Life is complicated. It’s messy and complex and can leave us feeling overwhelmed, lost, alone and broken. Some days it feels like getting through the day without having a complete meltdown is seemingly impossible. And you know what? Having those feelings is okay!
Michael is away at school for a number of months, which leaves me tackling the task of being a first-time mom, solo parenting a 3 month-old in a place where I know no one. I’m scared. I’m nervous. I’m anxious. Sometimes I’m sad. As I’m writing this I’m feeling lonely and a bit teary, and I have no shame in admitting these emotions because there’s nothing wrong with feeling this way.
Our society pushes this notion of constant optimism. It’s as to say if you’re not happy, there’s something inherently wrong with you or that something in your life is awry and needs to be fixed. This simply isn’t true and the fact that so many people ascribe to this type of thinking is damaging. Nobody is content all the time and if they say they are, they’re either in denial or lying through their teeth.
Though I have so much to be grateful for, I am still not immune to feeling sad, hurt, angry or lonely. And regardless of what anyone says, these emotions are not a mark of weakness. Rather, being mindful and acknowledging how you feel is an enormous strength.
The question becomes what do we do when we find ourselves feeling such uncomfortable emotions?
Know that whatever your emotion is, it is OKAY to have. You’re not the only person who has ever felt that way, and you’re not alone. Accept your feelings. Be present with whatever your emotion is and process it, but don’t become stagnant and wallow in a negative headspace. Whatever you do, do not ignore or try to push through these feelings without processing them first. Suppressing them will only lead to more conflict as your emotions will manifest themselves in other unhealthy ways. Mindfulness is key to accepting what you feel and who you are.
The next time you find yourself battling life’s various obstacles, breathe, trust in yourself, and know that everything will eventually fall into place.