This past Saturday was the four year anniversary of my mom’s death. She wasn’t the type of mom who put a unicorn band-aid over everything and told us that life would be all sunshine and rainbows. She was a realist who encouraged us to always express our feelings, good or bad. One of her favorite sayings was “I’m not ok. You’re not ok. And that’s ok.” When we were little, she would let us have screaming contests in the car. We would get to scream at the top of our lungs for 30 seconds straight. And then we’d all burst out laughing. After the events of the past week, I now see the wisdom in those screaming contests. They allowed us to let off some much needed steam and decompress from whatever happened during the day or week.
I’ve seen a lot of posts lately telling people to “stop whining” about the election. And I don’t buy into that train of thought.
When we deny and stifle our emotions, one of two things happens. We eventually EXPLODE (harming others with our words or actions) or we eventually IMPLODE (harming ourselves by shutting down, isolating, numbing, or self-sabotaging). Let yourself feel the full spectrum of human emotions. And don’t let anyone else invalidate your feelings. I’m not suggesting we stay stuck in unhealthy thought patterns or negative emotions and I’m certainly not condoning any of the riots or acts of violence that are taking place. But never be afraid to stand up for what you believe in and certainly don’t suppress or deny what’s true for you.
What we bottle up eventually becomes our poison. What we release becomes our peace.
You can love with your whole heart and still be outraged, disappointed, fearful or sad.
Standing for love doesn’t mean suppressing every other equally valid emotion. Let yourself feel. And then use that energy to take action. Because the only way out is through.