“Turn that frown upside down”.
We are told to be happy, stay positive, choose to have a positive attitude. But what about when we just feel really crappy?
Something I am learning is to actually feel and honor feelings, whatever they might be. It seems simple but I actually find it very difficult. Instead of avoiding uncomfortable feelings I am practicing actually feeling them and being okay with them.
Life is not always sunshine and chirping birds. Sometimes there are dark clouds and dark corners that you need to push yourself into in order to grow. I find that I learn a lot about myself, life in general, and becoming a better human when allow myself to feel. And yes, most of the time it’s happiness and positive vibes, but other times it’s feeling down, hopeless, and sad.
When the dark clouds do roll in it’s easy to judge yourself. “I have everything I need in the world; a wonderful life, partner, home, job, family…I should feel happy”. Yes, I do have all of those things and more and those things allow me to feel happiness, security, and fulfillment, but they do not make me immune to all of human feelings that I experience.
Something that has helped learn to navigate my emotions and feelings is visualizing different “spaces” for all of them. Just as we multitask in life, we learn to multitask with our feelings. If I am feeling down I allow myself to feel it and accept that it is there, but I know that I can also feel happiness at the same time and acknowledge it. If I create space for all of the feelings I don’t feel like I have to avoid or push any of them away.
It’s easier said than done and it takes A LOT of practice. I have discovered that I am very harsh with myself and very judgmental. But the first step is being aware and just that is a victory. Don’t fear the dark corners. They are there to help you learn and to make you a kinder, more accepting and balanced human being. Be good to yourself, allow yourself to feel what’s actually happening.