Feelings Just AreFeb 15, 2021
Do you classify your feelings as good or bad? Most of us do.
I started a post for this week that is about living your life purpose. Hopefully, at some point in the near future, I’ll share that with you, but some things changed this week, and one of my mantras is instinct guiding intellect. Someone reading this post needs so hear this message, so I am going with the flow of life. Back to the question. Do you classify your feelings?
*POTENTIAL SPOILER ALERT IF YOU ARE WATCHING WANDAVISION!
Last week, a coach challenged me to find time to do something to make work fun each day. I took that challenge to heart and found ways to play with work. I even took some time to sing at the top of my lungs. Because I need more play in my life, both personally and professionally, I’ve done several things this weekend to do just that. Friday night, I watched Inside Out. That movie tore me up, but it was done in a playful way, and it reminded me it is normal and even necessary to feel both joy and sadness in life. Then on Saturday, I attended a Deep Play workshop. Finally, I binge-watched Wandavision on Disney+. Not much of a binge really, because there are only six episodes out, as of this writing.
The workshop reminded me to not take myself too seriously, and to experience all life has to offer with a sense of wonder and awe, the perspective of a child, or a beginner’s mind. I needed that, as last week was filled with some technical stuff that was frustrating and time consuming. There are always things that need to be done, but if we can approach those things with the playfulness we had as children, the mundane can become magical.
Wandavision reminded me of something else entirely. You see, I have a passion to help people who have outlived a loved one to find meaning in life and purpose in their pain. That can be a tough passion to hold onto, because working with people who are grieving the death of a loved one can be, well….depressing. Seems pretty evident and expected, right? It’s also draining, so over the holidays, I moved as far away from that passion as I could and still provide support to people who need it. Frankly, I just needed a break. Back to the present. Watching Wandavision reminded me of the damage and destruction that can come from suppressing grief and ignoring our purpose – all in about 3 hours time. If you are triggered by that statement, you may not want to watch. If you’re curious, please do. Just be prepared.
Our thoughts and intentions do have an influence on our reality. I have heard lots of people say we create our reality, but I will tell you that I did nothing to create the death of my son five years ago, and my reality is that I have outlived one of my children. I had no control at all over that. I only chose how I responded to the worst tragedy I’ve ever experienced. The day Josh died, I was given words that I shared with my family, and I’ll share them with you.
Whatever you’re feeling isn’t right or wrong. It just is.
Seems like such a little statement, but WOW there is power in those little words. We supported each other and had lots of help from extended family and friends, and we are all thriving in the life we have now. This has not been easy, but Josh gave us so much while he was on this earthly plane and after he left it. It is so important to feel whatever emotions arise out of grief (which is just proof that you have loved deeply). That includes all these “negative” emotions like sadness, depression, and even anger. But, it also includes “positive” emotions like love, peace, and even happiness. Many grieving people – especially parents who have outlived a child – feel guilty for the smallest glimmer of happiness or contentment that they feel. I get it. They may think “I don’t deserve to be happy because I didn’t prevent the death of my child.” That takes us back to those people that say we create our reality. Guess what, we do not have the ability to prevent the death of any person. That’s not our purpose. While I do help others find their own answers and life purpose, we also have a bigger shared purpose. Our collective purpose on this planet is to learn to love, and grief is one of the ways we can see that we are on the right track. This is why we are here.
If you don’t FEEL those emotions, you aren’t processing them. The only way out is through. You don’t “get over” grief, and you can definitely grieve other changes, too. If you choose to suppress those feelings to avoid the pain that goes along with them, you’re damaging your own emotional health, and you’re likely hurting everyone around you. Those feelings you ignore build up over time. They create pressure that has to be released in some way. And, they influence your new reality. That brings us back to Wandavision. In her grief, Wanda has created a reality that she believes she wants, but she’s hurt countless people to create it. That includes the beings closest to her AND herself. She doesn’t even remember how it all started. When you tell yourself something long enough and often enough, you begin to believe it, and you begin to forget other things.
Instead, you learn who you are now. Yes, you’re different than the person you were before the death of your loved one (or the end of a relationship, or the job change, or move, or whatever recent life change you’ve been through). It starts with feeling whatever you’re feeling without judgment. Just acknowledge the feelings are there. Don’t deny or ignore them. It is okay not to be okay, but it also okay to be okay. If you feel guilty for being happy or content, acknowledge that, too. Many times, that is all it takes – acknowledgement that you are feeling okay, even for just a moment.
Feelings are not facts, and they are not good or bad, right or wrong. They just are.
All my life, no matter what change I’ve experienced, I’ve been able to use journaling to remember who I am, begin to understand what I can learn from this change, and how my experience can help other people going through something similar. Get my free prompts, “Journaling for Answers,” and start finding your own answers within.
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