Most of last year I was sad. There were lots of moments I felt myself trying to talk through the feeling with friends with the hope that I could rationalize it until it went away. But it just wasn’t going away. And all the while, I was resisting my sadness BIG time.The irony was that I wasn't even really feeling it.
Then I read a book by Osho and something he said really struck me. He explained that most of society is built around not wanting you to feel extremes of emotions. The people around you just want you to be OK, and what “OK” actually means is that you are mostly numb, neutral, disengaged with extreme feelings.
It was then that I realized that I was existing in that space. And ironically, I ended up having to deal with extreme discomfort in my attempt to resist sadness. Instead, I was trapped in a cycle of denial, numbness and dissatisfaction.
Of course, when sadness, disappointment, and loneliness set in, the feelings are deeply uncomfortable. But what if we just invited them in, and allowed them to sit tight for a second?
Rather than allowing our brains to go into that state of overdrive, trying to figure out how to get you out of this state, we'd simply feel the pure feelings themselves. Consider that!
Part of the issue is that our culture conditions us to avoid fully confronting, and owning, our feelings. When you talk to friends and tell them you are feeling down, they will say things like, “Everything is going to be OK. You just need to get out of the house — you’re thinking too much.”
And often if you are super-duper happy, there will be people that say, “Don’t jinx it!” Or you may find yourself feeling guilty for being too happy around other people who may be less satisfied with their lives.
In both of these cases, notice how we aren’t given permission to just feel, and to do so deeply?
Well, it's time to change that paradigm, and it begins with a choice — your choice to start honoring your feelings.
The other day, I was on the phone with my mom. I called her because I was feeling incredibly sad and I couldn't explain why. In response, my mom consoled me, “You are probably just stressed about something. It’s going to be OK.” I could feel her love, and her desire for me to simply feel better.
But I told her that I didn't want to just feel better. I wanted to feel my sadness, and to feel what my sadness was trying to tell meto feel what my sadness was trying to tell me. “I just wanted to tell you that I was down," I told her, "But I don’t want to fix it.”
And you know what? I’ve learned that that is best way for me to ask for the support to feel, and just let it all be. She totally understood.
So much can shift when we finally let ourselves feel the discomfort. Today, I invite you to give yourself permission to be sad, upset, lonely, down, whatever it is. At the same time, I want to give you permission to be happy and shout it from the rooftops. I want you to rock all of it.
As with everything, the lessons I am sharing with you here are things that I too am going through and have learned for myself.
Now that I have let myself feel my sadness, I am also feeling super happy and excited about what’s to come next. Trust that if you are feeling sad right now, you will get there, too. Emotions come in cycles, like everything in nature.
Your assignment this week is to express a feeling you are having right now in the comments on the blog. I will be reading each one.
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