As I drove back home this afternoon, one of Kanye's best tracks of all time, Fade, came on shuffle. While this song has absolutely nothing to do with this post, it said the word "Feel" literally 37 times. By the 28th time, it got me thinking - does Kanye own the word Feel and did he want all of us to know about it? And more importantly, when's the last time I really felt something? I know we feel all types of happy, sad, confused, anxious, and stressed on an hourly basis but honestly, I can't remember the last time I took the time to feel any of those feelings. Understand those feelings. Question those feelings. And most importantly, accept those feelings.
I chose today, #BellLetsTalk Day because there isn't a better day to share what we're thinking than on a day we're all told we have a duty to listen. While I'm inspired and grateful for Bell Let's Talk Day as I am every year, I think there's a missing step in the "talking" process that we need to address. I think Kanye said it best when he said, "I feel it". I'm probably not the only one, but from a young age I subconsciously constructed the notion that certain emotions should be suppressed and "toned down" because "there's always a time and place for everything". This notion was of course influenced by my self, my parents, TV, the schools I went to, the jobs I've had and the hundreds of interactions and experiences where I've had to hold my tongue/brain. To an extent, I understand it. It makes sense to me, sometimes. For example, coming to my house, expressing your hatred for the Toronto Maple Leafs and sharing how happy it made you feel when we played Boston on May 13, 2013 with the expectation for me to serve you food? On my dining table? HA. Time and place makes perfect sense here. Where it doesn't make sense to me is suppressing your feelings about yourself. Your feelings about situations that affect you. Your feelings about things that hurt you. Your feelings about things you can't explain. Your feelings that won't go away. Your emotions represent each and every thread that are weaved together to create the beautiful, unique tapestry that is yourself (#deep). Your emotions = you. There is never a wrong time to feel and never a right time to push these feelings so deep down that you pretend they aren't there. Take a moment, take a minute, take a day, hell even take a year. Give yourself the time you need to feel those feelings, because when you don't and they come back, you're going to ask yourself "Where is Kanye West when I need him?". Just. Feel. It.
So back to my original point. Yes, Bell. Let's talk. Let's listen. But also, let's feel. Let's feel so we can spend time with our feelings and understand these feelings. Let's understand these feelings so we can put words to these feelings. Let's put words to these feelings so we can talk about them.
Written by: Naim Jutha, NVSN.
Whatever you're feeling. However you're feeling. All I ask is that you keep feeling.