Feelings Are Not Your Enemy

I don’t know about you, but the nonstop onslaught of terrible things has made me feel raw, vulnerable and afraid.

Any polish I typically can muster has been discarded. I just don’t have the energy.

Everything feels heavier. Almost like gravity’s been enhanced and we’re more beholden to dirt than ever. Covered up in it.

Everyone around me feels more delicate, more ragged. I know so many people who are facing so many hard moments.

Moments where we are dwarfed by the enormity of the suffering, the loss, the hate. And why…as smart as we are, we can’t get out of our own way, why we prize separation from the emotions that swirl and peak inside of us to the detriment of ourselves and one another?


[Why is it considered frivolous to concern yourself with them? (Hint: it has to do with misogyny.)]

We magnify and transfer the suffering by our collective inability to acknowledge, honor or learn from our emotions.

When does this dissonance begin to change the way we live ? Or talk to ourselves or our children or strangers who are annoying?

When does empathy get valued like we value freedom? Surely this is one thing people who aren’t religious and those in diverse faith communities can get together on…surely.

Start where you are, with what you have. Even when you suck at it. Practice empathy in your own head. Challenge words and behavior that don’t foster more care with yourself or others. Do it when it is hard and you are tired.

Do it because there is enough suffering. Because we can’t solve problems with logic–that is so susceptible to our prejudices.

The work ahead requires that we feel and think.

Don’t eat or drink or shop the feels away till you are numb. You need them. We all do. There is no way forward until we find a way to swim in the storms we carry in our hearts.

You can’t do that and stay dry. Or clean. Or pure.

You can only stumble forward like everyone else…hopefully leaving more love than when you arrived.

About Kristen Chapman Gibbons

Loosely connected facts: Storyteller. Curator of a Better Internet. Lifelong Politico. Social Media Maven. Creativity and Empathy Evangelist. Performer. Creator of Content Worth Sharing. Digital Strategist. Former Social Worker. Decade teaching in Higher Ed. Master's Degree in Theology. Married to an Irishman. 3 darling kiddos. Preacher's kid. Appalachian. Music maker. Music devour-er. ENTP. Bohemian. Geeky. Obsessed with thrift stores and all things vintage. Lover of species.

View all posts by Kristen Chapman Gibbons

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