“Aw, Come On, Do I Have To Feel?!”
In order to Heal, you gotta feel! I mean really FEEL! Sounds simple, right? Yep, well…not quite. Not based on my life experiences, anyway.
In fact, many of us were/are taught to hide our feelings; you know, sweep them under the carpet, put on a brave face, smile anyway, ‘be a good boy/girl’. But, at the end of the day, you just can’t get around what’s really going on inside regardless of how you ‘appear’ and/or operate on the outside. And, I’m going to let you in on a little secret (okay, so you probably already know this, but a reminder never hurts...), while anger is an emotion and has merits in us acknowledging it, it is usually a mask for other, more deep-seated feelings–often sadness, if we allow ourselves to admit it.
Stop and think about a time when you were really mad or maybe you are seeing red right at this very moment. What was/is behind it? I mean, really behind it. For YOU. Not others. When we are angry, we tend to place blame elsewhere–others, a certain situation, etc.–though there are some really crummy things out there to face (trust me, I know!), remember that at the heart of it (and this is usually the hard part to admit because it’s easier to look elsewhere rather than within), what’s really going on is our reaction to those people or circumstances and how we deal with it. The whole notion of reframing in psychology gets visited here. Take a rainy day like today, for example. I say, “Man this sucks! I hate frizzy hair.” and you say, “I can’t wait for my garden to start growing! Right on”. Same situation, right? But, our take on it, our perception is very different. While my example is admittedly minor in nature, I am sure that you can extrapolate it to your own life ‘haps’, as they say.
You know, it really is too bad that our society somehow associates sadness with weakness, which inevitably leads to a LOT of unnecessary inner pain and strife. In fact, just the opposite is true in that being willing to go ‘there’ uncovers strengths you would NEVER otherwise know about. Strengths that are meant to take you forward in this life, not back or worse yet, STUCK in the same old spot doing the same old thing getting the same old results and wondering why. I dare stretch my analysis a bit farther here and say that behind sadness are typically feelings of unworthiness or of ‘not being good enough’–good enough to be loved and accepted for who we are leaving us depleted in our ability to truly love and accept others in the same way. Now, if I had one measly cent for every person who felt that way at some point in life (hmmm…0.01 X 7.125 billion people on the planet), well, let’s just say that I would be writing this post from my lanai in Hawaii. Yet, even with all of the money in the world, it wouldn’t stop me from writing about this and trying to help others to reach the realization that we ALL suffer and aim to conquer the same universal truth and that is of….not being worthy enough!!! The good news? We are clearly NOT alone in this struggle called life. In fact, like it or not, we are VERY MUCH in this together, it’s just that we are all on our own journey of how to get there and more importantly, of getting past the false truth that we are not good enough. I mean, who says you are not enough just in you being you?! Only you, that’s who! If you don’t believe in yourself, though we’ve heard it a billion times before ad nauseam, who will?
So, grab a pillow, call a friend, pick up an old-fashioned pen and write a letter, get help, take a course, read a book, meditate, go for a run, pet your cat (or dog), grab some kleenex–do something, ANYTHING to let out those pent-up emotions that you have been carrying and let them carry you onto the next stage, the next chapter for a change. Get rid of that weight on your shoulders and most of all, your mind (aren’t you tired of hauling it around?). I guarantee you that while the doing and the feeling is hard (and yes, many times, messy!!) and takes weeks, months and even years to work through, the aftermath is enlightening in a way that you could never even have imagined for yourself. You hold the key to your own happiness, but YOU have to be willing to go ‘there’ and only you know where that is.
In order to heal, you gotta feel! and walk the path!! And, there’s no better time than now.