“How does that make you feel?” is a dead giveaway. Therapist-speak. The joke at any party.

Yes, it is true. It is not without purpose that we therapists focus on feelings. Not only are they the juice of our internal life but they are the language of connection in an intimate partnership. Without emotional literacy, we walk as a robot. A heartless machine.

And, feelings can be indulged. Like an out of control mob of young screaming children, they can take over the joint and run rampant. They are capable of destroying our serenity and creating chaos in our relationships.

It is self-caring to know and feel and express our feelings. By all means, pay attention to your feelings. Know your body enough to realize something is happening in there, those microphysical sensations we call emotions. Name them. Be curious as to where they come from. And express them to yourself and maybe, in the right space at the right time, with someone safe.

And, keep in mind that it is also self-caring to discipline them. Know you are uncomfortable and act anyway. Realize you are mad and still choose to be relational. Honor your shame and show up with self-respect. Feelings give one life and meaning but they are aggrandized when they become tyrannical.

Balance, my friend.

Here for another chance,