Ripples #1138: Validating Your Feels


Feelings are always VALID, they’re just not always ACCURATE.
-Paul & Tina, shared by Tina in Indianapolis, IN


Remember that all your feelings are valid. All of ’em. They don’t have to make sense. Acknowledge and accept them because we all just get what we get from the emotional gum ball machine. It’s also ok if your feelings are on hiatus while you handle your business. There are an infinite number of ways to be human.
-Nanea Hoffman, Sweatpants & Coffee, shared by Diane in Appleton, WI via Team Ripples


A few months ago I was working on a quote project with a few Ripply volunteers when two of us discovered that we had each developed mantras reminding us that any and all of our feelings should be allowed to visit AND that feelings can sometimes be confusing or misleading. Tina and I ended up refining and combining our mantras into the sentence that is featured as this week’s Pebble.

It can be tricky to find the right balance between honoring the validity of our feelings and recognizing that they might be distorting our reality. For example, there are times when we might feel hopeless about a certain situation even when the logical side of our mind could identify multiple rational reasons to be optimistic.

I’ve lately been relying on Tara Brach’s RAIN acronym of self compassion. It’s a simple, gentle way to acknowledge and respond to challenging emotions:
R = Recognize what is going on;
A = Allow the experience to be there, just as it is;
I = Investigate with interest and care;
N – Nurture with self-compassion

I’ve found this approach helpful in implementing what I believe is a powerful and important two-step process of personal growth: fully accepting ourselves just as we are while also creating a path to deeper understanding and improved effectiveness. If you’ve been lately grappling with challenging thoughts and feelings, perhaps making time and space for a gentle RAIN is worth a try.


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