self-expression (it's ok to not be ok)

self-expression (it's ok to not be ok)
 photo by jill banach

photo by jill banach

While so-called “self-expression” can take shape in a variety of ways, I think one of the most valuable and underrated behaviors is allowing ourselves to endure our full-range of emotions—the good, the bad, and the ugly. When you reach this point, you have allowed yourself to respect what you’re feeling. I think expressing yourself in these terms is one of the purest forms of self-love and one of the most useful ways of keeping yourself well.

Society has a way of making us feel like we should not let our guards down. We must power through the day in autopilot. Our schedules are based off of planning around our obligations, during which times we must be our “best selves” (whatever that even means?). That’s ridiculous though, for our emotions unfortunately do no run on a schedule. Actually, for most people, emotions usually decide to come knocking at the most impromptu of times.

Society can make us feel that when we cry, we are weak. When we call for help, we are dependent. When we are sad, we are negative. Personally, I believe that when we feel, we are human.

One of my friends was recently working her way through a tough situation. In between sobs, she reasoned, “Why do I feel bad for feeling this way?” And together we decided, she shouldn’t have to. These were real emotions that she was experiencing. It’s pointless to try to avoid your feelings, because they’ll always come back around anyway.

We talked about how a common defense mechanism is being overly optimistic or carefree, both of which we both practice. But these traits are sometimes falsely idolized. While it helps us to adopt these characteristics a lot of the time, it is essential to understand that humans do not operate as robots do. It’s okay to not be okay.

My friend’s tears proved to be a major healing power, for they brought forth the most raw and authentic construct of emotions, ones that didn’t need an explanation or an excuse. Feeling “too much” is always more satisfying than feeling empty.

While it may not always be healthy for us when our emotions rule our better judgment, our feelings have merit and deserve to be recognized. We shall all take comfort that our feelings can never be wrong. They may appear unreasonable at the time, but they’ll lead you to someplace that’s better for you.

We must give ourselves permission to accept when we’re not feeling our best and then work through the painful and confusing sensations so we can eventually reach clarity. Improvement doesn’t follow a straight line. There are ups and downs and twists and turns. Events in our lives follow a similar course, so doesn’t it make sense that our emotions do too?

It’s not about reaching a point of “Okay, now I feel alright.” Because even when we feel better, we still may fall again. It’s about allowing all of your emotions, no matter what they are or when they occur, into your life … and being okay with not being okay.

A lifestyle blog about veganism, mood swings, & other chatter.