Love Is Allowing Yourself To Feel

“We must not numb our pain.

When in sorrow, sorrow.

When in anger, anger.


It’s the only way to go through it.” Paul said to me, as we were discussing the problem of alcoholism in Finland.

His main language is Finnish. So when he speaks in English, it’s very simple. But I get it. And I love it. It comes out sounding like a poem.

Paul is saying we must go through the process of whatever it is we’re feeling. So when we’re in sorrow, then allow ourselves to be in sorrow.

Having spent many years working in a rehab for alcoholics in Helsinki, he’s seen how desperately people try to numb their pain, instead of dealing with the root of that pain. In the end, the only thing they create is a bigger mess, ruining their own lives and the lives of their loved ones.

…I feel like I can relate to them.

For over a decade, I’ve tried to numb my pain through many ways.

It has led to many addictions that can be a whole blog post by itself.

The past one year and a half, I’ve been learning that there are better, healthier and more effective ways to deal with pain. Today, I’m just going to focus on one: Giving yourself permission to feel what you feel.

I’ve been having a hard time processing my feelings the last couple of days / weeks / months. Here I am, learning about love and sharing what I learn on The Love Culture. But I am highly aware, too, that these whole other spectrum of “dark” emotions are well and alive and brewing in me.








They’re not there all the time. At least not on the surface. But when it’s triggered, the rawness of the pain and the way I crumble, surprises me.

Seeing the way that I am when I’m in pain–and being made aware that I’m not much different from the person causing me pain when I’m hurt–just left me feeling absolutely lost in my own darkness. 

And then someone comes my way today, to remind me of my goodness and help me see the Light, within and without. I feel loved, supported and cared for. And it’s bringing me release. Which got me wondering…

Could this be the reason why we hold on to our hurt?

Is it a cry to be loved?

I believe the answer is, Yes.

This question and answer have, in the past, allowed me to let go of the need for justice or to set things right–at least, not in the heat of the moment. Understanding that both the perpetrator of pain and the one in pain is both crying out for the same thing–to be loved–frees me to open up my hands to receive the Love that I need from God, others and myself, to heal, instead of keeping it clenched in a fist of fury, ready to retaliate.

But this time around, I’m feeling conflicted.

Here I am, talking about love and compassion on The Love Culture, but I wasn’t feeling very loving or compassionate at the moment towards the source of my pain. I felt disgusted instead. And I felt bad for feeling this.

Then a friend comes along and gives me this reassurance:

“Dont ever be afraid to feel “negative” feelings.

They are just signals, not the be-alls and end-alls.

In the great silence of which you understand, there is the unfolding of His greatness and love, which can NEVER be taken away by our feelings.” – TW

I felt grateful for this reminder.

His permission (yes, we don’t need ‘permission’ so to speak, but when we’re stuck and unable to move, it helps to have someone say “IT’S OKAY, GO AHEAD”) to feel without condemnation, allowed me to navigate my way through this, by trying to understand,

“What are my “negative” feelings signalling?”

That I need Healing.

That I need more Love.

Both of which I can choose to receive in prayer, even in this time of pain.

What is your pain telling you? What are your “negative” feelings signalling? May your permission to feel, and your courage to face your darkness, give you the Understanding to Love and Be Loved.




Michelle Tan is the Founder of The Love Culture ‎~ Inspiring A Loving Way Of Living.

Her mission is to make space for Faith, Hope & LOVE through her writings, clothing line ROX/STA & music.

About theloveculture

Inspiring A Loving Way Of Living -- “The Growth of one blesses all. I am committed to grow in Love." - Julia Cameron --

10 responses to “Love Is Allowing Yourself To Feel

  1. Mish, I love your message. This is a great post and I couldn’t agree with it more. Keep up the great work! Your beautiful spirit shines through.

  2. Thank you so much Heather. I love your post ‘Does God Answer Slurred Prayers?’ too. Shared it on facebook and people are liking it. Thanks for sharing your heart and for your encouragement. 🙂

  3. What you’ve shared is so very, very true. I thank God that there is a time to mourn, a time to unearth the buried pain, a time for healing. [ “There is a time and a place for everything under heaven.” Ecclesiates]

    And what a powerful insight of yours that “that I’m not much different from the person causing me pain when I’m hurt.” I’ve been there too. And then that insight becomes a container for grace–amazing how God uses the pain when we allow ourselves to feel it [even though feeling the pain is so painful].

    And thanks sharing for the Anthony Evans song, Restore Me.

    • Thank you Annie. And that is a great reminder, I love that verse in Ecclesiastes but did not think to connect it to the post, but now that you mentioned it, I see it coming alive in this moment–thank you. I appreciate your feedback and insights. And am joyful you liked the song too–beautiful things are so much nicer when shared! 😉 Love, Mish

  4. Very interesting topic and quite adequate to my current state of mind… THanks for your comment and for allowing me to discover your blog.

    • Mmm interesting you equated visiting my site as a discovery. What an idea! I like it. And glad you dropped by and found you could connect with this. It’s always nice to know that at all times, you are never alone–we’re all in this together. And we’re going to come through it okay. 🙂

  5. Fantastic Post Mish, Simply Love it! 🙂

  6. Dear Mish,

    You’re right, that people suppress their emotions far too much. And positive emotions are suppressed, too, even more than negative emotions. How many times a minute do you think somebody feels love, appreciation, gratitude, or something else wonderful, that they fail to express because they’re too afraid. How many people could have been healed if those positive emotions were expressed! So, I think that healing in this world depends even more on letting our positive emotions out than our negative emotions.

    I agree with you that suppressing our feelings is NOT the way to deal negative emotions. It creates numbness that is far from the life anyone would want to live. BUT I also know, from personal experience, that being aware of our emotions is only a start, and an invitation to a greater challenge—the challenge of upleveling our emotions.

    The emotions in your list: anger, grief, disappointment, resentment, bitterness, unforgiveness, fear—these things, if they appear in our psyche need to be handled in the way that will not be hurtful. Because, while it may relieve us in some way to express pent up angers, etc, it hurts others, and it can have long-lasting effects that can ruin our relationships and our lives. (I know that from personal experience, too). So, we need to be responsible for our negative emotions.

    In the course of our lives there is plenty of things that trigger all kinds of emotions, but if we just go with whatever comes up, we are not steering our ships straight, and we aren’t creating emotional well-being for ourselves or others. A lot of our emotions need to be transformed with LOVE. We need to look for more constructive ways to deal with interpersonal difficulties than reacting negatively, and expressing resentment, grief, disappointment etc. Perhaps dig deep and CHANGE our attitudes, rather than suppress them OR express them.

    But of course, for that, it certainly doesn’t help to IGNORE the negative emotions (because then you can’t change them). And I think that is part of what you’re getting at. Supression means that the negative emotions don’t get dealt with. They just sit there in your gut and fester, and one day they will come out. Yikes!

    I personally found out that the more I can control my negative reactions, the more I am able to feel – the more emotion I can handle. If I responsibility handle my negative reactions, and discipline my mind not to go there, I am freed up from a ton of emotional junk, and I feel more. I feel more love, I feel more like myself, I can express more, because the feelings that remain are good, and won’t hurt anyone. So, I’m fully convinced that being responsible for our emotions is just as important as allowing ourselves to feel.

    • theloveculture

      Thank you Evazephyr for your sharing your feelings and thoughts on this, and the lessons you’ve learnt. I agree with you, being responsible for our emotions is just as important as allowing ourselves to feel–I didn’t say it isn’t, neither did I mention it, to keep my post in focus, in one area, at a time. To cover the length and depth and breath of the topic at one go, would be too much to take in at one time. But it is good that in your comment, you’ve highlighted it here. So perhaps whoever who drops by to read this post, will then read your comment and benefit from it.

      Much Love, Mish.

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