Okay, so if you haven’t figured it out by now based on my previous blogs, I am very emotional. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with expressing yourself, having a good cry, or feeling emotions in general. However, we live in a society where a man isn’t supposed to cry, or else he’s “acting like a female.” We live in a society where a woman who expresses herself or cries “must be on her menstrual cycle” and is too emotional. I hate this way of thinking because it normalizes the idea that we need to bottle up our feelings when instead, we need to normalize the fact that everyone has emotions. Thankfully, celebrities like Amanda Seales also see the value of having emotions, and she has an episode on her podcast all about it.
Her podcast, Small Doses, allows Seales to be vulnerable with her listeners as she talks about important subjects like mental health, racism, and bettering yourself. It’s pretty much everything that Let’s Flourish Together promotes, so you know I had to take a listen to one of her episodes, and man, am I glad I did. Her episode, Side Effects of Feelings, is a gem, and I loved every minute of this podcast! I encourage you all to give it a listen for yourself, but I’m going to give you three takeaways that I gathered from this episode.
1. People will try to silence you and weaponize your emotions, but don’t let them.
One thing that Amanda Seales talks about that really resonates with me is the idea that people will try to say that your emotions are a weapon, and that’s usually because it triggers an emotion within them that they are uncomfortable with. That emotion can be sadness, guilt, frustration, or anger — whatever emotion they’re feeling, they don’t like it, so they try to say and do everything in their power to silence you. Unfortunately, according to Seales, when we’re silenced, we are stunted in our own journey to self-discovery and bettering ourselves. When we’re silenced, we are stopped from learning about ourselves, understanding our emotions, and knowing what triggers each emotion.
2. “Make yourself a passion project!”
I learned that we’re so quick to put all of our effort, time, and energy into something that we’re passionate about, but we’re not willing to put that same energy into ourselves. We’ll go so hard for everything else and everyone else, but we won’t go just as hard for ourselves. We need to remember that me-time is good! Figure out what makes you happy, sad, or mad, and ask yourself, “Why do these things make me feel this way?” It’s time to get to know yourself all over again, but be prepared for the journey because it’s going to take you for a crazy ride. I’m currently taking this journey myself because I want to better understand who Jasmine is — what makes her smile? What makes her laugh? What makes her cry? I can’t find the answer to these until I make myself a passion project.
3. You don’t have to be calm all the time, but it’s important to understand your feelings.
One thing that Amanda Seales repeatedly talked about in this episode is having emotional intelligence, which means just knowing and understanding your emotions. She highlighted the importance of having emotional intelligence but also being cognizant that you don’t have to be calm in every situation in your life. In other words, it’s okay to be pissed off or frustrated or depressed, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. The important thing that we need to do in order to have emotional intelligence is to feel what we’re feeling, understand why, and verbalize our emotions without hurting someone else. I don’t care what anyone says — I believe that for every mean thing that you’re saying to someone, there’s a much nicer way to say it. It’s all about choosing your words carefully and watching your tone. If you’re doing these two things while practicing emotional intelligence, I believe that you’ll create a stronger relationship with the person that you’re communicating your feelings with, assuming that they are accepting of your feelings in the first place.
Powerful, right? These three lessons are essential to our development and growth in our journeys to self-betterment. We have to remember that it’s okay to feel. It’s okay to put time and energy into ourselves so that we can understand who we are. It’s okay to vocalize our feelings if we’re not hurting other people in the process. Once we understand that these are important steps that we need to take, then we can actually put them into practice, which will be much harder than it sounds. I don’t say that to scare you, but rather to prepare you because not all journeys are easy. However, take pride in knowing that you care about yourself and those around you enough to take this path to become a better you, and know that you’re not doing this alone because I’m doing it too. 🙂
“There are so many emotions that you’re feeling, you can get stifled by them if you’re feeling them all at once. What I try to do is take one moment – one simple, simple feeling – and expand it into three-and-a-half minutes.”
– Taylor Swift