Accepting Emotions - Interview with Heather Zeni
Questions by Kennedy Hunter
Here's the original post
Kennedy: I loved reading your blog post, and I was able to relate to it so much because I’ve had a hard time accepting my own emotions growing up. What made you come up with this topic?
Heather: Thanks, Kennedy! Coming up with this topic was actually kind of easy, because I've been somewhat engulfed in it for quite a few months. I love hearing about how people are feeling, I just think it gives so much insight to a situation as well as offers compassion.
Kennedy: You mentioned in your post that when we are children, we don’t have the right vocabulary to describe certain emotions. For instance, a kid might say that they’re sad when they’re actually lonely. What do you think is the hardest emotion for kids to understand?
Heather: Oh, this is such an amazing question!! Having a 9 year old myself, I have really gotten to witness all the emotions over the years. I’d say the one that he had the hardest time identifying recently was jealousy. He didn’t know why he was feeling a certain way and he just kept referring to it as anger. Trying to explain what jealousy actually is, is kind of hard, but I did the best I could and let him feel the feeling while also encouraging him to move through the emotion. Such an awesome learning lesson (for both of us), I also got the chance to explain to him that just because he was feeling this way toward another person, didn’t mean that the other person was wrong for what they were doing. Good stuff!!
Kennedy: In your blog post you mentioned that you’ve experienced being the one struggling with your emotions and witnessing others struggle with their own emotions. What’s your best piece of advice that you would give to someone who is struggling with accepting their emotions?
Heather: That it’s ok to not accept all emotions immediately. Many have been conditioned to shove feelings down and it’s not always easy when certain ones resurface. Give yourself grace, while also remembering that on the other side of a heavy emotion is love… waiting for you.
Kennedy: Going along with the previous question, do you find yourself struggling to follow your own advice at times, or do you feel like you do a good job at managing your emotions?
Heather: Pssssh. haha I am a continuous work in progress and I hope to always be. I very much struggle to heed my own advice but I’m grateful that I have enough awareness to access it when needed. Plus, I have a small army of friends that are not scared to say “you should listen to your own advice sometimes.”
Kennedy: Do you think that there is a particular age group that struggles with accepting their emotions the most? Or do you believe that every age group equally struggles with accepting their emotions?
Heather: I think that children might struggle the most at first. They are feeling new things every single day, and if they don’t have guidance into what it is that they’re feeling, that can pave a path full of struggles leading into their entire lives. But also, adults that refuse to feel are oftentimes the saddest on the inside. So, to answer your question - everyone loses when they deny their emotions.
Kennedy: You said that you made a vow to yourself to always remain open to learning, but do you have any examples where it was difficult to accept or where you refused to accept one’s feelings or opinions?
Heather: I will always stand up for love. So an area that I refuse to accept is any area that openly spreads, preaches, or stands for hate. Now, will I do my best to see where the other person is coming from? Yes! Do I have to agree or have a relationship with that person? No.
Kennedy: Where can our audience find you? Heather: Follow the trail of glitter to the field through the forest. I’ll be the one barefoot with wings.
…oh, and here on LYF’s page. haha