Monday, December 17, 2012

It's Okay to Feel

Most of the last 7 days have been really hard tough challenging sucked.

I have gotten some really hard news related to several people I love. And it goes without saying that the unspeakable tragedy in Newtown is just unfathomable. I am so, so sad and just feel myself sitting in this pool of grief and sadness and anger and fear and frustration. It has turned my world gray.

I'm waiting for some good, some happy, some joy to shine through and enlighten my gray world. 

Honestly, though? It's hard to even write that because I still have my children and my spouse and my family and my health. How in the world can I say my world is gray? That I feel sad? That I am frustrated and angry and upset?

In fact, one of the feelings I have been having most lately is guilt. 

I have experienced so much guilt over the last week. Because, just in the context of my day-to-day world, within the walls of my own home, it has been tough over the last seven days. My baby girl has been sick and teething and her usual happy-go-lucky demeanor has, as a result, been nowhere to be found on many occasions. My pre-schooler has been testing every limit imaginable. Now, I know that these are normal, if not expected, events to occur at this time in their lives. But it has been hard. And I have been struggling. Losing my patience too quickly, feeling worn down by the end of the day.

And on top of that, I was dealt several devastating blows related to loss.
Which, in turn, makes me feel guilty because why am I wallowing and feeling stressed over my challenging week when I am so lucky to have who and what I have. I mean, seriously. My tough stuff is nothing compared to what others are going through. Nothing.

But you know what? It's okay to feel

It's okay to feel frustrated when my preschooler won't listen. It's okay to feel tired when I haven't been able to put down my baby all day because she has been a sick, cranky mess. It's okay to feel agitated when things don't go as I had hoped or planned. 

What I'm trying to say is, I don't think it's fair to deny myself how I am feeling. It's okay to feel whatever emotion I am having even when my gray world is still brighter than the blackened one others are experiencing at this point in time.

Again, it's hard to even write that. But I think it's true. And I'll say it again (maybe it'll sink in for me this time):

It's okay to feel, even when my world isn't even remotely close to being as clouded and dark as others' are right now.

At the same time, though, tragic events also bring to light, and help keep things in, perspective. 

Yes, I will allow myself to feel sad and frustrated and irritated and upset, but then I will choose to move forward, recognizing that I am lucky to have who and what I do. Recognizing that I need to keep things in perspective.

I don't think I'm alone in this, based on conversations I've had with others over the last few days. That said, if I'm speaking your language, then I hope you will allow yourself the same courtesy. And encourage me to continue to do so when I am trying to deny what I am feeling at any given moment. Because there is no right or wrong feeling. But there is a right and wrong way to handle those feelings. I will choose to try to be positive, pull myself out of the gray, and actively search for light. In doing so, maybe I can shine a little light on someone else who's world may be darker than mine right now.

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