It is our privilege as humans to feel emotions.
The joy you feel while talking to your best friend and laughing till your face hurts.
The love you feel when you hold your child for the first time and actually, quite literally, feel your heart expand.
The pride you feel when you take a risk and choose courage in the face of fear.
These are the feelings we yearn for. These are the feelings that pepper our lives with moments and memories worth savoring. Celebrating. Living for. Fighting for.
Yet life does not exist solely in these moments.
We only know the delight of joy because we know the heartbreak of sorrow. We only know the depths of love because we know the emptiness of loss. We only know the wonder of courage because we are intimately aware of the fear in its absence.
It is our privilege as humans to not just feel desired emotions, but to feel it all.
In moments of unspeakable sadness, it may not feel like a privilege but rather a punishment. The pain of those emotions a burden almost too hard to bear.
In those moments, you might want to push the negative emotions away, but I urge you to just allow them to be there. Give yourself space and time to process the pain. To ride the waves of grief, heartbreak, sadness, and loss. Not to avoid or resist their presence but to allow.
As you allow the feelings, consider identifying them. Simply saying out loud, “I feel anxious” or “I feel sad” can take the venom out of the emotion. Putting a name to it reminds you that you are not the feeling, you are a beautiful human feeling an emotion. Naming it gives you some space from it so you can recognize it as an experience in your mind and body versus your entire experience.
You can also add, “and that’s ok” to the feeling. "I feel sad and that's ok." Because it is ok. It's ok not to be ok. Remind yourself that whatever you are feeling is exactly what you are supposed to be feeling. Allow it to be there. Without a rush for it to end or an agenda to push it away.
With time the emotional tide will turn. You will once again feel the joy and love that makes this life worth living.
And your appreciation for those emotions will be even greater than before.