There are weeks in which it seems like the outside world is hanging on by a tattered thread. During these times, we often drift inward. This can be helpful. Self-reflection can lead to discovery and motivate positive change; however, gradually sinking into ourselves can also cause us to get tangled in our own deep stories, not all of which are helpful.
The patterns that are built in our minds, whether they be about how we should behave when meeting our partner’s parents or what happens whenever you are sad, are deeply woven shortcuts that allow us to follow the patterns that have been dictated by our families, friends, teachers, and culture at large.
Over the years that you’ve spent learning what it is to be you, certain patterns arose. When you are excited, X, Y, and Z occur. When you are sad, you react this way or that. When you are stressed, you .
Right now, there is a lot that can make you sad. Stressed. Confused. Alienated. Overwhelmed. we hope you are having a good week… we really do. But, most people we’ve talked to are experiencing something that is throwing them off-center. If you’re feeling great, please continue to do so and be an anchor for your friends who are having a rough go of it. If you are noticing any of the emotions above (or whatever it is), please know that, first of all, it is OK to feel big feelings, small feelings, erratic feelings, few feelings, whatever kind of feelings.
That’s you being you, and it’s beautiful. Feeling something means you are human. Emotions other than joy, excitement, and “happiness” are so often pathologized when they are, simply put, part of the experience of being human. So fully embrace them.
Also, know that you can investigate what’s going on and have some choice in how you react. We can not change what happens to us or around us, but we can decide what we want to do. If your typical pattern is to get stressed and follow that up with pulling away from all social contact, maybe try something different. You might have internalized the notion that when you are sad, you should keep it to yourself and “get unsad.” Keep feeling what you feel, but maybe reach out to a friend and watch a silly movie.
Or journal about it.
Or go do a super sweaty workout.
Or, if you have learned that you shouldn’t feel emotions that aren’t “happy” ones, allow them some space in your mind. Go sit with them, meditate on them. Call a friend and tell them how you are stressed, anxious, etc…
It is absolutely okay not to be okay. Acknowledge the feeling, and let it pass through you like a wave.
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