Just like an entire day is made of day and night, so are our emotions. Usually, we are more inclined to crave for brighter days full of laughter and positivity. But once in a while, we face sombre days where we are at our lowest. These are the days that we feel out of place, out of sync with reality. We forget that life is an emotional rollercoaster, that both positive and negative emotions go together. And there is no life full of one without the other. However, rather than acknowledge those moments where we are low-spirited, our moments of failure, embarrassment, and sadness, we are quick to shroud our feelings behind feigned smiles. We pretend to have it easy—denying ourselves the chance to get in touch with our negative emotions.
In a world that worships social media like a god, it’s no surprise that two decades later, we have a generation indoctrinated into showcasing their moments of happiness, success, pride, and triumphs. Still, it shies away from showing their low moments, let alone talk about them. We associate the expression of our sad and down moments as a sign of weakness and put a label of shame on anyone who dares show them. With social media integrated into our daily lives, masking our pain and failures has turned into a sport. The anonymity engendered by social media creates the perfect breeding grounds for a perfect life—one without sullen days and forlorn moments.
And when flaunting our success and happy moments on social media isn’t an issue, thinking that what we see on social media is all there is to life is a huge problem. The untold truth is that behind those alluring moments of people living their best lives on social media are gloomy days that are neither captured nor acknowledged.
People rarely post their failures on social media. This phrase should be your daily gospel. A reverse gear to get you back to sanity the next time you’re on social media drooling over strangers who live in the lap of luxury, while your life feels like it’s hanging by a thread. Remember its normal to feel like other people are doing better than us, especially when things are not going our way. It’s what we humans do; compare ourselves to others. The problem arises when we let it get to us – when we beat ourselves up after seeing people achieve huge milestones while life puts us through the mill every goddamn day.
The critical thing to understand is that there is no such thing as a perfect life. Life is messy, as it should be. It’s full of peaks and troughs. One day we are having the best time and the next feel like our worst. Everybody goes through that, and nobody can stay sad or happy all the time. All these emotions are temporary but essential. And rather than ignore or suppress them, we should learn how to be conscious of how we feel.
Acknowledging our emotions is the first step towards our mental well being. And while you’re at it, avoid rushing your feelings. Learn to live through your sad days without the need to push yourself to feel chirpy sooner rather than later. Rushing our emotions – which we fall for most of the time – just shows our inability to bear with our feelings and the dire need to escape our low-spirited days. Contrary to popular opinion, acknowledging and showing our negative emotions is a sign of strength.
It’s obvious that nobody likes to feel sad or deal with their negative emotions. We loathe feeling anxious, lonely, and overwhelmed, and get excited on the mere thought that something good is coming our way. We continuously seek happiness, but life rarely works that way. We are not perfect but a work in progress. We need to remind ourselves that we are allowed to feel whatever emotion that comes our way. That being present for our emotions slowly transforms us into strong and healthy beings emotionally, physically, and mentally.
With all that’s going on this year, it’s easy to beat yourself up and feel like the world is against you. To look at others and feel like our life has nothing good in it. Despite experiencing personal or financial losses, or any other stressful situation in your life, just remind yourself that it’s okay to go through all that and it’s okay to feel sad about it. However, we should avoid judging ourselves during such challenging situations. Instead, learn to accept your emotions and live through them. Escaping our gloomy days only puts us out of touch with our emotions.
Having one bad day does not mean a bad life.
So, it’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed. It’s okay to feel lonely. It’s okay to feel pain. It’s okay to grieve. It’s okay to feel uncertain. It’s okay not to be okay.
And yes, It’s impermanent. It shall pass. The best thing you can do for your future self is to be present for your emotions today.
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