Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Bad Moods Welcome Here
It's human. We complain about complaining.
We feel guilty about feeling guilty, resentful about feeling resentful, and hurt about being hurt.
We have reactions to our reactions. In my office, when people talk about how hurt they are, how much emotional pain they are in, or how much they are struggling, they sometimes express frustration over feeling how they feel. I often hear
"I shouldn't complain, look at what happened to the people in Haiti."
"I wish I weren't this angry! I should just get past it."
"I feel so stupid not being able to just get past this, or get myself out of this. I should know better."
"I'm too old to feel this way."
"I'm too young to feel this way."
"I'm too smart to feel this way."
"I hate feeling this way. It's taking over my life. I just don't know to shake it."
It is what it is, though. With a vigorous nod to how painful anger is, or betrayal or frustration or self doubt....Why is it that we think that telling ourselves we should not feel what we feel will help? We can have respect and empathy for the pain and circumstances of others, and still feel our own pain. It does not have to be a choice.
And we can count our blessings and keep a firm grasp on our gratitudes, and still feel our feelings. We can let them live and breath and flow and they will pass. Faster, I think, than when we fight them.
Yes, perspective helps with emotional pain
Yes, gratitude for what we "yes" have helps with emotional pain.
Yes, talking to good ears helps with emotional pain.
Even complaining helps. To the right ears. Our expressions don't have to always represent the whole picture. In my office, bad moods are welcome. Complaints are welcome. All words are welcome. I think that relief truly starts when we just let ourselves be where we are first.
And then we can go forward.
(and stay tuned for some thoughts on feeling entitled to feel how we feel...)