Open Topic

Embrace All The “Feels.”

Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone? Why yes, Joni Mitchell – it does seem to go that way. But I argue there is also another way it goes: that you don’t know what was gone ‘til it’s back.

This realization hit me hard the other day as I struggled to handle the return of some unfamiliar feelings – emotions.

Now at first that might not make sense – we often think feelings and emotions are the same. But they aren’t. In doing some research, I learned that emotions are physical states while feelings are mental associations and reactions to emotions. Basically, your brain looks at an emotion that arises in your body, assigns meaning to it, and that results in a feeling. Feelings may be the effect, but emotions are the deeper-rooted cause.

When we don’t want to feel a certain way, we tend to repress the emotion that causes the unwelcomed feeling. Push it down, bury it, pretend it isn’t there. I did that for years. Not wanting to feel the pain of a heartache, I suppressed the emotion of sadness altogether.

And that’s where it gets tricky… because feelings are subjective. They’re our brain’s interpretation and therefore; influenced by experiences, memories and beliefs. Ultimately, on some level, we choose them. And oftentimes, we choose wrong. In all my years of suppressing my sadness, I felt like I was being strong. I felt like I was moving on. I felt like I was okay. But I wasn’t.

Because years of denying pain can lead to apathy, until we no longer know what we’re missing. I haven’t felt real emotions in a long time. Surface level feelings, sure. But deep-rooted, feel-it-in-your-body emotions? It’s been a minute. Because when we numb ourselves to one emotion, it bleeds into others.

My experiences with love taught my brain to associate it with the same unpleasant feelings as sadness, to tie love to feelings of rejection, feelings of loss, feelings of heartache. So at some point, I began to deny the emotion of love as well.

We don’t get to be selective when it comes to our emotions – it’s an all or nothing game. And I was on the “nothing” side for quite some time without even realizing it.

But here’s the thing – the “all” is always there.

We may deny the uncomfortable emotions that arise in our life. We can push them back down and refuse the experience. But that doesn’t mean they go away. They stay buried inside us, patiently waiting their turn to surface. And in the meantime, they find every opportunity to remind us they’re there. They raise their hands and we’re anxious, stand up and we’re insecure, jump around and we’re depressed. And when we open the gate to let the pleasant ones free (love, happiness, joy), the unwanted ones can sneak out as well.

That’s what happened to me. One minute I felt a wave of extreme love… a pure feeling of joy I’d barely had glimpses of over the years. It was a fleeting feeling but I was still grateful it stopped by. Then later that day, another emotion arrived – sadness. The dull, persistent, unmistakable, pain of heartache I avoided for so long had returned. But this one didn’t stop by for a short visit like its counterpart did. Oh no – this one stuck around the rest of the night and into the next day, gnawing at my heart and begging my brain to spiral out of control into the land of insecure thoughts, needy behavior, and attention-seeking decisions.

I resisted the urge to let the emotion take over, but I was frustrated with its persistence. I could barely hold onto the wave of love – the one I wanted – and then I couldn’t get rid of the one I didn’t want. What’s wrong with me?

And that’s when the bigger lesson hit me. The experience wasn’t just practice in self-awareness of my thoughts and feelings… it was practice in self-acceptance.

Because accepting ourselves means accepting our whole selves… and all the feels along the way. We can’t deny them because they came for a reason. No matter how unpleasant, they exist to teach us – show us where our triggers are or where we haven’t dealt with something. We can only learn the lesson if we let them in and listen patiently, knowing it may take a while.

That’s what we often fail to do. We don’t acknowledge the unfriendly emotions. We don’t sit with them without judgment until they are ready to leave. Instead we immediately reject them, barely let them in the door before shoving them away.

But we have to understand they are part of us. All the emotions and all the “feels” are part of the human experience. So we should let them all in. Accept each one. Sit with each one. Appreciate each one, knowing it will not stay forever and we can’t let it stay forever. But understanding it too has something to say, understanding that difficult teachings are where we learn the most, and understanding that when it comes to emotions, unpleasant visitors are better than none at all.

Open Topic

Mutual Masturbation.

You don’t have to wait until you are home alone to masturbate. You can masturbate while your person is sitting beside you in bed, doing the same exact thing.

Think about it… Don’t you think your person looks sexy when they touch themselves? Don’t you get turned on by the sound of their moans? Don’t you like the idea of having a night off from making them orgasm so you can focus on your own pleasure?

When you masturbate, you don’t have to worry about whether your person is going to touch you in the right places, because you are in charge. You get to control how much pressure you use and which rhythm you keep. You get to pleasure yourself exactly the way YOU want it, but you can still feel like you are getting intimate with your person because they are only a few inches away from you.

Mutual masturbation is the perfect way to learn what each other likes without having an awkward conversation about sex that neither of you really wants to have. You can learn by watching. By seeing what makes them horny firsthand. You should pay close attention to the way your person strokes themselves (and they should pay attention to how you touch yourself) so that the next time you have sex, you’ll both have intense orgasms.

Mutual masturbation will also encourage you to focus on your own pleasure. It will remind you that sex is not only about making your person orgasm (although that is a big part of it) but it’s also about making yourself happy. You should BOTH be having a good time during sex, not only one of you. That’s not the way it’s supposed to work.

Mutual masturbation is a way to feel even closer with each other. When you’re having sex, you might shut the lights off. You might leave most of your clothing on. You might cover yourself with a blanket and close your eyes or stare at the ceiling. But during mutual masturbation, you are encouraged to look instead of touch. You are supposed to enjoy the visual in front of you. That means you’ll see each other at your most vulnerable.

As a bonus, when you mutually masturbate, you are guaranteed an orgasm. You don’t have to risk your person finishing first and then dozing off to sleep while you are stuck feeling unfulfilled. You are doing the job yourself, which means it’s going to be done CORRECTLY.

The other great thing about mutual masturbation is, that it takes the stigma away from touching yourself. Some couples are uncomfortable knowing that their person is getting off to some fantasy inside of their head when they are alone — but if you are masturbating side-by-side you can ogle each other. You can rest easily knowing that they are thinking about YOU while they orgasm, not some stranger they ran into at work that day.

Of course, you don’t literally have to be in the same room together to masturbate. If you’re on a business trip or stuck in a long-distance relationship, you can both touch yourself while speaking over the phone or while chatting on Skype. That way, you can close your eyes and feel like you are together even when you are miles apart.

Mutual masturbation is perfect for when you are on your period and don’t want anyone else to touch you. Or for when you are too tired to thrust your hips, but awake enough to use your hands. Or for when you are worried about spreading STDs. Or for when you want to try something new in the bedroom, but aren’t ready for anything too kinky. It’s the answer to all of your sexual needs.

Open Topic

Dear Best Friend…

Dear Friend,

I don’t think you really see how special and awe-inspiring you are, and I am here to remind you of that. I am here to tell you that women like you are so rare and precious and that I feel truly blessed to have you in my life.

You inspire me because you are not afraid to be yourself. And I know you weren’t born that way. I know that life has beaten and bent you. I know it took you a long time to learn to truly love yourself.

You had to build your confidence from scratch. But you managed. Somewhere down the line, you realized that it’s not about being perfect—it’s about being you. It’s about accepting yourself.

You taught me that you don’t always have to be strong. You are allowed to have a meltdown from time to time. You are allowed to break into pieces. That’s OK, as long as you keep picking yourself up.

Not giving up on yourself is what it’s all about, and it doesn’t matter how long it takes. It’s the end result that counts.

You inspire me, because no matter how many curve balls life threw at you, you always found the moments to smile.

Even in your darkest hour, you keep a positive mind. You always enjoy the small fragments of light that come your way.

You know that there are always some good days just around the corner, waiting for you, waiting for your loved ones, and it’s only a matter of time before you get there.

You transform an ordinary day into extraordinary.

You have a great sense of humor. You can make a whole room laugh without making an actual effort. There is something radiant about you that makes people gravitate to you.

You are intelligent, driven and passionate in whatever you do. When you hit a roadblock, you just keep on persisting until you make it. And I’m lucky just to witness that.

Watching you dream big inspires me to do the same.

You are brave enough to leave your comfort zone and reach for more. You don’t allow your fears to hold you down. You say you’ve done that for years and that it is time to change your ways.

I couldn’t agree more. I will try to do the same. I want more for myself. I want to try new things and follow new adventures.

All the problems and all the love troubles I’m experiencing, seem less when I share them with you.

Thank you for listening to my drama over and over again. I know that I keep repeating myself from time to time. But you get me somehow. You know just the right things to say. Heck, you sometimes even know me better than I know myself.

Thank you for bearing with me. Thank you for all the love and support you’ve been giving me all these years.

You taught me that not everything has to have an answer.

I’m an overthinker, and I don’t do well with things that are left unsaid. I don’t do well with relationships that have loose ends. I hate not having closure. But I guess that’s inevitable.

You’ve been there, and you know. There’s no point in thinking about ‘what ifs’ and people who chose to disappear from one’s life without saying a word.

You keep reminding me that people like that are not worthy of my time and that makes the whole process of moving on a little bit easier.

Thank you for soothing my thoughts. Thank you for showing me by example how it’s done. And though these things are never painless, they’ve started hurting a bit less.

Thank you for reminding me that I deserve more.

You make me believe it myself. I’ve had my fair share of toxic relationships that have made me think I am not good enough. But in your eyes, there’s no one as good as me.

There is nothing about me that you would change. You just push me to be the best version of myself. You just keep repeating, “More self-love baby girl, more self-love.”

And you are right. I need to love myself more. I need to demand the same respect back that I’m giving to someone, or I will end up heartbroken again.

Thank you for being brutally honest even when I don’t want to hear it

You won’t sugarcoat anything. I can count on you to give me a reality check when I need one. You always keep me grounded and remind me that I have to take my brain with me when I follow my heart.

You will tell me if someone’s stringing me along or making a fool out of me because I’m caught in the love mist and unable to see that for myself.

You know that it will be painful to hear that, but you are only trying to spare me from even greater pain in the future.

There are many more similar situations. I don’t even want to count them because it would take forever. But the point is, you have my back. You protect me even when I don’t even realize I need protection.

You make my life better. You make everyone’s life better.

You are amazingly charismatic, and you have this unique gift to lift other people’s spirits up. You are kind, compassionate and selfless.

You are an angel on Earth who came into this world with the purpose to help others. You care for others first and for yourself second. You are always the one who gives more, tries more and loves more.

Sadly, that’s something people take advantage of too often—especially those you’ve cared for the most. Those you let into your heart. The men of your life who didn’t know how to appreciate you.

They took your goodness for granted. They got used to your understanding of nature, and they kept thinking that you will keep on forgiving them for eternity. They thought they can come and go as they wished.

They never could have pictured this new woman you have become. The empowered woman who doesn’t let anybody treat her like crap. The woman who respects herself and demands to be respected back.

There are boundaries within you that no one can cross. You raised your standards, even though you are still a low-maintenance girl..

You don’t need fancy dinners and expensive gifts. You need someone who will laugh with you while you take something from a food stand, and someone to gift you his free time and attention.

The guy who ends up being your forever will be so lucky to have you.

He will have a woman by his side who knows what is truly important in life, the one who doesn’t sweat the small stuff, the one who is loyal to the bone.

He will have a strong and independent woman who doesn’t need him, but wants him in her life. And if he’s smart, he’ll appreciate you even more for it.

I know that you can’t see yourself through my eyes.

You are so modest that you don’t even realize how amazing and unique you are. You believe that everyone has a heart like yours.

But I wrote it anyway, just to show you what you are made of. Just to tell you that you inspire me and make me want to be the best version of myself.

You’ve touched my life in ways I can’t even explain. You are my rock. You are the one I share my happiness with. I am so blessed to have you in my life.

Thank you for love. Thank you for friendship. Thank you for being you.

I believe that these kinds of friendships are rare. They are something out of this world. They are something to thank God for and never take for granted.

I really do believe that friendships like ours are forever. You see life happens, things change, people come and go, relationships end, but a best friend is someone who stays by your side for eternity.

Open Topic

A True Friend.

Have you ever had a best friend, in the real sense of that word?

A sister, your other half and someone who is there for you through bad and good days, through thick and thin?

Have you ever had someone you can call in the middle of the night, when you’re not feeling well?

A person who isn’t your family by blood but by choice?

If you have, then you know that a true friend never lets you go through anything bad in life alone.

You know that she is someone who sticks by your side through all of your nightmares, including one of the worst things every girl can experience: a heartbreak.

Yes, she probably told you that this guy wasn’t right for you from the very start.

She probably warned you about his numerous flaws which you failed to notice.

This girl saw this man’s true colors before you did. She read right through his sweet words and charming exterior.

She saw that you could do better and that he never deserved you.

She saw that he was an immature guy who couldn’t put up with a strong woman like you.

She knew he wasn’t any good. She knew he would end up hurting you and that he would end up crushing your heart to pieces, exactly the way he did.

However, once everything she was warning you about became reality, you didn’t hear any repetitions of I told you so.

You didn’t hear her nagging that you should have known better or calling you stupid for believing in his lies.

Instead, she was right there holding your hand like every time up till now.

No, she didn’t rush you into anything and she never tried making you do things her way.

She wasn’t telling you that it was time for you to forget and move on, when you were obviously still not ready for that step.

She wasn’t judging you for taking so long to heal, and she wasn’t pushing you to your limits.

However, she was there to understand you and to give you the support you desperately needed.

There to come to you, even when you didn’t reach out to her and to know what you needed before you knew it yourself.

This girl didn’t leave your sight for a minute.

She put up with you even when you were impossible to handle, and even when she was too busy with her own life.

She was there all along, wiping your tears away and promising you that you would recover.

Reassuring you that better things would come along and begging you to have faith.

She was right there, listening to your endless stories she had heard a million times.

Listening to you retelling every single detail of your relationship, to you saying how much you still love this douchebag and you grieving your past.

She was right there, when you needed someone to stalk your ex or his next girlfriend.

Right there to curse the day he was born, to talk shit about him and everything he did to you.

She was right there to believe in you, even when you didn’t, and to encourage you in the moments when you thought that you’d never be able to forget him.

She was right there to save you from him.

To haunt away all of your past demons and to help you take a step into the future.

This girl was next to you through all of your sleepless nights, when you needed someone to talk to you or just someone to sit there in silence.

Someone to count on and someone to bring you back your faith in humanity.

She was there to save you from your own bad judgments.

There to prevent you from sending all of those texts you would eventually regret, from picking up the first guy you liked, just to get even with your ex and to stop you from losing your dignity.

She was your guardian angel and your shoulder to cry on.

The light at the end of your tunnel, and the silver lining to your cloud.

The good in all of your bad days.

And that is exactly what true friends are for.

Because a true friend will never let you go through a heartache alone.

Instead, she will stand by your side to pick up your broken pieces and to glue you back together. 

And that is something you should always be thankful for.