Your Feelings are Justified
The most important lesson I have learned on my self-care journey has been to acknowledge what I’m feeling.
This is no easy feat. We live in a world where we are asked to suppress how we really feel. There’s a fear that we may be crazy, not good enough, weird, abnormal … the list is tiresome. If there is something that causes us to feel different, we instantly try to lock it away. It doesn’t help that people often look down on those who feel too much, but equally people look down upon those who are emotionless. It can be exhausting to try and find a happy medium, especially a happy medium for someone else, instead of finding a happiness for ourselves.
Instead of suppressing, we should be identifying the feeling and why it’s happening. These emotions have a reason for being there and they need to be acknowledged in order for you to grow.
Your feelings are justified. You’re allowed to feel however you do and no one can take that away from you. Don’t apologize for it. It will be scary, depending on how big the emotion may be, but the scarier it is, the more important it is to decipher what is going on in your mind and heart in order to work through it.
Recently, I was reminded of the importance of this lesson. It’s easy to forget when you believe you’ve mastered it, but truth be told, I haven’t. I believe it’s something we have to work on our entire life.
For the past few months, I’ve had a series of highs and lows, but they fluctuated at a rate I knew how to handle. There were moments of pure bliss, but they were often clouded by stress. And then suddenly everything happened at once. I sent off my manuscript for publishing, I got rejected from a dream job, money was a pressing issue, and the icing on the cake: I had a wonderful weekend with a great friend and went to Magic Kingdom—a dream I’ve had for as long as I can remember.
The low of the rejection was quickly disregarded as I was thrusted into a weekend of happiness. I let the tears fall for a few minutes before I had to plaster a smile on my face (which sometimes is the case, but we need to remember to go back and check in with ourselves), then it was go, go, go. And I was happy—unbelievably happy. So much so, I started crying at Disney World when the fireworks started because my day was perfect. Perfection rarely comes around, but I couldn’t imagine a better day. But then, just as high as I felt—arguably one of the happiest days of my life—I fell unexpectedly low. I was falling faster than I could comprehend, the happy tears being replaced with sad tears. It wasn’t because Disney was over. That’ll always be there. It was because I hadn’t acknowledged everything else that was going along with it. I hadn’t taken the time to take care of me, because I hadn’t in previous weeks. I was losing my sense of purpose. And then it was ignited by magic, but I was a ticking time bomb waiting to go off. Before I knew it, I was getting home late, barely sleeping, and rushing off to a 40+ hour work week, still unable to process how I was feeling.
It wasn’t until I sat down to write this that I was able to get into my head. I was able to try and navigate a path of how I was feeling and why I was feeling it. And it was scary. You don’t want people to think you’re ungrateful for the days you’ve just had. But sometimes your emotions boil over and you just can’t control them, and that’s okay.
But whenever you feel overwhelmed, take a moment—heck do this before you’re overwhelmed—to figure out what’s going on and why.
It’s okay to not understand the feeling yet or not know how to handle it. But to recognize it, you give it power, validation, and acceptance. You give your mind a chance to work through the process of rewiring the wires and your heart a moment to heal. And each time you do this, it gets easier and eventually becomes second nature.
No one has lived the exact life you have, therefore no one can tell you how you should feel about something in particular. While it’s easy to compare our lives with someone else, we cannot fully understand another’s life nor can they fully understand ours. That’s why it’s important for you to check in and no one else. Only you can decide how to handle what you’re feeling and the next steps. I promise you, when you learn to do this, the emotions will begin to feel less terrifying and overwhelming. And you’ll suddenly begin to start learning more about yourself.
For me, just a week later, I am calm. May is a busy month for me, but I’m on the path for success because I’ve figured out my feelings at the moment, and I’ve created a plan to help me. Yes, I cannot predict the future and Monday may bring on something that seems out of my control, but in that moment, I’ll take a breath and try to figure out the best plan of action.
I challenge you to do the same.
So take this week. Or just a day or an hour. Check in with you. Why are you feeling a certain way? What has led to this moment? Are you okay with how you’re feeling? If not, is there a way you can change it? Have you felt this way before?
It will be okay.