I can remember as a child I would often bury emotions that made me feel bad. If I was sad I would be sad then bury the feeling the next day, if I was angry I would be angry and then again bury my feelings, I think you guys get the point that I never really learned to deal with painful emotions. Being raised by a single black woman, I was taught early in my life to put on a brave face and be the strong black woman I know I am, and sure that worked for a while but I would notice that those painful emotions became a part of my identity instead of just a single hurtful event in my life.
Earlier this year I had my heartbroken by someone who I cared about a lot, and it sucked, especially since I was already secretly battling depression and anxiety. I was crying about it one night and then suddenly I remembered how I dealt with painful emotions as a child and I buried it. The problem this time is not only did I feel enormous resentment towards this person, but I allowed that hurt to become a part of me instead of allowing myself to feel the pain. I avoided the emotions that made me hurt because who the hell wants to feel unpleasant feelings? NO ONE. This person came back into my life recently and I thought I was over it. I mean, I had been going to therapy for my depression and anxiety, I began to implement positive affirmations into my life, I felt like things were finally turning around for me and then BOOM, I began to feel all of those painful feelings that I thought I had gotten over. I could not understand where this was coming from but being that I am practicing self-awareness I knew it had come from me not dealing with the pain months ago. So, this time, instead of burying the pain, I allowed myself to feel it and while it felt like I had been hit by a fucking emotional bus (in the words of my friend Miranda) I realized that this was necessary. I cried and cried for two days straight, I would get angry and then cry again, but after those two days I felt so much better about it. I no longer harbored painful emotions in my body, I was finally FREE, and it felt good.
None of us wants to feel unpleasant emotions but life comes with everything from happiness to sadness to joy and anger. If we desire to be truly happy we must allow ourselves to feel every emotion, we feel at the time. If someone hurts your feelings, address that within yourself and move one. If someone pisses you off, allow yourself to feel that anger and then let it go. Too many times we are conditioned to be happy and take whatever life throws at us with a grain of salt, but that’s hard to do when your emotions are naturally affected by it. To truly live a happy life, we must allow ourselves to feel the unpleasant shit we do not want to feel. I wish life could be unicorns and rainbows, but it isn’t and that’s ok. Feeling sad or angry sometimes doesn’t make you weak, it makes you human. Allow yourself to be human.