Why do we internalize our thoughts and feelings to the point where we become distant?
How do we process and share our thoughts and feelings, openly, with those closest to us?
With the pressures and stress of our everyday lives, it should come as no surprise that we internalize things, a lot. Whether it’s our emotions, thoughts, frustrations, or worries. All of this energy is built up within us and can consume us.
Carrying these thoughts and feelings alone, not speaking on the things that bother us, leaves us off balance. We begin to turn inward and try to process our thoughts and feelings on our own. Reflecting may be an important part of your process, but so is voicing your thoughts to someone else. This, my friend, is much easier said than done.
I am guilty of internalizing things that don’t sit right with me; I just want to deal with it on my own. I avoid confrontation at all costs. But this is a lose-lose situation. This is our ego talking. We want to continue this facade of
being the strong one,
being the one who can handle anything thrown their way,
being the one who is always good.
But in reality we’re secretly hurting on the inside. And when we don’t know how to release these thoughts, we distance ourselves from everyone. We distance ourselves from those we care about the most.
As I adjust how I internalize things, I can’t help but think about how society hinders us from speaking out. We are not supposed to show emotion, in any capacity, to the outside world. Especially men. Men are supposed to be the strong ones, at all times.
But why do we perpetuate this idea within our culture?
It all boils down to fear.
Fear of being vulnerable.
Fear of appearing weak.
Fear of rejection.
Fear of abandonment.
Fear of expressing our true selves and no longer seeming “normal.”
Fear will always rear its ugly head. However, we have the ability to decide whether it controls us or we control it.
We have to push past our fear of sharing our thoughts and feelings, openly, with those we care about. It is going to make us uncomfortable and want to lock ourselves away in a safe space, but we need to lean into this fear.
We have to recognize that we can co-create safe spaces with those we love.
We have to understand vulnerability as strength rather than as weakness.
We have to embrace vulnerability and openness because they are essential for cultivating relationships. They are essential for creating the types of connection we all need.
We need to allow ourselves the time to process through our emotions. If it takes us an hour or a few days to work through things on our own, this time is pertinent. Whether we need to close our eyes as we speak, turn away from the person we are talking to, or sit on opposite sides of the couch, we can do this and it is okay. We can begin to push past hesitations, we can speak our minds and let fear fall by the wayside.
It’s not going to be an easy process. But, with time, we will become more comfortable. We will no longer be anxious about sharing our opinions or shut off exploring our emotions. Being vulnerable or weak will not deter us from processing through our thoughts. With practice this will come with ease and we will look back on this challenge and smile. Embrace your strength and push yourself to overcome any emotional barriers that come your way.