Someone once gave Barry and me a small yellow button to wear that says, “You never need to defend or justify your feelings.” I love the message on this button, and, though I don’t wear it, I keep it in my desk so it is the first thing I see when I open the drawer. This little message has helped me over and over again. In addition, I would add to the message that you also never have to be ashamed of your feelings.
I really feel my feelings. Sometimes I have to admit that I wish I could turn them off, but I can’t. Barry tells me I am very blessed to feel so deeply, and he wishes he could feel his feelings more often. Sometimes everyone in a room will be acting as if everything is just perfect, and yet, I can feel that something is off or inharmonious. When I state these unpopular feelings, I can be met with criticism. But to remain silent is painful. And when I try to defend or justify my feelings, it just makes things worse, and I feel worse.