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Permission to Feel: The Power of Emotional Intelligence to Achieve Well-Being and Success

Updated: Aug 10, 2023

RESOURCE: [Book] Permission to Feel: The Power of Emotional Intelligence to Achieve Well-Being and Success by Marc Brackett, Ph.D. (Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence) TOPIC/ISSUE: Dr. Brackett quickly shares his own personal experiences with (well…really without) feelings as a child in Permission to Feel. He reports that he struggled until he spoke with his Uncle Marvin, who helped him understand the many emotions and feelings that humans have as well as how to appropriately label them. For example, the feelings of jealousy and envy are different. Jealousy is the ‘fear of losing someone important to you’ whereas envy ‘has to do with wanting something that someone else has’ (pg. 94). Knowing the different causes of each emotion can help us manage them.

Quote from Dr. Brackett (pg. 21): “We all want our lives, and the lives of the people we love, to be free of hardship and troubling events. We can never make that happen. We all want our lives to be filled with healthy relationships, compassion, and a sense of purpose. That we can make happen. Uncle Marvin showed me how. It starts with the permission to feel, the first step of the process.” REFLECTION: Repeat that, ‘It starts with the permission to feel…’. Going through divorce and co-parenting brings up so many different emotions, many of which are negative and hard to handle. Do you believe that you have permission to feel all the emotions that are coursing through your body these days? Do you have supportive people in your life who can help you process your feelings or listen to you as you process them? These people can be family, friends, therapists, coaches, religious leaders, mentors, etc. I believe that the beginning of the journey through divorce starts with ‘sitting in the muck’. That means you are letting yourself feel the full range of emotions which are fighting for space in your mind, heart, and body rather than ignoring them. It’s not easy, but as we get more comfortable and more rehearsed at feeling and then identifying the emotions, we are on our way to healing.  What actions can you take to give yourself permission to feel the good, bad, and ugly emotions that need to be processed so you can heal?

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