A few weeks ago we watched the opera of Tosca with my ‘Suffering’ class. I actually enjoyed it, though I’m a bigger fan of happy endings. At the end, during the discussion of the opera, one classmate said that when he deals with pain he would rather listen to sad and depressing music and allow himself to work through all the feelings before he was ready to get out. It doesn’t surprise me that people do that, it makes sense that one would want to feel deeply their emotions. I can understand that. Some even find that they are comfortable with their feelings and emotions. Some like to feel things deeply and would rather feel something than nothing at all. And that got me to thinking…
It wasn’t until recently (a few months ago I guess, more or less) that I realized that I was actually allowed to feel. I lived in a world where my feelings would scare me and instead of facing them I would sleep them off or simply ignore them as if they didn’t effect me. I have learned that I am entitled to feel things, whether it is fair to you or not, I can feel hurt, angry, upset, lonely, lost and it is okay. Not only that, but that people wanted to know how I felt about things and help me when I hurt and be glad with me when I’m glad. I guess maybe growing up in a large family I figured it was better keep things to myself to keep the peace. It’s not that I didn’t have feelings, I just tried to not let anyone see them, lest they get upset with me.
I’ve decided now that sometimes I like the fact that I can verbalize and even be comfortable with my feelings, and sometimes I don’t. I will be the first to say that when I start to feel something negative, I try to ignore it and push it down and attempt to never think about it. I was talking to a mentor the other day and we were discussing some things and as I opened up to her, I said one thing; something I have never said out loud because I’m scared to death that it’s true, and as I began to say it I had to stop because tears began to fill my eyes. It’s amazing how we can push things down and ignore them as much as we want, years and years, but they don’t actually go away. The funny thing is, is that what I had to say was just a lie that I have allowed myself to believe for the past who knows how many years. The truth really will set you free. Just saying it out loud helped me hear how ridiculous I was being. Maybe if I had told someone before, I would have been able to live a little freer.
All this to say, feelings are a gift and they are a part of what makes me, me. But sometimes they have to be checked; cause they might not always be true. If they go unchecked, lies can begin to define us. But over all, I’m seeing that it’s good to be comfortable with them. They aren’t always negative. That’s all.