Let’s break down the word emotion real quick.
This is a great tool to call to mind when you feel like you just can’t deal with those tough feelings… those emotions that can be so overwhelming that you want to hide under the covers and never come out.
Emotion → E-motion → Energy in motion
An emotion is energy in motion.
They come, they hover over us for a bit and then they skedaddle. (Ok, it’s usually not that pretty, but you get the gist)
Like a wave they wash over us, but they do recede.
-And once they do, you can get back to your vitamin D sesh, boogie boarding or building sandcastles.
Or, like a storm, they pour down around us, sometimes shaking our homes to their core, but the energy, the storm, keeps moving.
-And after the storm the humidity breaks and the clouds clear for the sun to warm the air.
Acknowledging that at their basic level, emotions/feelings are energy in motion, and understanding that the energy they bring with them can be leveraged, can be helpful in coping.
Let me explain:
When it comes to your relationship with your body, I’m sure you can call to mind a couple of times that you were just plain old pissed at it.
For many people that anger is triggered when they feel that their body hasn’t served them in some way.
- Looking a certain way
- Performing in a certain way
- Providing that feeling of enoughness you’ve been searching for
But, what are you really angry at?
Sure, you could say “I’m angry because my body won’t lose those 5, 10, 15, 20, 50 pounds” or “I’m angry at my body because it. won’t. stop. getting. bigger” or “I’m angry because my body won't fit into my favorite dress."
But, you beautiful badass, you… that’s pretty surface.
Lean into your anger. Feel it! Investigate it! It can be scary, but, go deeper.
What are you reallllly angry about?
→That you’re STILL struggling with wanting to be a smaller version of yourself? That you still don't feel comfortable in your skin?
→That the stigma attached to being fat in our thin-or-bust society has had you spinning your wheels for so long?
→That you’ve tried seemingly EVERYTHING under the sun… only to end up right back where you started?
→That you’ve been taught to hate, loathe, talk-shit-on and try to control the one vessel that you live in each and every day?
Here’s where leveraging the emotion comes in…
Use that anger (enter emotion, feeling here) to propel you in some way.
To spark curiosity, change or action.
That energy that makes you feel like your blood is boiling or that you want to curl up in that ball in the corner, allow it to be there and allow it to inform you.
Allow it to move you.
- Toward a deeper understanding of yourself.
- Toward a shift in the way you want to treat yourself in those tough moments.
- Toward new ways of soothing yourself that will serve you, your goals and your core truth.
- Toward a deeper understanding of how you’ve been influenced.
- Toward doing the opposite of what you’ve always done. And accepting this moment in time for what it is- without judgement or control mechanisms.
Sometimes you’ll leverage your emotion to say eff the society that continues to tell you you’re not enough.
Sometimes you’ll leverage the emotion to go deep and figure out ways to soothe and care for yourself.
Sometimes you’ll leverage the emotion to realize that you need to slow the heck down and take a nap or hug your dog.
And, sometimes you’ll leverage the emotion to stay in bed and allow yourself to just be, experiencing it for exactly what it is.
We can’t control our feelings, no matter how hard we try.
So, instead of allowing them to fester, trying to escape them, numb them, or see them as constant pains in the ass (which, yes, they certainly can be!) leverage the energy they bring.
And, just like they do, keep moving. Toward embracing yourself, doing the work to heal your relationship with your body and toward accepting yourself just as you are.
Emotions always hold a lesson.
Are you willing to move with them to discover it?
I'm a self-love, body image and eating disorder therapist in Horsham, PA.
I help people make peace with their minds, bodies and food and learn how to see, appreciate and love all that they are.
I specialize in treating anxiety, binge eating and helping women learn how to stop dieting and really start living.
Questions? Get in touch here!