Day 1270: Accepting all feelings

People who work with me in therapy accept that I often focus on the importance of accepting all feelings, even uncomfortable ones like fear and sadness. If we accept all feelings, instead of repressing or judging them, then all feelings can naturally flow through us.

These days, I am accepting all feelings –including hope, fear, and sadness — as I feel my way towards open heart surgery on September 21.

Yesterday, I accepted all feelings in an Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing  (EMDR) therapy session. In that session, I transformed all my feelings about this thought:

Strangers are going to split me open, like they’re filleting a fish, and look at my totally exposed heart in a cold and lonely room.

to this thought:

People who want the best for me are going to have the privilege of seeing my unusual  and beautiful heart and making it better. Maybe they’ll even take a picture of my heart so I can finally see it!

Throughout that EMDR exercise, I was accepting all feelings about this image (which I found here):


What feelings are you accepting now?

I am accepting all feelings about that image and about these photos I took yesterday:

















I am accepting all feelings about all these songs about feelings (on YouTube here, here,  here, and here):

Whatever feelings you have about this post, I accept them.

I’m accepting all my feelings of gratitude for those who helped me create this post and for you — of course! — no matter what feelings you’re accepting, here and now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , | 48 Comments

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48 thoughts on “Day 1270: Accepting all feelings

  1. The minute I started reading your post the words whoa, whoa, whoa popped into my head, and there they were at the end of the post. I’m feeling the feelings you put forth here Ann- and wondering why the flip flops are hanging from the ceiling too 🙂

    • Dunkin’ Donuts likes to hang summer-related stuff from the ceiling, Lisa. I’m accepting all feelings I have about that and I’m also feeling good about your comment!

  2. Wow Ann, this post sounds like something Brene Brown would say. I’ve never had open heart surgery or procedures that come even remotely close to it and I can only imagine all the feelings you are experiencing. Thank you for sharing your vulnerability with us as this is what connects us and though miles may separate us, exposing yourself creates a special bond that distance can’t sever. Sending hugs your way Ann. ❤

  3. Your heart is most valued. I hope you accept that.

  4. The kids said it best…”You might just be okay.” Thinking of you, Ann. 💘

  5. Oh, Ann, surgery? I feel scared for you right now. I cannot even begin to imagine how you must be feeling. You are being kept in my prayers that all goes well and that you will be up and “running” quickly after your flawless surgery. Much Love to you! ❤

  6. I’m feeling for you Ann as you go through the roller coaster of feelings! Let them flow through you … This SOPA dancers made me feel good 😀

  7. Loved the flip-flops on the ceiling!

  8. This was a timely post that I will keep in my mind over the coming weeks as my dad passed away yesterday and there are definitely feelings.

  9. Once when I was in school I was asked to define “brave” and couldn’t. It was ironic that I knew what the word meant but couldn’t come up with the words to express it. I went and memorized dictionary definitions in the hopes of never being caught off guard again, but dictionary definitions always seemed insufficient. Some words can only be defined by examples, and while I can say that bravery is defined as being able to accept and overcome fear I think it can only really be defined by saying that you are very brave.

  10. Oh good grief! That’s huge (the open heart surgery) – I wish you well and that you go from strength to strength (a close friend came through a major heart op two years ago and is now living completely normally again – would never know he had it if he didn’t keep reminding us 🙂
    Feelings – goodness, I don’t have the courage to blog about the things that are making me cry right now – but, I do accept the feelings and the sadness. This post is so timely for me; I have been thinking a lot this week about how we swallow sadness down and put on brave faces because ‘gratitude’ is the thing to have now. So thank you – I needed this. And again – I wish you well as you face this surgery.

  11. Maureen

    The photo of the man who is awake while his heart is open filled me with many feelings. I don’t want to share any of them right now, but I know that I will be thinking of that man and you all day. This is likely a foolish question, maybe an annoying one, but is there any way that your doctors could use a less invasive approach than through your sternum?

    • I never feel annoyed at you or your questions, Maureen. I spoke to the doctors about a less invasive approach. Because of the complexities of my cardiac anatomy, that is not the way to go.

      • Oh, I’m sorry. You are going to need some TLC and time off. Can we help Michael with the blog?

      • Thank you for the TLC of your comments, Maureen. Michael has agreed to blog for me when I cannot. Your presence here ALWAYS helps.

  12. I’m accepting all feelings related to your beautiful heart

  13. Ann,
    You will know a good friend when, without saying a word, will cry with you in your sorry and will rejoice with you in your joy.

  14. That photo of the surgeon gives me the willies! I guess that reflects my overall dislike of hospitals.

  15. These are very useful ways of dealing fears and anxieties, but more importantly I wish you the best possible experience in September. I have been away from my blog for many weeks, so I did not know about the surgery. I love the Emerson quote too.

  16. Just struck by your kindness in sharing this wisdom.

  17. Love that Emerson. And I really admire the way you are systematically preparing yourself. It’s a good thing and not everyone would do it.

  18. I don’t know if this will bring you a smile, but I had open heart surgery in 1956. I was 5 and the chance of survival was only 50% on a GOOD day. 🙂 Anyway, none of that was my concern — they prepared me well, so I knew exactly what they were going to do, what equipment they’d use, and how I would feel when I woke up. I just did what they told me to do. I think that child-like faith that they know what they’re doing and they plan to succeed is a good approach to take, because really, it’s out of your hands, and the odds are in your favor anyway. I wish you a peaceful heart as the day comes closer, and a speedy recovery once the day is over. ❤

  19. Pingback: Day 1271: Age | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  20. Quite right, courageous lady

  21. Pingback: Day 1274: Reading | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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