Most of my life I have been fighting my emotions, believing that I should always be happy, grateful, positive, and upbeat. Also thinking that I should not be angry, sad, or overwhelmed, and if I was, there must be something wrong with me, or that I was weak or not good enough.
A few weeks ago I felt so down. I felt all the feelings I had labeled as ‘bad’. I just wanted to cry, do nothing, and the thoughts that I was failing at life were repeating in a loop in my head. I was defeated. Then I became angry. I told myself I had no excuse for feeling this way. I had a beautiful life with a loving husband, good kids, lovely safe home, a great job, supportive friends, and living the dream of running my business. I had no good reason for feeling like I was stuck in darkness.
I couldn’t sleep so I sat outside after midnight looking at the stars; crying and feeling sorry for myself. Then I remembered I have experienced trauma in my past. I bet you have too. The specifics and degree of my trauma is not important, but the acknowledgement was. I have been through some stuff. It hasn’t been easy. I probably haven’t completely healed from it all, and maybe I should talk to a professional some more. I realized that sometimes ‘It’s OK not to be OK’. Whether your trauma is current or something way back in your past, we all have it. We all have times when we are hurting, when we are sad, when we are overwhelmed with life.
In that moment I told myself it’s ok that you’re sad, and you don’t even need a good reason. Today you are sad; don’t fight it, sit with it. Our emotions are like a beach ball floating out in the ocean. Sometimes the water is smooth and the sky is sunny, things feel good and we are loving life. The weather is always changing though, and when the waves and the storms arrive, just roll with it. Pushing that beach ball down just doesn’t work. Let the ball be at peace with the waves and ride them up and down. It’ll be ok.
Remember that life is a series of ups and downs and it’s always changing. Be gentle with yourself and whatever you might be experiencing. Realizing that I am not supposed to be happy everyday has given me the ability to move through the ups and downs of life with less internal conflict and judgment.
Give yourself permission to not be OK sometimes. The sun will come out again, and in the meantime take cover, take care of yourself, talk to someone, and stay safe.