In the last few months, I’ve had several friends who have gone through some trying times and after I repeated some similar advice to another dear friend last night, I realized it might be thoughts worth sharing with others.
It sucks to feel blue…or sad….or depressed, but those emotions are as much a part of our lives as happiness and excitement. Without the dark, it’s difficult to fully appreciate the light. Cliche but true.
Where people seem to go adrift is that it’s OKAY to feel bad–just as it’s natural for the sun to set. It’s OKAY to feel sad, depressed and blue. And it’s OKAY if it takes a little while until you feel better. Do you understand? IT’S OKAY.
Why are we ashamed to feel bad? Why do we run from it? Or worse, why do we ignore it or numb it with food, alcohol and other destructive addictions? Yes, it’s sucks to feel those emotions, but running from them or ignoring them or numbing them doesn’t make them go away. I’ve tried all the tricks and the next day, they were sitll there, but now laughing and mocking me.
My divorce two years ago was the last time I had an extended period of grief and sadness. But I decided to FEEL instead of the tricks. I allowed every ugly, self-serving, self-pitying emotion to surface. I cried when I needed to cry. I stayed inside and wallowed when that’s what my heart compelled me to do. I scribbled angry words in my journal when I felt rage . I did some of it with my dear BFFs, and I did a lot of alone. Oh…the alone…sometimes that was the worst.
Here’s the rub: it took a while to cycle through it all. It didn’t happen overnight just because I had a good cry. Many times I thought I was done, only to break down in tears over Hallmark commercials and perfect-looking couples in the mall. Looking back, I believe I was pouring out years of suppressed negative emotions, not just the ones associated with my divorce.
In a few months, the sun was shining again. And when that happened, I felt cleaner and clearer than I had in years. I was renewed and rejuvenated. All the toxic, weighty, negative emotions were gone and in their place was positive feelings I had never experienced before….
….peace and contentment.
Those feelings, my friends, are worth ever tear I cried.