Having Feelings is OK
“It’s okay to cry for our losses. It’s okay to mourn the dreams that didn’t pan out. It’s okay to hurt and not have things figured out.”
~ C. De Lima on Tinybuddha.com
I would like to preface this piece by echoing the mantra: things could always be worse.
They really could be. Whenever tragedy strikes, or I hear news that’s paralyzing, that pertinent reminder remains at the foreground.
So while that motif is certainly true, do we need to dismiss our personal feelings when something doesn’t go as planned, a stressor hits, or a heart is broken? No. The worst-case scenario did not occur, of course, but our feelings can still be justified, right?
And whenever we do conjure up those negative feelings and emotional downs, we sometimes hear the line, “Oh, you’re not yourself today, what’s wrong?” I’m sure the question is well-intended and said out of concern, but I would like to determine why we are not being “ourselves.” The last time I checked, feelings of all sorts comprise the human experience.
Chelsea Fagan’s article, “Crying is Awesome,” speaks to the notion that showcasing “unbridled emotion” isn’t something to fully embrace. Fagan loves crying, and like her, I also don’t see anything problematic about it. Sometimes we may need to curl up with a box of tissues and confront, confront, confront.
“What is so wrong with crying?” she writes.
“Is it because we still associate it with scraped knees and candy-aisle tantrums of our childhood? Is it because some of our more unpleasant moments in life are often coupled with a few wailing sobs, and if you’re a fan of makeup, viscous black liquid pouring down from your eyes like something out of a B horror movie? Maybe. But does that mean that every cry, no matter the circumstance, is automatically bad?”
As she continues through her piece, she pinpoints why crying is awesome. She likens the act to a kind of workout. Instead of sweating profusely from the treadmill at the gym, though, crying is more of a psychological regimen that provides release.
A real good cry serves as a purely honest outlet for expressing unpleasantries or bottled-up angst. “Crying is something that we all need to do from time to time to get out all the various thoughts and feelings that we are expected, as members of civilized society, to keep in the deepest recesses of our heart space and never bother anyone else with,” Fagan stressed.
Thought Catalog writer Kovie Biakolo also recently posted about feeling-validation. She addresses the construct of “the usual self,” and the implications and expectations that are part of that package. You could be generally upbeat, happy and feeling great, but as soon as one of those bad days creep upon you, you’re asked why “you’re no longer being yourself.”
“What is a usual self?” Biakolo asks.
“Because when I’m angry and irritated, I feel like myself; it’s part of who I am; it’s just a part that more often than not, I like to keep to myself.” It’s okay to be human; humans “who are intertwined between their blessings and challenges, and their fortunes and trials.”
There might not really be a “usual self.” Emotions are vast, and we tend to experience a lot of them, even the ones that aren’t positive. However, that doesn’t have to detract from who we already are. Why do we need to sweep our less-than-happy feelings under the rug? We could completely welcome them (despite the fact that things could always be worse), without also feeling removed from our typical selves.
Suval, L. (2018). Having Feelings is OK. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 1, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/blog/having-feelings-is-ok/