I wrote this piece on emotions sometime ago… let us ‘normalise’ emotions and of course let us still seek the help when we need it and there is no shame in that!
Maybe I get why there is depression, maybe I get why sadness, fear, challenges fester and become an overwhelming burden… because it seems there are a lot of people not ok being around it, hearing it, talking about it, listening to it, empathising with it… they would really rather that you go away until you are feeling better, so maybe this is a sign that you should stay inside when the storm hits?
A time when we are most vulnerable, and sometimes it feels nobody really cares… or they care, but don’t really want to hear it…. I mean tell it somewhere else…we are positive people here. Yes, sometimes we cry into our pillows at night, but we won’t admit it, because I read this book that said to just stay positive, so I am going to do that… and I do that! But that doesn’t mean that I feel wrong to be sad sometimes, that I don’t feel bad about being overwhelmed, that I actually think that it is appropriate to the situation.
Now, don’t get confused, I am not talking about that negative, energy sucking, glass half empty, always stealing your dreams kind of person, the one who complains about everything all the time. I am talking about the person who has been or is in a genuinely challenging situation or going through something BIG… something life changing with grief attached. This is a person who needs to say hello to, be with, and express grief… this is a person who should be given the space to do that and never be made to feel like they are ‘wrong’ to feel that way… it is when we feel that we are wrong to be sad and wrong to have moments of fear, moments of vulnerability that you start looking for something to fix it…you feel like you are alone because everybody else is pretending that they are coping or medicated to cope… that is just ridiculous.
What this is about for me is acknowledging all the emotions that life experiences cause us to have, it is about not labelling those emotions as good or bad, but about ‘doing’ them and then moving through them. When I was in the midst of my husband just having a stroke and my son just being diagnosed with Autism I went to a Doctor with a pinched nerve in my neck which I told him I felt was from stress. He asked what I was stressed about, I told him and started crying and then he asked if I wanted something for it! (Meaning something for the crying, not for my neck!), I said how about a tissue! Now, my regular Doctor is fantastic and keeps a check on my physical and emotional health and I am not saying all doctors are like this but clearly this does happen.
When did it become not OK to cry? I think it was appropriate with what I was going through to cry about it sometimes!! That does not make me a negative person it makes me a real person! Perhaps he should have offered some counselling instead of medication.
Do not deny yourself the opportunity to be with all your emotions, it has become more evident to me as time goes on that when we don’t deal with all our emotions (and it is a mystery ‘how’ exactly we should deal with them) but when we ignore that they are there, and keep pushing them back down and locking the door, one day that door will burst open and we will then have to look at them!
So, I now ‘do’ my emotions, I just choose not to do the ones that don’t serve me (anger, depression, sadness) for extended periods of time… I do them, hard, fast and loud and then move on to sparkle! And I know that if I don’t do my emotions they will do me.
So whatever you are feeling, FEEL it!
Do this … Point to yourself. Go on…
Bet you pointed to your heart not your head!! We are feeling beings!
We are taught to focus on the positive, be positive… nobody wants to hear and be with miserable…and to some extent this is what I teach. And I get this… and we see much of this on social media…everybody just sharing the highlights, the show reel of their lives. And I have wondered about that ‘Law of Attraction’, with me sharing my lowlights as well, am I attracting more of the same… I have meditated and analysed and thought much about this… so I am not sure if I have an answer but here is what I do feel and see…. we connect deepest with people when they share their pain… it seems the power of empathy is perhaps one of the deepest levels of connection… because whatever I may have thought about you before when I hear your story of some of the real life pain of what you have been through I then connect with you on a whole new level and any other judgements (and please don’t tell me you NEVER form judgements, that is a whole other chapter), we may have made seem so insignificant. It also makes us all feel less alone… there are always plenty of people around to celebrate our success and good times but it’s when we are in pain we need some people to sit with us and they can only do that if we are honest about it. You see in pain we find the gift of empathy.
When does a community connect the most, so much so that it moves us to tears… yep, when it is in the midst of a natural disaster and people come out to help that neighbour that they have been living beside for 5 years and never even met… and find themselves connecting on a whole new level, so sharing your pain doesn’t make you a miserable person. I mean you don’t need to be negative and melancholy 24/7 that is not what is about. I think with the whole positive thinking movement we took things to extreme, where we suddenly thought we had to pretend everything was great all of the time, when in fact it wasn’t, pain is a real part of living a life and you still have to invite your pain to come and sit with you because what you resist will persist.
It was in the teachings of Abraham that I read you can’t put a smiley sticker over the top of your empty fuel tank gauge and just be positive about not running out of fuel! At some point you have got to be honest about where you are at, stop and fill up the tank… and of course at the other side of your pain is joy, so give yourself permission to get to joy.
If you have some pain today I send you a hug, empathy and understanding and if you haven’t then roll around in ecstasy in your joy!
If you don’t do your emotions, they will do you!