We All Have Feelings, So Express Them

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In modern day society, showing your emotions has become harder and harder. Not only do we have to deal with judgement from others, and social inappropriateness, we also have to deal with the eternal questioning; ‘are you alright?’ ‘What’s wrongs?’. It’s frustrating. It’s no wonder people find it so hard to deal with emotional disorders like depression and anxiety. Lauren Suval of psychcentral.com reminds us of the mantra; things could always be worse. And it is important to remember this in every situation – it honestly could be worse.

However, this doesn’t mean we should dismiss our personal feelings as if they are not important. I feel like the male population has more of a problem with this. Even today where men and women are considered more equal than people ever thought possible, men can still struggle to show their emotions proudly and can even be shunned for it. (I am not speaking for all men, and not saying this doesn’t happen to women, but this is still a problem and I want to identify that). Society needs to learn that emotions are a natural process, and we start that from showing them ourselves.

Even, as Suval puts it, if the worst case scenario did not happen, our feelings are still justified. If you are angry about something then show it. If something has made you upset then show it. This is something I love about the church I go to (and I am hoping most churches in the world). When people to to pray for something that’s happening in their lives, they WILL show their emotion openly, they will cry, they will get angry and shake and they will be open about all of their emotions. On top of this, everyone in the room will accept it. There are no questions, no judgement, just emotional acceptance. And no I am not telling you that you need to go to church, unless that’s what you really want to do, but people need to be able to feel this open in every day life.

Living in Hong Kong, this (again) is a real issue. In western countries we don’t really appreciate the power of ‘face’ and how it can really run your life. If someone does your job for you because you’ve forgotten something, you lose face. If your car isn’t as expensive as your colleagues car, you lose face. If you live on a road that isn’t well known, or don’t have a lobby, or even a maid, you lose face. And the same goes for emotions.

Next there comes the questions. ‘Oh no! What’s wrong?’ is something I have heard a lot. Not just for me but for other people. Or ‘you’re not yourself today, what’s up?’. As far as I know, emotions are a natural part of being a human, and every emotion we have makes up a part of who we are. I know these questions are well meant, no one asks them thinking ‘yes, I am going to really annoy/upset this person’ – but that doesn’t mean they don’t make things worse.

Kovie Biakolo posted that even if you are a happy and jolly person in general, as soon as you have a day – or even just an hour – where you’re down, you are suddenly not ‘being yourself’. Being irritated, sad, angry or happy is all a part of being you. All of these emotions make up you, as a person, and you should feel free to express them as yourself.

Biakolo goes on to state that there may not actually be a ‘usual self’. Experiencing negative emotions doesn’t take away from who we are. We shouldn’t have to brush away our negative emotions as if they have no importance. We should be free to embrace them, and not feel like they undermine any part of our being.

Chelsea Fagan, in her article “Crying is Awesome”, speaks of unbridled emotion, and how sometimes it is healthy to just curl up with a box of tissues and cry out all of the emotion inside. And I agree. There is nothing wrong with crying and letting out your emotions – a lot of the time it’s the only way!

Fagan compares crying to a workout at the gym. Just like running on a treadmill, working out your muscles and sweating; crying is a psychological workout. It’s a way of expressing all the emotion bottled up inside, which I am told is very healthy. Bottling up your emotions is never a good thing. So people, do not be afraid to cry!

So, readers, I hereby urge you to please express your emotions. Men and women of all ages, IT IS OKAY TO HAVE FEELINGS! It is okay to show them, be expressive, take a day to be sad. In fact, it is GOOD to do so.

“It’s okay to cry for our losses. It’s okay to mourn the dreams that didn’t pan out. It’s okay to hurt and not have things figured out.”
~ C. De Lima on Tinybuddha.com

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Written by: Philippa Berry
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