Emotions: the agony of our human experience

“When your day is long and the night, the night is yours alone, when you’re sure you’ve had enough of this life, well hang on. Don’t let yourself go, ‘cause everybody cries and everybody hurts sometimes.”  -Everybody Hurts (R.E.M.) 

On the heels of nearly 5 straight weeks of vacation, 2 weeks ago I decided to start the Ultimate Reset (a Beachbody cleanse/detox). I figured it would help combat the less than healthy choices I’d made (in food and alcohol) during my holidays and maybe I’d even shed a few pounds. Perfect! What I didn’t expect was the emotional roller coaster I would experience for the first 5 days. Was it due to the reset itself or the post vacation blues? I can’t say for sure. What I can tell you is that I was crying nearly every day that week. There was nothing “wrong”.  I just felt sad, lonely and overwhelmed.

Have you ever experienced the feeling of utter melancholy? I have. I’ve endured more heartache in my life than I want to think about sometimes – bad relationships, the death of my brother, a failed marriage, my Dad passing away, losing my Grampie Bob, and the one which I internalized the most – in my early 30’s, I had a miscarriage. I didn’t tell many people – for a couple of reasons: 1) I had said for so many years that I was never having children that when it happened, I believed I deserved it – that I had gotten what I’d been asking for and 2) I didn’t want people to feel sorry for me.  But the fact of the matter was that I had changed my mind (i.e. I did want kids), so the loss was devastating. Even still, I kept my thoughts and emotions to myself. I felt so alone – even with my (ex) husband. (I wanted him to know what I needed -without telling him of course.) I was afraid to ask for help. I had become very good at being emotionally strong and didn’t want to appear needy. I was terrified of being vulnerable. So, I put on a happy face, and life went on.

“What if a recurring situation for you isn’t about learning a lesson, but about feeling the experience?” ~Kaitlyn Keyt~

We all know the saying “everything happens for a reason”. I completely believe this is true. I have no doubt that the emotional wave I had during first week of the cleanse was something I was meant to experience. Having had these feelings before, I knew it wouldn’t last, but I also knew that this time I had to sit through/work on the uncomfortable state instead of pushing it away. For most people that’s easier said than done; no one wants to feel crappy. However, I can guarantee that stuffing your emotions will not help- they will linger inside you and eat you up! It will manifest in another way; you will make yourself sick – literally. When you stop the flow of your emotions, it brings on more tension and becomes stored emotional energy in your body (i.e. anxiety).

even-the-darkest-night-will-end-and-the-sun-will-riseSo, how do you deal with this anxiety then? Underneath the anxiety, there is always a feeling state – anger, fear, sadness… Be willing to feel the discomfort of the anxiety so that you can get to the emotion you are really feeling. As you deal with the true emotion, the anxiety will go away. When you feel sad, lonely, and like there’s no hope, ask for help. This is when you need someone the most, so be open – don’t close yourself off. Call a friend. Call a hotline. Call someone you trust. Let them create a safe space for you to heal.

And then take Steve Maraboli’s advice: “Cry. Forgive. Learn. Move on. Let your tears water the seeds of your future happiness.”

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