Feelings. Why are we so afraid of them? Is it because they’re unpredictable and sometimes uncontrollable or uncomfortable? Could be.
It seems that society seems to have the notion that any “bad” feelings are to be hushed, squashed, hidden, gotten rid of quickly. But who came up with the notion that we are to be “happy” 100% of the time?
Who says that to show feeling means you’re weak? Not so. To show your real emotions sometimes takes great courage. Of course, with everything, BALANCE. I’m not advocating being run away with your feelings and living in emotional upheaval all of the time. I’m saying that in life there are seasons. Literal seasons, such as fall, winter, spring, summer. There are cycles, such as day turning to night, turning to day again. Nature is full of seasons and cycles. Why wouldn’t WE go through them as well. Life is a continuous cycle of highs and lows. I like to refer to the ocean tide because it’s such a good example. The tide ebbs and flows. We have to learn to FLOW with life. Our emotions cycle and flow. It’s OK to be sad sometimes or angry or disappointed. Not that you let that take over your whole life and not that you use that as an excuse to harm someone else. No, no. But, you must let yourself cycle through your feelings. Let yourself flow through them.
For instance, if you’ve been through major life changes (death, a break-up, separation or divorce, or perhaps a child moving away from home, physical struggles and the like) you are ALLOWED to feel sad some days. Yes, well-meaning people will always tell you to “cheer up” or “get over it”, or “move on”. But, no. Let yourself cycle through those feelings at your own pace. If you feel sad, let yourself feel sad. If you’re angry about something, take time to figure out what’s behind the anger. Journal about your feelings. Talk to a trusted friend who won’t judge you. Pray. Find a good counselor or mentor to help you work through it. There’s no shame in it. Find what works for you.
Perhaps in some cases, action will be required. For instance, if there is a situation where you are angry because you were treated unfairly, or there is a discrepancy at work, etc. you may need to take proper and cautious steps to resolve whatever the issue may be. Never be a vigilante. If you’re dealing with a work or legal issue, proper protocol must be followed. First, try to figure out what the root of your anger is before trying to resolve it. Sometimes your anger may be rooted in your perception based on a past experiences or personality types. If you recognize this to be the case, take a fresh look at the person or situation that upset you. Look with new eyes and see if that person or situation offended you because it reminded you of someone/something else. Sometimes our perception of another person’s intentions can be influenced by our past. So, take stock of all factors. And if you need assistance to resolve any issue, then ask. Again, nothing to be ashamed of.
And the same idea for other areas that may cause you to feel down, such as daily stress, family issues, or maybe you just had a bad day. It’s okay. Take time when you can be alone to work through it. You’ll know what works best for you. Try taking a walk in the park or neighborhood, do some exercise, journal, pray, or express yourself through art, poetry or song. These things may aid in you getting out some negative energy and stress and help you to gain some clarity regarding your feelings.
Some say not to have “pity parties”. But, I disagree. Have your pity party (just don’t make it a never-ending party) :). Get your feelings out in a healthy way and keep on moving forward. Once you let yourself work THROUGH your feelings you will eventually get back around to the other side of the cycle. Think of it like a pendulum. Our lives are always in motion and always swinging from happiness to sadness, or good day to bad day and everything in between. That’s life. Every day is not “fun” or “happy”, but you can learn to deal with your feelings in an effective way. Stuffing them down or ignoring them only causes them to surface later in other ways…usually unhealthy ones.
Lastly, if you suffer from clinical depression or have other mental health struggles, then never ever be ashamed to get professional help. It doesn’t mean you’re crazy. There is therapy and there are medications that can be prescribed to help you obtain and maintain some balance. Do your homework and have someone you trust to help you with this process. The beautiful thing about living in this day and time is that there are a multitude of resources available to help people in whatever state they’re in & help them to find balance.
God bless you.