To allow or to wallow… what’s the difference?
Just one letter. One tiny letter with huge significance.
How do we make the distinction between wallowing and allowing our feelings? Should I allow my feelings when they’re based on cognitive distortions/ faulty beliefs?
Thoughts create feelings. So should I allow my distorted thoughts to create distorted feelings? By allowing these distortions am I then wallowing?
There is this trend at the moment encouraging us to allow all of our feelings, but I think there is an extremely fine line between allowing and wallowing. I invite you (and remind myself) to tread very cautiously with this paradigm.
Absolutely acknowledge your feelings with gentleness and self-compassion. Meet them with love and hold space for yourself. Place your hand on your heart and tell yourself that you are listening. Denial after all is no one’s friend.
But then gently investigate your thoughts that preceded the feelings.
I can experience feelings of sadness, anger, overwhelm etc that all feel hugely justifiable and valid, but if I skate on the thin ice of allowing too long, I invariably fall through the cracks into the icy waters of wallowing.
So allow but investigate. Challenge the thoughts that led to the painful feelings.
- Self-pity and resentment
- Self-righteousness & justifying anger
- Endless thought loops – stagnating in the same thoughts
- Feelings of resistance to flow and growth
- Curiosity about our thoughts, rather than self-criticism
- Self-compassion & gentleness
- Self-responsibility over blaming others
- Openness to lessons and growth