Feeling It All
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Politics and Activism

Feeling It All

Thank goodness.

Feeling It All
Kids Pages

I felt angry today for a little while. Not an inordinate amount, not an amount that endangered myself or people I loved. Just angry enough to curse aloud and complain to my friends around me about why I was pissed. I felt it fully, it passed and I went on about my day.

Today, I also took the time to be glad and thankful and joyous that I was feeling feelings. Thank goodness, a full range! Thank heavens, I can access it all! Hooray, a normal day of highs and lows!

I’m always so glad when I’m sad, stressed or angry, because I used to not let myself be those things. In high school, I was the “dependable friend”—cool in a crisis, a rock to lean on, a smile to brighten your day. It was good to be the “dependable friend.” It felt good to be needed and counted on. It felt good to help people I cared a lot about feel good too. But eventually, being the “dependable friend” meant I had jobs rather than relationships. Being the “dependable friend” meant I made myself become a joy machine whose purpose was to output support for a group of people going through hard times.

Naturally, I tend to be joyous a lot of the time. I’m a fun and optimistic person who is generally cool in a crisis and good to lean on in times of emotional strife. But when I built my relationships on emotions that would naturally change, I had to make them stop changing. And when I froze myself as a “happy person” (whatever that is), my mind had nowhere to go when I wouldn’t let myself fully experience all my emotions. My brain had to feel sad and angry sometimes. Because I wouldn’t let it, those feelings leaked out—or worse, burst—in unhealthy ways that hurt me.

Luckily, I was able to get help. I realized eventually that feeling those “bad” feelings are part of life. Sadness is just as important as joy and anger is just as important as calm. I need to feel all of them to live a balanced life. When I feel all of them fully, I feel better as a whole. I’m not misrepresenting myself all the time. I’m letting myself be human and being kind to myself.

So these days, it’s a small victory every time I’m mad. It’s a little win whenever I’m sad. I’m loving myself by letting it happen. That took time, it took work and it still takes a lot of deliberate action. It means a lot when it gets to happen. It feels good to feel bad.

If no one has told you today, here it is: your feelings are valid. They are the right thing to be feeling because you are feeling them. They are natural. They are correct. They are important. You do not have to ignore them for the benefit of others. You are important and your needs matter. It’s never going to be all sunshine all the time.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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