“I have to not harden my heart, because I want to stay open to feel things. So when I hurt, I hurt all over. And when I cry, I cry real hard. And when I’m mad, I’m mad all over. I’m just a person; I like to experience whatever the feeling is and whatever I’m going through.”Dolly Parton
Good advice, Dolly. Too often, we don’t let ourselves feel our emotions completely. This is partly because of survival mode and sometimes out of habit. But if we don’t go through the process of completely feeling those things, they latch onto the walls of our psyche like a plaque. It will just build up and build up until it causes a serious problem.
There are times we may not even be able to identify what feelings we have suppressed. There could be a whole lot more beneath that good cry, but we will never know unless we let it wash over us.
Step one is giving yourself permission to feel whatever comes to the surface. This means we need to spend more time with ourselves, alone and digging deep. Well, isn’t that scary? It can be. But step two, the one that really allows us to begin heal, comes once we feel all the emotions connected to our tough memories. It is forgiveness. Want to know the secret? We have to forgive ourselves first before we can forgive others. Otherwise, it will all keep coming back to haunt us in little ways.
See, Dolly knows what she’s talking about. Today she turns 75 years old! I’ll leave you with another pearl of wisdom from her that I love.
“I make a point to appreciate all the little things in my life. I go out and smell the air after a good, hard rain. These small actions help remind me that there are so many great, glorious pieces of good in the world.”Dolly Parton
After we do the hard work, take time to add a little self care and credit yourself for your accomplishments. My self care practice today will include a Dolly Parton dance party.