Learning to Feel my Feelings: Human Beings, not Human Doings

For as long as I can recall I’ve kept myself busy. I’ve pottered and found tasks to complete, anything to distract and stimulate me rather than stop to feel and deal with what was really going on.

Even when matters blew up in my face and I had to face my feelings and emotions head on, I would cry and bemoan my fate to anyone who would listen, feeling sorry for myself and becoming a victim, and I would use this as a distraction rather than deal with the real issue. I felt life was unfair and blamed others around me for my fate. By not dealing with the issue, it would seem, ‘it’ got buried in my body.

As an example, my back gave way one day in boarding school when I was 10 years old and I was prescribed ‘bed rest’ for a few weeks. (My ‘backbone’ no longer supported me.) This weak back continued for many years after.

I can track this pattern of behaviour – distraction and burying – back to when I was placed into boarding school at the age of 10 and was very unhappy. Back in the 1960s counselling was unheard of. Feelings were denied by pupils and teachers alike. Although I felt very sad and expressed this by crying a lot, especially at the beginning of term when saying goodbye to my parents, or when I was allowed out of school for 3 precious days per term to visit them, I was often told I wasn’t feeling what I was feeling. I was told “You’re not really feeling sad” although I knew that I was feeling really sad and miserable, so I used to go off for long walks alone and cry. I would look out of the window in class, day-dreaming, but really hoping that the teacher would ask me what was wrong. I then repressed my expression because when I tried to articulate how I felt to adults, no-one listened or took me seriously. For example, when back in the boarding house I was requested to help out with the younger ones at bath and bed time. I was 10 years old and learned to suppress my feelings so I could present a ‘good face’ to the younger boarders.

The focus was on the system and getting things done by a certain time rather than considering how we pupils were feeling, as if that didn’t matter. I therefore felt I didn’t matter. Life was about “doing your duty”, regardless of how we felt or how our bodies were feeling. We just “got on with it”. Patterns of ‘doing’ became established, without care or regard for my true self. I learned to put everyone else first – ­to do nothing and just be with myself was called laziness.

I now know however, that stopping and resting is important: by stopping and connecting with myself first I know that I am of far more value to myself and then to those around me – I find I then bring all of me to a situation with a good heart, rather than resentfulness or other emotions. I now bring a rested, well-cared and well-nourished woman to a situation or task at hand and I can feel the huge difference this makes.

In my earlier years, politeness and being nice and kind were rewarded: showing who you truly were, warts and all, was ignored and punished. I thus learned to be a good, quiet, helpful young girl, rather than express myself and be the true me. The real me, the beautiful innocent sensitive child, got buried.

This laid a foundation for a lifetime of distracting myself – doing rather than feeling and being myself. As other unpleasant life events occurred, I would read books voraciously and watch TV or films as an escape, to take me away from truly feeling how I was. Later on I went to folk clubs, to listen and get carried away by the music. So the empty feelings of sadness were buried for a while. I didn’t trust or value myself and looked outside of me for acknowledgement and recognition, rather than accept and know who I truly was.

Being myself now means sensing what is right for me in every moment, listening to my body and not overriding it. I now know there is much more honesty in this way of being.

I had spent more than 25 years trying to sort out my issues using various complementary therapies, religions and spiritual modalities, but the issues were never truly healed, they just got buried deeper into my body. Although I gained some temporary relief at times, the issues always reared their heads again eventually. I was always trying to improve myself, not accepting who I was and not feeling good enough…. I was looking outside myself for answers. I knew there had to be more to life. There was always the hope that maybe the next workshop or counsellor would provide the magic answer and I would feel “better”.

Thanks to Universal Medicine I have come to recognise these old patterns of behaviour and have now come a long way to addressing them. I am unlocking those buried emotions, feeling them, then re-connecting to what is actually true – hence they are being truly healed this time. The reason I know this is things have begun to change for the first time in my life… truly change!

I am now taking responsibility for my life events and for how I respond to situations.

Finding Universal Medicine was like coming home.

Thanks to the support of Serge Benhayon and the Esoteric Practitioners in Universal Medicine, I have now healed many of my issues.

  • I have obtained answers to many of the questions that I had been asking and now feel more joyful and loving.
  • I am content with, and in my body, just being me.
  • I am more fun to be with.
  • I am learning to honour my feelings and not to ignore, avoid, or distract myself with busy-ness.
  • I am learning to stay in the present moment, to accept and to love myself.
  • I no longer override the fact that I do feel my feelings and can allow them and accept how important this is.

I now know that the true me was hiding underneath all the emotions and hurts from my past, buried deep inside. As I cleared away these layers of hurts I have become the loving and lovable woman I always was deep down, but had lost sight of.

You could say I am no longer a human do-ing, but have become a human be-ing.

By Sue Q – 64 years, Grandmother, Company Director, Volunteer, Somerset UK

760 thoughts on “Learning to Feel my Feelings: Human Beings, not Human Doings

    1. I so agree Francisco, yet the world currently demands we are seen to be busy, even if we are not! I recall being on a nursing shift in a hospital and rather than spend time talking with patients we were told to keep busy and go and clean bedpans in the sluice room. I am trusting that times have changed…., but doubt nowadays the nurses have much spare time to chat with patients, due to staff shortages in the UK anyway.

    2. Oh dear, yes Francisco – we can deny this truth all we like but our body will keep breaking down till we stop and listen and decide how we are to proceed. I am walking proof and humbly re-imprinting.

  1. I can relate to much of what is shared here. It is a very familiar life story for many, one that is very disempowering, as it leaves us with a gap. A deep inner knowing, of trusting ourselves, our feelings and living in disregard of them.

    1. I so agree Leigh. Giving up on trusting what we feel is so disempowering. yet we always have a choice – something I really didn’t appreciate until attending Universal Medicine presentations.

  2. Becoming aware of my movements is helping me to clock when I have gone into pushing even if it is simply in my walking. I can feel the subtle change and with that awareness I can choose to bring myself back to my rhythm and connection to my body. It is a constant choice to be present or not.

  3. Thank you for writing this because it shows how terrible and debilitating it is to negate what a child is feeling – my experience of this is, that the adult denies what the child feels because the adult is equally in denial. You cannot truly support another if you are in the same boat – you just share the same coping mechanism – be they functional or dysfunctional. Bringing it back to relationships and love really cuts that up into bits and pieces and brings back the ability to honour what each of us is feeling – no matter what age. To not be afraid of it but to bring understanding to why someone is feeling the way they are.

    1. So true Lucy. It is adults who have not processed their own hurts who are then unable to support others. No blame here – just an understanding because they in their turn were not supported. Time to turn things around. ‘Children are to be seen and not heard’ was a saying prevalent back in the fifities and sixties. Big ouch!

  4. This is something that I need to sit with more as I can feel it was the same for me as a child. I supressed everything I was feeling because I was often ridiculed or dismissed and I now need to go back to stopping and allowing myself to register and feel everything that I do feel and acknowledging this in myself.

  5. I can really relate with what you share re burying your emotions. When I was younger and was hurt of upset or … at time desperate I would cry and get so caught up in the actual action of crying and being upset I would never allow myself the space to actually feel why and get to the truth and root of this. Now if people are honest and ‘show who they truly are, warts and all’ I am inspired and this is very humbling and then gives me the space to do the same for me .. be honest and see what is there ‘warts and all’.

    1. I agree Vicky, when I see people sharing honestly from their hearts, their ‘warts’ as well as their shining moments, it offers us a great reflection to be real. There is so much pretence in the world. It feels great when people are humble – not being less – or greater – than who they truly are – inspiring.

  6. What you’ve shared here Sue about the systemic and indeed cultural negation of what someone is feeling, is hugely important. Is it any wonder that we end up with the mental and physical health conditions that we do, when there can be so much of us that is simply not met or acknowledged from when we are very young?

  7. Negation begets negation, doesn’t it… And so we cannot but take deep stock of the responsibility we all hold as adults and role models today, to not bury and seek to suppress our own issues in life – for as a result of our own burying, we are far more predisposed to negate and deny the feelings of the next generations and instead, pass on our ‘solider on’ and as you’ve shared Sue, ‘you’re not sad’ mentalities, as if this is no big deal at all.
    We are all, deeply sensitive beings, and deserve to remain in connection with our sensitivity throughout the whole of our lives. Without doing so, we also deny ourselves the richness available in the reconnection to the love that has always resided within, the love of our own soul…

  8. “I now know however, that stopping and resting is important: by stopping and connecting with myself first I know that I am of far more value to myself and then to those around me – I find I then bring all of me to a situation with a good heart, rather than resentfulness or other emotions. I now bring a rested, well-cared and well-nourished woman to a situation or task at hand and I can feel the huge difference this makes.” This paragraph is a wonderfully powerful tool for those of us who drive ourselves away from our essence in the intense march to “do” and get jobs “done”!

    1. The power of ticking boxes and achieving – doing – is something generally taught in society today. Resisting this is quite a challenge and still a work in progress for me. Stopping to connect with ones innermost and honouring why we feel is indeed a powerful tool.

  9. “I didn’t trust or value myself and looked outside of me for acknowledgement and recognition, rather than accept and know who I truly was.” This feels so familiar to me in my life right now. Looking into where we don’t trust ourselves or where we devalue ourselves, is huge and so important to feel.

  10. In the first few paragraphs of this blog I swear it was like you were talking about me, only difference was that you had some valid reasons for acting the way you did, I, on the other hand, blamed others, victimise myself and buried things, seemly for no good reason. What I came to though in the end after finishing the blog was that, no matter what anyones reasons for behaviors or up bringing was, Universal Medicine is always there to remind us that taking responsibility is like coming home, you can breathe again.

    1. There’s always a valid reason why we feel the way we do. Mine was maybe more obvious in your eyes? And yes, taking responsibility for our choices now is whats important. If I hadn’t discovered Universal Medicine I shudder to think of where I’d be now.

  11. There was always the hope that maybe the next workshop or counsellor would provide the magic answer and I would feel “better” – I can so relate to this, but like you I also found that self-love was a great medicine and I was the only one that could administer it.

    1. Yes, only we can administer self-love to ourselves. yet we are not taught this when young – almost the opposite – especially in the UK, where a false humility is engendered. Admitting one loves oneself is tantamount to arrogance in many eyes! Looking outside ourselves for the answer is not the answer! Feeling within is…..

  12. I loved what you shared Sue Q I am ten years older than you and I can so relate to being the good nice obedient child, being told at a young age that feelings can’t be trusted, so that what we felt got buried, so I went into doing as a way of recognition and a way of burying what I was feeling, for my feelings had no value, Like you my life has changed so much since coming to Universal Medicine, I have learnt it is not about the doing but as you say the be-ing, being who we truly are, and that is love.

    1. Love this Jill – “I have learnt it is not about the doing but as you say the be-ing, being who we truly are, and that is love.” So true. If we ‘do’ from a place of beingness first, life changes in extraordinary ways. From being a shy person I can now talk with anyone.

  13. That’s incredible Sue. It requires determination and a willingness to be committed to yourself to be open to the possibility that it’s 100% ok to feel your feelings. We’ve all been shut down from that in one way or another, even if at home we allowed to feel, the schoolyard or workplace definitely doesn’t support us to work through our stuff. Imagine if we learnt to deal with stuff as and when it occurred while growing up. A whole new world!!!

  14. You have coined this wonderful phrase Sue, that is such a clarion call for how we choose to live. The world would love to turn us into ‘doings’ limiting our natural expression and using us for its own ends.. to continue with the pattern of behaviour that is dominant at that time. But by ‘being’ the world gets our uniqueness, it gets all the divinity that is locked inside every one of us just waiting for an opportunity to bust out and be love. When put like that its an easy choice.

  15. Looking back, it is always fascinating how we pay for the pattern of movement we are in but we rarely even consider that this is something we have to look at. And, if we do look at it we accept it as part of us, so we end up identifying with it and hence, we work on it from it. There is nothing in this world, except for the Esoteric, that gives us the opportunity to walk away freely from it and to feel that it was false all along.

  16. It is no wonder that so many adults struggle to express themselves when as children they probably had the expression of how they were feeling squashed in many ways. And it doesn’t take much to squash a child’s expression as you experienced. Even a simple – you’re making that up – can begin the process of a child shutting down their innate inner knowing. We owe it to our children to stop and take the time to listen and honour what they are sharing, after all they are much wiser that we give them credit for.

    1. You’re so right Ingrid, in that it doesn’t take much to shut a child’s expression down if they are not ‘full of themselves’ in a true way, first. Truly meeting children is so important, as is honouring and listening to them. ‘Out of the mouths of babes …….. ‘

  17. It is extraordinary how much children are not acknowledged or listened to when they express and how this can lead them to shutdown or withdraw later in life. The more children are held as equals and feel safe to express to anyone I am sure this would support them to develop more confidence and self-worth throughout life.

  18. Reading this has brought up a memory of crying a lot when I was younger and being called a cry baby, and it was at this point that I started to hide my feelings – although not very well, because it always showed on my face, judging by how many grown up’s used to say ‘Cheer up it may never happen’.

    1. I got this one a lot too Julie. Yet I don’t remember feeling especially miserable at the time. However I guess there was a low level underlying despondency that showed up on my face.
      In stark contrast to when one is feeling great and good about oneself, when it seems that the sun shines out from your eyes, and people respond to your openness and smile.

  19. This is so familiar and reminds me of how I got so good growing up at meeting expectations and not truly expressing what I feel, but I played a game with this and now in adulthood I am learning again to express what I feel and not assume that others know just because I might be out of sorts, it’s in fact my responsibility to express what I feel without dumping this on another and to make the needed changes to support that. I now see that if I blame any external factors, be it things or people in fact I’m avoiding looking at how I feel and that my first task to look and feel those and go from there …no one can dictate how I feel unless I let them.

    1. Absolutely Monica. Back in the day it was common to say ‘you make me feel xyz.’ But as you say no one can make me feel anything. I have to take responsibility for how I feel due to my previous choices – and how I express – without ‘dumping’ on another.

    2. It’s really important point Monica that others may need our direct and clear expression of how we are actually feeling.

      1. I had a great experience of this over Christmas. Expressing clearly how I truly felt – rather than withdrawing and feeling hurt – resulted in a great conversation with a family member. It feels like our relationship shifted to a whole new level!

  20. Thank you Sue, I too have discovered that the way forth in my evolution is a constant deepening inward and not an outward movement as the world tells us to be, the more I surrender to this – the more I get to experience on a daily basis what the magic of God is all about.

    1. There is a whole world to be experienced on the inside, and then brought to this world. Thank you Francisco.

  21. I find that when I am present and with myself in each moment or activity I am celebrating the what is and not what may be which confirms my movements within these moments and takes the perfection and having to get somewhere out of the equation. Life becomes much more simple.

  22. Sue has shared beautifully in her story how when we negate our feelings we bury them deeper in our body often keeping ourselves busy to distract us from the discomfort we are feeling. Doing this from a young age can set us up for a lifelong long pattern of using busyness to divert us from feeling what our body is revealing to us. I would say that busyness has become very much our modern day addiction.

  23. ” I am now taking responsibility for my life events and for how I respond to situations.”
    This is a powerful statement and in your writings Sue and what you have expressed about you life , it shows that you never truly gave up. So you can now say and recognise ,
    ” Finding Universal Medicine was like coming home.”

  24. Same here Sue, I always felt there was more to life and was always living with this discontent not ever being able to find the ‘more’, but always remaining stuck and not moving forward – hence the discontent! Everything changed for me when I spent a full 10 days in England at the courses of Serge Behhayon and Universal Medicine – and like you, my searching ‘out there’ ended as I too felt like I had come home.

  25. ‘I would look out of the window in class, day-dreaming, but really hoping that the teacher would ask me what was wrong.’Just what I did Sue, trying to get attention and to be seen by someone else. How different from ‘I am learning to stay in the present moment, to accept and to love myself.’ or this one ‘I am content with, and in my body, just being me.’ Serge Behayon and Universal Medicine could never bring this to you when you were not willing to change, it is all about your commitment to truly change your life and the loving choices you have made because of that.

    1. There is a gorgeous saying that states: ‘ when the student is ready, the teacher appears’. Meaning that we must first make the call to evolve out of the mess we have created and back to a truer way to be, before we will be given all that is required to support us on the journey home.

  26. Ceaseless motion without periods of repose is like continually breathing out without taking the necessary breath in. Sooner or later you will hyperventilate – that is, the imbalance will catch up with you.

    1. So true, The universe shows us its ceaseless cycles – the ebb and flow of tides, night and day, we breathe out and breathe in etc . We need both repose and motion.

      1. Exactly – imagine if the Universe (God) forgot to breathe in! It would all go very pear-shaped indeed.

    2. I love this analogy Liane. It’s very tangible and for me, focusing on my breath is a key way to check in with how I am feeling.

  27. “Showing who you truly were, warts and all, was ignored and punished”. This was my experience of expressing my feelings too. Looking back, I wish I hadn’t given up so easily and become a nice, people pleaser. It has taken a long time to undo these patterns but it feels lovely to be re-discovering who I am and how I feel. It’s never too late.

    1. Beautiful that you are now rediscovering the true you. Having had the ‘nice and people-pleasing’ patterns for so long – maybe lifetimes – it does seem to take a long time to undo them. But, as you say, it;s never too late!

  28. I find it dis-heartening or when I think about life it can tie me up in it. There is a truth that I am, and that ‘am’ is my body. When I do not listen to my feelings and not show them its an instant lie and my own fight against what I already know within.

  29. The idea of stopping and taking a few moments to check in with myself has been with me for a while, but I have very rarely done it. My idea of a proper stop would be to have a day off, or go on holiday, or have a spa day. None of the above are wrong, and I wouldn’t say no to any of them, but what I am fining is that having regular stop moments in my busy day actually do support me hugely. 30 seconds, here, or a minute there, whether it’s to sit down, or connect with how I am breathing can change the direction and flow of a day, and switch things from frantic to calm.

  30. It is beautiful to stop and appreciate knowing who we truly are when we reconnect to the lightness that we felt as a young child.

  31. We innately have this inner understanding that continues to gnaw at us when we are far from the truth. We are surrounded by people who also continue to disregard this feeling too. It takes courage to break that cycle and when broken there could be many ramifications along the way for breaking that cycle, for some fear stops them from taking this first step. Its a beautiful step to initially take, because the road a head is so much better than the road before.

  32. When life is about doing your duty rather than honouring what you are feeling, it feels like a huge rejection of the precious being we are. This then leads to the busyness as a distraction to not feel that we are hurt and to be able to carry on in the doing.

    1. Keeping busy is such a huge distraction – which seems endemic in society at large – to not feel our feelings. if we were supported to allow our feelings to arise and not bury them I wonder how society would then look.

  33. Sue thank you so very much for this powerful article, every time I read it I gain insight of myself and others, and feel encouraged to be more loving with myself. Growing up in a society that doesn’t encourage sensitivity, fragility, or feelings leaves us as adults in various states of loss of quality of life. I still have to work through daily understanding and getting to know how sensitive I am and how much I actually am feeling. The symptoms I go into when I try to block what I’m feeling are much life everyone else’s – raciness, busyness, eating, shopping or doing anything unnecessarily. For me, it’s a constant motion of movement (including sitting still and thinking continuously), or a withdrawal and checking out. The truth is, this is everywhere to some degree and happening everyday, which shows me how unhealthy our ideals, beliefs, and systems are that cause a disconnection to our sensitivity.

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