How are you today?
“I’m not OK. I feel sad,” said our 3-year-old.
How I wish I can be like my daughter when it comes to acknowledging emotions. 😄
As adults, we seem to have a positive auto response to people checking on us. Saying “I’m fine” has become so mechanical that we do it even when we’re actually having a bad day…or week.
When I thought my body and mind have gracefully adjusted to everything, there are still days when, without warning, my morale plummets. Yes, plummet is the right word. It really drops straight down at high speed from a mighty 100 to a Golden Girl 50. 😦
From “Let’s do this! We have a purpose in this trying time!” to “I don’t want to do anything today. Give me a break” — real quick! 🤪
While I’m grateful for every blessing and hopeful for God’s best, I still experience an emotional or psychological roller coaster ride nowadays. And I’m writing it down to someday remind me (and the next generation) that surviving a pandemic or other difficult situations is possible. For whatever it’s worth, I am now starting to embrace my fluctuating emotional state.
I used to feel bad about feeling down and angry and anxious and scared. I considered these emotions as negative and bad. I blamed myself for not having enough faith or for lacking resilience or for being unprepared for trying times. I tried hard to fight each “negative emotion” every time they approach me. And I realized that the more I fight them, the stronger they become. So I end up losing my energy and zest.
But if you think about it, these negative emotions aren’t negative at all. They are not our fault, and they’re certainly not something to be ashamed of.
You’ve probably watched Pixar’s Inside Out, and this child-friendly animation speaks volumes of wisdom perfect for adults. The movie reminds us that Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust are there for a reason. And though these feelings may make us feel awful, they only mean well.
To totally suppress or disregard them may make us miss the warning signs, the need for action or change and the beauty of human experience.
Anger can signal that something that we believe in or are willing to fight for is at stake. Fear and anxiety can help us remain vigilant and prompt us to take the steps necessary for protection or survival. Sadness reminds us to pursue and protect our relationships and helps us empathize with others.
As I try to keep myself whole despite the series of unfortunate events in our life this year, I did a little research on how to deal with my very own feelings. Sharing some of the articles I found useful:
Moderation is key even when it comes to our emotions. We cannot and should not force ourselves to eliminate or fight sadness, anger, fear or grief. The best thing we can do is try to balance our emotions and thoughts. Nourish the positive ones and listen to what the negative emotions are saying.
After all, to be just happy every second of this pandemic is not very normal.