Another friend lost another of our beloved dogs who'd lived a long and very distinguished life but was gone too soon nonetheless. In the same week the car broke down and two of her other dogs each had a health scare of their own - it was raining crappy days.
In the midst of her own grief and fear, more bad news poured in, this time other people who she'd known were either gone or facing extreme loss of their own. Suddenly she felt bad for feeling bad. Suddenly her own grief and fear were overshadowed and she used the word "ashamed" to describe how she felt about her feelings.
I get it, we can always find someone else who has it worse. Just like we can always find someone who has it better. But life is not a contest, life is a community of souls just trying to make this day better - for themselves and for others - and we are all going through a bunch of sh*t.
I'm thrilled that people are becoming more self-aware and are wanting to stay positive and be the change they want to see in the world. YES! PLEASE! We all need more of this! Yet I do worry that it causes us to shove the non-happy feels in a drawer to be dealt with later - or not at all. We seemed to have swung the pendulum so far that now we think we can't be sad? Or angry? Or scared? Effing ridiculous.
If you need it, I'm giving you permission to feel all the feels when you need to. Don't run away, don't avoid them. Do not judge your feelings for their worthiness - they are yours and yours alone and no one will ever have the full context to judge you. I trust that you will know when you're wallowing or when you feel like you can't pull yourself out of the depths and need help. By all means, get the right help for you.
But the guilt and shame about your deep feelings? Yeah, that sh*t must go. Now. It doesn't serve anyone, it's not useful and it sure as heck doesn't help you work through your own life. Instead, allow yourself to hold multiple sets of feelings, even when they conflict. You can be happy and proud of your accomplishments during a great weekend of showing while still feeling terrible for a friend who's going through a heart-wrenching loss, for instance.
We are amazing, complicated warriors all. We can nurture with one hand and fight with the other. We can step to the line fiercely though our hearts are cracked with sorrow. We grow stronger each time but ONLY when we allow ourselves to truly learn the lessons - otherwise, it's just fake platitudes. The community that our souls crave needs us to be both tender and tough, strong and broken. We need authenticity. So you do the best you.
Special thanks to my clients and friends who share their stories and allow me to help when I can. My secret sauce in my performance coaching is there is a bunch of life coaching that comes forward too. Because what happens outside the ring impacts our performance when we step to the line. I continue to be flattered to go on these journeys with my warrior clients!