After years of denial, numbing feelings of pain and all sorts of emotions, I finally came true to myself. I learned to take care of myself emotionally through practice and learning new behavioral patterns like Acting as if. I forced myself into positive recovery behaviors, disregarding my doubts and fears, until my feelings caught up with reality. I am still a work in progress, of course.
So what does it mean to take care of myself emotionally. This is what I learned from reading self-help books and seeking out guidance.
1. I recognize when I’m feeling angry and I accept that feeling without shame.
2. I recognize when I’m feeling hurt and I accept those feelings without attempting to punish the source of my pain.
3. I allow myself to feel joy and love when those are available to me.
4. I recognize that my feelings don’t have to control me. I can feel and think too.
5. I talk to friends or family members about my feelings when I feel that it is appropriate and safe to do so.
6. I reach out for help when I get stuck in a particular emotion.
7. I try to seek the lessons that my emotions may be trying to teach me. Then after I feel, accept and release the feeling to the air, I then ask myself “What is it I need to do to take care of myself?”
Taking care of my emotions means I allow myself to stay with the feeling until it’s time to let go and move on to the next feeling. Taking care of myself means I’ve made a decision that it is okay to own my feelings.
So my dear friend, continue to take care of yourself emotionally. It’s okay to feel angry. You have the right to be. Just be open to and accepting of the emotional part of yourself and other people. Strive for balance by mixing emotions and reason but don’t let your intellect push the emotional part of yourself away.
Taking care of yourself emotionally means you value and cherish the emotional part of yourself. I know you will be fine. We will be fine.