“People are afraid of themselves, of their own reality; their feelings most of all. People talk about how great love is, but that’s bullshit. Love hurts. Feelings are disturbing. People are taught that pain is evil and dangerous. How can they deal with love if they’re afraid to feel? Pain is meant to wake us up. People try to hide their pain. But they’re wrong. Pain is something to carry, like a radio. You feel your strength in the experience of pain. It’s all in how you carry it. That’s what matters. Pain is a feeling. Your feelings are a part of you. Your own reality. If you feel ashamed of them, and hide them, you’re letting society destroy you’re reality. You should stand up for your right to feel your pain.”
Through my divorce, being open about my feelings has been important. Right before we separated I was seeing a counselor who discussed with me the normal range of emotions one could feel when dealing with this type of stress. The key to managing it all was accepting that it was okay to feel these emotions.
It is common to hear people say, “You can’t bottle things up, you need to let them out” and in the same breath criticize you for actually admitting to anger and sadness because, “you are letting [them/it/whatever] control your emotions.”
It is just plain annoying.
My family, as helpful as they are, do this quite often. And I understand the intention. Explaining to people, that I am okay with being mad right now, has made it easier to not be mad. Being mad is an emotion, its temporary and it normal. By hiding it away, it only grows because you are holding back. When I am able to feel and work through the issue openly and in a way that makes me comfortable, moving past that feeling is easy. It is also becomes easier to learn how to cope, learn how to reset and learn how to be apart of my normal everyday life. Emotions will always be apart of our lives, the reasons for them will change, but if we never learn to actually deal with them, our whole life will be crisis after crisis. That would be pointless.
It has also made it easier to recognize in myself when things are good and when its time to step back. I shared how last week, I basically did nothing. Life was throwing some heavy stuff at me and I just needed to back away for a bit. And that’s okay. By the end of the week, I was ready to move on. I felt strong, motivated, and hopeful. I took the necessary time to worry and sulk, and let my body feel. Soon enough, it was ready to catch up and move on. Learning to live with your body is important, pushing its limits doesn’t help you.
In the end, I’d rather learn how to feel and to do it in a healthy way, then pretend to be superman and fail.