how to sit with your feelings at the calm store

How to sit with your feelings?

Often in therapy, we are asked to "sit alongside our feelings" … but what does this really mean and how do we do that?

Let me start with a story

With the enormity of year 12 now passed, in my holiday break I reflected on the year that was.

Many an evening spent sitting in a broken-down old chair, in my daughter’s bedroom, while she studied. 

My purpose was simply to be present.  Not to talk or to try and make her feel better with cups of tea or toasties.

She made it very clear, she did not want me to engage, instead she wanted me to be present with her in the room.

The reality was I could not do the work for her.  Nor could I take away the enormity of the uncertainty of what lay ahead for her.

But I could be present.

Now back to the idea of sitting alongside our feelings 

Just as my daughter is not me, nor are my feelings me.

Just as my daughter is a part of me, so are my feelings simply a part of me.

Just as my daughter was very clear about what she needed from me, so are these parts of me full of wisdom and knowing of what they need.

Just as my daughter, simply wanted the energy of mum in the room, so do the parts of me, want me to be present with them. 

Parts of self

What I am touching on here is the concept of ‘parts’, commonly used in therapy to help us differentiate from our own self experience.

An enormous amount of ease can come when we remind ourselves that:

  • our feelings are not who we are
  • these feelings are a part of us, full of wisdom and knowledge
  • we are not alone as we lovingly sit alongside what is there

Sitting with big emotions

So the next time you feel a wave of emotion …

  • Slow down – notice what is there
  • Check in – seek permission to sit alongside the feelings and listen deeply to the knowledge that they are sharing
  • Self care – lovingly deliver the self-care these parts are asking for in a meaningful way

Ease will come

And more often than not, you will find, in really showing up and being present with all that is there, an enormous amount of ease will come.

It is through connection we heal.

Take care.


Love Sarah xx

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