Guilt, shame, sadness, anger, resentment, loneliness, heartbreak, confusion.. the list of uncomfortable feelings unfortunately goes on and on. Let’s face it – nobody likes feeling any of those feelings, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that these feelings are bad and that you shouldn’t be feeling them.
In order to grow from painful experiences, we need to experience the sadness and other uncomfortable feelings that come with it. If we feel sadness or loss, we need to let ourselves cry instead of holding it in and putting on a fake smile. If we are angry, we need to give ourselves permission to vent instead of swallowing the anger and letting it slowly pile up and lead to resentment. Regardless of the which uncomfortable emotions we are faced with, it is so important to learn how to simply just sit with that feeling until it passes. We need to sit with our feelings for enough time in order to make sense of them. We also need to treat ourselves with compassion and self-love, instead of telling ourselves that we shouldn’t be feeling the way that we do – because all that will do is repress our emotions.
Quite recently I experienced a loss. Although it took a couple of days to hit me, when it did – I felt an overwhelming sense of sadness, grief and confusion. But instead of letting myself feel those feelings, I attempted to distract myself. I held back the tears, I forced a smile and I continued to get all dressed up for a night out. But while doing all this, I could still feel the sadness lingering in my mind, which was frustrating as I just wanted the feelings to go away already! After a couple days of containing all my emotions, a moment finally came where I broke down. I couldn’t keep it in any longer. I realized I needed to feel my feelings no matter how unpleasant they were. I needed to simply sit with them and be compassionate instead of judge myself as ‘bad’ for feeling that way. I also needed to be patient with myself, and recognize that “this too shall pass”. So I spent a whole day letting myself feel the sadness, the grief, the loss, the confusion. I stopped judging myself and telling myself that I should suck it up and do this, or that. I just let myself be. I didn’t feel great the following day either, but I felt better enough to express how I was feeling out loud and let others comfort me, without feeling guilty. Now, I feel so much better than I did a couple days ago because I released my emotions instead of repressing them.
I have blogged about the necessity of sitting with feelings in the past, and yet here I am blogging about the topic again. This goes to show that I am not perfect, along with every other human being in this world. I constantly have to re-read my own posts and remind myself of my own advice. That’s life; we live and we learn. All this experience did for me was remind me of the importance of feeling your feelings out. I thought I was being pathetic by crying – but in reality, what I was doing was healthy and very necessary.
Crying is not bad. It does not make you bad, so if you are like me and sometimes feel that way – STOP. If you feel like crying, take the time to cry. There is a reason we feel better and lighter after a good cry. It is a healthy release. Remember that we are measured on our ability to work through our feelings, not avoid them. We are all fighting our own battle, and once we realize and accept that it becomes a lot easier to admit “I am struggling right now and that is okay“. It is okay not to be okay all the time.
For some tips on how to handle negative feelings, read one of my older posts “How To Handle Negative Feelings”.