Why is it important to be in touch with your feelings? Because it is when we’re in touch with our own feelings that we become honest with ourselves about who we are, where we came from and where we are going. We dare to be willing to take risks and become more vulnerable in relationships. We cease to view life from only a black and white point of view and are more willing to recognize gray areas. Being open to the spirit of the inner child in our soul will allow us to enjoy our life to the fullest without constraints or restrictions of how we should think, feel or act whether self-induced or received from friends and family’s words because they love us.
We develop better ownership of our feelings and reactions when we understand and trust our emotional responses. Our emotional responses happen for a reason, even if that reason isn’t directly related to our current situation. We may be reacting from old conditioning, past experiences or unacknowledged needs that have not been met. But when we take the time to explore our emotions, we can better understand the reasons behind our feelings. Instead of reacting to whatever we are feeling, we can choose how to respond. Get in touch with what your emotional responses are conveying to you today, and your interactions with people can be productive and more satisfying and enjoyable.
Currently I’m doing my best to understand my feelings. When I add grieving from the devastating and tragic loss by suicide of my husband, my feelings become prominent and mixed. One thing is quite certain – the intensity, complexity and duration of feelings after a suicide is significantly shaped by how we are treated by those we encounter or look to for help. Please re-read the prior sentence.
Check in and be there for us. It is most important for friends and family of suicide survivors to let us be who we have become – people forever changed by tragedy. Support whatever form our grief takes and believe me, grief has a mind of its own. Of course trying to understand is okay, but just caring is enough. Realize that you can’t possibly relate to what we’re experiencing and you don’t have to. And it’s okay to talk about “it” because that’s all that’s on our minds. Expect some anger and conflicting expressions towards our lost loved one as our emotions are in constant turmoil.
Permit any statements we make about responsibility, blame or guilt to just flow. It will sort itself out over time. And do mention our lost loved one – we do not want to forget them. Most important: avoid setting any timetable for recovery as there isn’t any. By all means, do NOT stop seeing us. And don’t let your own sense of helplessness keep you from reaching out to us. We really need you as friends and loved ones to help us share our grief and to help us go on.
Again, it’s important to allow us to be in touch with our feelings whatever they are and to let us be whoever we are due to such a tragedy. Life is the reality of constant change. Some good, some not so good. Often it’s a matter of the glass half full or half empty as to the outcome of transformation.
Life ends when you stop dreaming, hope ends when you stop believing, love ends when you stop caring, friendship ends when you stop sharing … so share this with whomever you consider a friend.