© 2014 jen

Why it’s Okay To Be Mad (or Sad) – Your Feelings Are Okay

For many different reasons I was feeling mad and sad and it made me want to hide. Then I got sick, which really affected me mentally and had me in a deeper funk. The reasons for my strong feelings are really too many to fully get into, but I’ve touched on a few things in previous posts if you really want to know more.  And then a series of other random things happened: a speeding ticket, being rear-ended in a car and hurting my back, believing I was better and then having more back problems that I’m still sorting out, having recent reactions to foods I’ve eaten in restaurants after being really clear with the staff and feeling I’ve done everything in my power to control my gluten intake…all of these things have been making me feel terrible!

I’m not sure how useful it is to people reading my blog for me to just complain about all the things I’ve felt frustrated by recently, but I do think it’s helpful for me to explain why it’s okay to be mad or sad, like I’ve been.

What with me in this rotten mood and needing to be in it, I thought it would be good to write about why negative emotions are okay. If you already know this, then that’s great and this post may not be for you, but if you need a reminder, read on.

Emotions can come on strong and demand our attention, but many of us feel like we shouldn’t feel negative emotions. This is not in your best interest and it’s not in society’s best interest either.

We need to feel our feelings and not just bottle them up, not just act like everything is hunky dory all the time, because some things are just unfair, frustrating and lame and it’s okay to feel it and talk about it.

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“Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.”
― Maya Angelou

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We have all been hurt in our lives. We all have had experiences of being in pain in some way.

It’s like we have these two selves – all of us do. We have the self that feels the feelings and the pains. This is our primary self. Then there is the self that we present to others and this is the secondary self.

Many of us have received messaging from childhood and/or society that only the socially acceptable feelings are permissible. Happy, positive feelings are allowed for most of us, but we’re reluctant to let the more negative emotions out, like anger, sadness, frustration. This is especially true for women. We are all trying to be nice and not really saying what we actually think.

Some of us have held in the negative emotions for so long that these feelings just live in our bodies, on a cellular level. These are our subconscious feelings and whether we want to deal with them or not, they are there.

When we don’t deal with the pains living on and in our bodies, they fester. They make us sick and neurotic when ignored.

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“You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.”
― Jonathan Safran Foer

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 This is why we must feel our anger, our sadness and our hurts.

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And, while I’m here, let’s share our anger, sadness and hurts with friends. Not in an “I’m angry at you” sort of way, but in an “I’m hurting and I just want to tell someone what I’m feeling” kind of way.

When you tell people how you feel, not only can you release your own pain, but you can strengthen relationships and make the world around you a little more open to the idea that all feelings are okay. The feelings themselves are okay! It’s how we behave based on our feelings that can get us into trouble.

Feelings are just little reactions on a brain and body level to various stimuli in our lives. Feelings are a sign that we are alive. When you stop feeling you are either dead or so broken down from life that you aren’t really living.

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“Part of the problem with the word ‘disabilities’ is that it immediately suggests an inability to see or hear or walk or do other things that many of us take for granted. But what of people who can’t feel? Or talk about their feelings? Or manage their feelings in constructive ways? What of people who aren’t able to form close and strong relationships? And people who cannot find fulfillment in their lives, or those who have lost hope, who live in disappointment and bitterness and find in life no joy, no love? These, it seems to me, are the real disabilities.”
― Fred Rogers

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I’ll confess, I wrote most of this post a few weeks ago and just added a few things to it this week, because for weeks I was too sick to complete it. I let myself feel just how I wanted to feel and I feel much better now. Letting out your feelings and speaking the truth about how you feel helps you work through complex feelings. Not only that, once I admitted to myself how bummed out I was, my cold got better and I also lost 5 pounds. Perhaps I lost 5 pounds of anger and sadness??

Letting out your emotions is not a magic pill. It can’t fix everything, but it’s a great start on the road to your authentic self.

So go on, feel how you feel. Let it out: cry, yell, scream if you want to and tell other people about it. It’s your life and your feelings are totally okay.

Love,

Jen

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