Should I feel differently?

Sometimes we can all feel we shouldn’t feel the way we do. You might feel deeply sad, angry or terrified but feel as though you these feeling are not allowed or not right.  It might take various forms:

  • You might be aware that from the outside it seems as though everything is fine, you have a nice home, a good job etc. nothing is ‘wrong’, but really it feels as though everything is wrong.
  • You might think that you have no right to feel the way you do, as other people have suffered far worse. They are the ones who have the right to feel depressed or anxious – not you.
  • You might feel that you are wallowing or indulging in self pity, that again you have no right to feel negative. Other people seem to manage, you might think; and a scary thought might emerge that perhaps you are broken or no good and that’s why you feel the way you do.

Thinking you are broken or bad for feeling as you do can be painful. It adds more suffering and can lead to an experience of amassing misery on misery, compounding feelings of worthlessness.

I believe the very act of being alive involves for every single one of us, terror, anguish, pain. There are no exceptions. I don’t say this to bear bad news, but to say, you are not wrong or bad for feeling the way you do, simply human. What you feel is as real as you are – there is a depth and a complexity to all that you feel.

Lots of people are frightened that accepting the existence of pain in life will cloud everything else out and all that is left will be pain. We can all fear that the act of ‘giving into’ the feeling will annihilate us. For me when I am able to accept how I really feel I have felt freer amongst the pain and have somehow been more able to feel  my joy and happiness too.

Everything is fleeting, and the eventual aim of accepting how you really feel can create space in yourself to feel more than your sadness, anxiety or anger. You are not wrong or bad, but you feel deeply, and there is beauty in that.

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