we grew up around that, or if we’re in a relationship with someone who makes us feel that way, or if we even do it ourselves, just because we think that’s what we’re supposed to do, Then we end up seeing the world through those lenses. And realizing, Oh, well, maybe we are, you know, my feelings are not real. My feelings are not valid. I want to tell a quick story about a show I believe I watched on Dr. Phil. And it is about rape. So prepare yourself. It’s actually really sad. But a woman was in New York City and was going upstairs with a bag full of groceries. She saw a man coming behind her and didn’t want to let him in. But I guess he got there quicker than she could really stop it and just kind of let the man in.

Most of you who’ve been to New York, have been to New York, or live in New York know that you can easily be in a building and go upstairs and kind of feel isolated. So that’s the type of place that she lived in. As she was going up the stairs. She didn’t hear anything. It was clearly creepily quiet. Okay. And she just wanted to drop a can. And her instinct was to go back down and get it, but she was like, You know what? Nevermind, I’ll get it later. The guy was like, I’ll bring it to you. And something told her so many times not to allow that guy to bring on that cancer. But as women, we’re taught to be nice, generous, and respectful. So after she told him in, you know, a couple of times now, you know, that’s okay, leave it; I don’t need you to bring it. He still insists. So she goes to open her door. And as she puts her grocery shopping demands behind her, the man has it again, and of course, as he brings it to her, he grabs the door, pushes her in, closes it, locks it, and rapes her. So that’s not a sad story. Very, very sad story. And it’s not to blame; please don’t think I am blaming anybody, okay?

All I’m trying to do is bring awareness to the fact that her instincts, her gut, and her emotions were telling her, This is not good. Don’t like this. I don’t want to do this. And she didn’t listen to it. And she was even bringing out that point too. So I’m not again blaming anybody for anything; nobody’s ever the reason why sexual assault happens. It’s just impossible. Like you, if it happens to you, it is not because of you. But it is a good way to understand. But the things that happen in our lives Often, I’ve been in a heap of trouble. Okay, I’ve had really bad things happen to me in my life where I had enough signs and enough clues that I didn’t need to be in the space that I was. So that’s all I’m trying to say. So next she wants, so don’t make your motions wrong. Like if, in her case, she thought it hurt her emotion that was saying, Listen, don’t do this. This doesn’t seem safe. This doesn’t seem right. It doesn’t seem like it’s in my best interest. She can tell herself, Okay, well, I’ve got to be polite; I don’t want to hurt his feelings; I don’t want to make him feel, you know, wrong or etc. So that’s just, really, don’t make your emotions wrong. And next you want to feel your emotions fully, like, bring them on. There have been times, yall, listen, okay, I have been in meetings where I have had to bite my tongue, literally, you know, bite it to keep from crying. And in fact, you know what? Let me just be transparent. I was in a meeting the other day; it wasn’t really a meeting; it was a lunch, but something came up, and I was just like, Listen, just give me a moment.

Okay, if you’re around people, I’m not saying just cry at the drop of a dime, because, you know, that can be a little extra. And that in itself, but you know, you need to be in safe spaces, and it’s okay to say, Excuse me, you know, I need to get up from the table right now. I need to go to the bathroom. And more importantly, you know, understand that. Take time to do this. If you’re in meetings and stuff all day and you can’t do it, then, you know, on the car ride home, or, you know, get up early. I want to do things. I have a war room, and I go to my room, and I just listen to me and God in my closet in the morning around 530. In the morning, I’m telling you, we’ll be going through some deep stuff, okay? So get to work, get at peace with yourself, and go through it. Go through it and feel your emotions, however you can. And finally win the battle in your mind before it becomes real. There is a saying in healthcare that says that prevention is better than cure. It is so much easier to try to keep yourself from getting depressed than it is to work yourself out of depression. So we can be serious about trying to prevent these adverse feelings from coming your way. And the more you do that, the more you will find that you will exercise. Filling your feelings

All right. So thank you for your time today. If you need help learning how to fill your feelings, sometimes people don’t even know what feelings are. You know, people don’t know what they’re feeling. People don’t know if it’s okay to feel that way because they don’t know how to feel it. I mean, it seems kind of easy when you’re watching a video like this, but it’s a lot harder. After your husband leaves, you realize you can’t have children or that you want children, but you’re not able to conceive, or you’re dealing with childhood wounds or childhood traumas, and we’re here to help. So if we can be of any support or assistance, please look at our information in the show notes and reach out. We want to be there for you. All right. Thank you again for your time. I am Dr. O. Peace and blessings. Thanks for your time today.