Sometime in the last couple of years, I started asking others to move aside when I was feeling something they couldn’t handle, rather than shutting it down so they could be more comfortable. Rather than putting on a happy face or pretending it was all okay.
I’m not afraid.
I’m not uncomfortable.
I’m not going to hide out.
I have recognized, time and time again, how capable I am of surviving. Of growing beyond simple resiliency and into something else entirely… something stronger, more true, and more deeply aligned. That no matter how many times I fall, fail, lose everything, or get hurt… I will always get back up. I will never stop doing the work. I will continue to go after what I desire.
We all are capable of this.
We just don’t give one another the space to figure that out.
Worse yet, we make the process “bad” and “wrong,” even when we’re trying to help. We shy away from what’s hard and what hurts. We change the subject, “cheer ourselves up”, or numb out entirely.
It is so common, so expected, and so socially acceptable to shut someone else’s emotional, challenging, difficult experience down, isn’t it? To “fix” the problem or “lighten things up.”
But we are hurting each other.
We are hurting ourselves.
I get so mad when people try to “manage” my emotional state. I mean… the rage is real my friends. Not because of what’s actually happening in that moment, but because this is the world we’ve created… a world where we hurt one another, cause more damage than good, and wonder why there is so much destruction, hate, devastation, and pain everywhere we look.
If we can’t hold space for the regular, day-to-day evolution of emotion and experience, we never learn the skills necessary to tackle the larger aspects of living this life. Aspects like grief… trauma… loss… things we ALL experience. Every single one of us.
You are not immune, no one is.
Even if you are skilled at stoicism, you are not immune.
You are just better at stuffing your emotions and experiences down… which is not a skill to find pride in. The only way to truly release an emotion is to feel it. Fully, completely, all the way through. To express it, give language to it, and move it out of your body.
Unresolved grief and trauma are at the root of so much of the pain we see around us. That may seem too big and terrifying to tackle… but it’s not.
It starts with both you and me.
Feeling our feelings and allowing the space for others to feel theirs too.
Simple, but challenging, I know.