There was a period of time months ago when I was living in NYC where I was deeply, in my bones sad. Sad is a happy word for what It was. It was overwhelming painful. So I did the things that many humans do, and I shut it all off.
I shut off everything because the pain was too big. The sadness and sorrow I felt was too big and I thought it might have swallowed me whole.
I didn't say "okay, let's shut off now" but I could feel it happening. Like I was standing still and suddenly all the light left from my head to my toes. Now stood a ghost.
Here's what happens when you shut it all out, and turn it all off. All is in your feelings.
You also shut and turn off the good. The happy, beauty, gratitude, and joy.
"The dark does not destroy the light, It defines it. It's our fear of the dark that casts our joy into the shadows."
We are made to feel pain, I mean not only pain. But it is on the normal scale of human emotions.
Yet, we see or feel pain and label it bad because society makes us feel that we "just need thicker skin", or we should rush our healing, or that it will all be okay.
Of course, for the most part, it will all be okay eventually. But right now it's not okay and we know we know we know, we should be over it all by now or build thicker skin but truly I believe that this rushing of feelings or idea that pain is bad only perpetuates the shut off of all feelings.
Because if we can't be okay again quick enough, we feel like WTF is wrong? You know?
I Tell My Clients..
I tell my clients to sit with their feelings. I ask them to physically acknowledge where the pain is in their body. Examine it. What does it feel like, in your actual body? Breathe into that space.
Sitting with it is easy for me to say when I'm not in the funk or sadness anymore. So as you read this, if you're finding yourself in the funk or deep bone sadness, first seek help if you need it. Therapy is legit and I think we should all be in it. Second, know there is something you can do in this exact moment, breathe.
In through your nose, fill up your belly.
Out through the mouth, big, let it alllllll out.
Breathing through the pain and the feelings.
Because listen, it is okay to feel your feelings. It's okay to not be okay. And it's also okay to feel pain.
Your ability to feel so many feelings is so human. You don't need to rush those feelings. You can be with them, and feel them in your body and breathe into them.
And, your ability to feel this pain and to sit with it requires so much damn vulnerability and courage on your end which is Wonder Woman style strength. Seriously
One Last Thing
When I feel myself wanting to close off and build a wall. I say to myself "soften". Repeat it over and over and over again. As much as you need to. Let soften be your power statement that lets you feel instead of turn it all off.