The Art of Just Feeling

I struggle to allow myself to let feelings exist and recognize them. During my session this week, I shared an event with my therapist that was still weighing on me quite heavily. It brought up all of these feelings and thoughts within me that took me by surprise. My therapist pointed out that it's okay that I had all of those feelings. I should label them and acknowledge them. I can decide how I want to react to them. She suggested I recognize in that moment that it's okay to feel silly, embarrassed, anxious, etc. In fact, it's completely normal that I felt the way I felt given the situation.

I told her I just don't know what to do with those feelings. I was looking for her to tell me what to do. In that particular situation, do I (1.) decide it's okay to be embarrassed and acknowledge I'm going to look silly and get over it, or (2.) say I don't feel like it's good for me to engage in the activity because of the response it's eliciting? She said it depends on my goal: Do I want to conquer the embarrassment?; Do I want to just recognize what I am feeling? There's not a wrong answer to that. The goal may change.

I feel like right now I need to focus on identifying triggers and acknowledging my feelings. My tendency is to let it escalate until the point of hyperarousal. Also, I need to be kinder to myself. I deserve the same compassion that I extend to others.