Our moods go up and down. Our emotions fluctuate constantly. Sometimes we’re happy, and sometimes we’re sad. Sometimes we’re angry, and sometimes we’re grateful. Sometimes we’re afraid, and sometimes we’re content. And all of these states of being are completely normal and completely necessary.
But sometimes, especially when we’ve immersed ourselves in the world of personal growth, we can begin to think that feeling anything other than gratitude and positivity is somehow bad – that there must be something wrong with us if we can’t see life through rose-colored lenses at all times.
Sometimes we’ve gotten into the habit of wanting everything to be good and then pretending like everything is good. We’ve all heard the expression, “Fake it until you make it.” And while I’m sure this statement was intended to support and uplift, I feel that it can give more fuel to the “We must be positive all of the time” fire.
I’m a huge advocate of allowing ourselves to feel whatever it is that we’re feeling. Sometimes these feelings are positive, and sometimes they aren’t. But neither is better than the other. Of course, many of us wish that our emotions were always positive. No one wants to feel pain, and no one wants to suffer. But I would argue that the painful emotions are here to teach us something about ourselves. I would argue that they aren’t superfluous – that they are asking us to go within and investigate our psyche a bit. That maybe it’s time to give ourselves permission to move through them, even if it’s uncomfortable and even if it’s painful. Because once we do, I believe that we’ll feel so much stronger and so much more at peace.
I was talking with a friend the other day whose dad is dying. He said that his dad doesn’t want to talk about his feelings. He simply puts a fake smile on his face and pretends like everything is okay. Except it isn’t. And everyone knows that it isn’t. He wants to push away these painful emotions. He isn’t ready to move through them. He may never be ready.
I also know what it’s like to push these painful emotions away and to want to pretend like everything is okay. But I know that this masking process doesn’t take away the pain. It simply postpones it for a little while and turns me into a zombie of sorts – running on auto pilot.
When I stop my own busyness and allow the emotions to surface, whether they be sadness or fear or frustration or grief, I always feel so much better. (That’s not to say that the process of letting them surface isn’t painful – because it certainly is, but the release of the emotions leaves me feeling more centered and in line with my soul. Every single time.)
For most of us, when we’re feeling happy, we would never try to mask this joyous feeling. We would embrace it and want to stay in it and extend it for as long as we could. But I believe that in order to feel true happiness, we have to be open to feeling the entire spectrum of emotions as well. We have to be willing to allow ourselves to be wherever we are – to experience honestly wherever we are. Because this space is our truth. And when we’re living our truth, we come to life – and that’s definitely worth celebrating.
So if you’re feeling happy, embrace that happiness.
If you’re feeling sad, honor that it’s here for a reason and allow it to surface.
If you’re feeling angry, let it move through you and out of you.
If you’re feeling grateful, give thanks for this emotion.
Know that whatever you’re feeling is valid and important and leading you to living your truth. And that’s such a special way to live. It’s something that I’m currently striving for and staying conscious of, and I would love for you to join me in this process of honesty and awareness.
Jodi Chapman is a bestselling author, an award-winning blogger, and a soulful community builder. She lives her life with love and faith in the driver’s seat, and she hopes to leave a trail of inspiration wherever she goes. She believes that we each have the ability to hear our soul’s whisper and create our best lives. She would love to connect with you!