There will be times in our lives when we experience a loss of a loved one or friend. Perhaps a break up or something that causes intense grief and shock. A massive, permanent change to our lives. Sometimes we will also have others depending on us during these tough times. It can be tempting during these times to bottle up our emotions, and keep a ‘brave face’. This is a normal thing to want to do, and is useful at times, however it is not useful all the time. If you are currently going through a tough time like this, you need to know that it is ok to be a mess, fall down crying in a heap and grieve, you are allowed. Humans cry for a reason. It helps.
Sometimes this idea to bottle our emotions was made many years ago when we were children. Very often children are told to ‘stop crying’ or ‘don’t be a sissy’, this can create a rule in our minds that crying is not ok or unauthorised. We do not have permission to cry and ‘have to be tough’. This creates a massive internal conflict and strain because emotionally we are pulled in two different directions. The natural drive of wanting to grieve and the imposed one of having to be strong/tough/brave.
Whenever we say we ‘have’ to do something a part of ourselves (sometimes called the inner child) immediately wants to rebel. No-one likes being told what to do, even by themselves. Bottling these warranted and genuine emotions is not only emotionally very difficult and straining it can also lead to physiological problems too. Anxiety, back pain, fainting, high blood pressure, stomach ulcers and many more conditions can be caused through emotional stress.
If you find yourself in a situation where you are not allowed to express some emotion. Ask yourself: Who says? Why is this not ok? What would happen if I did? Can I simply give myself permission to express this?
When you express your emotion in a healthy way, by crying, getting angry or frustrated, and talking it out you are accepting that emotion for what it is, and allowing it to release. When you bottle the emotion by saying it is not allowed or ok, you are just saving it up in a volcano for later… There are no bad emotions, just un-useful ways of dealing with emotions, or inappropriate behaviours. Each emotion has a time and place. Find a safe place to express your sadness, anger or other emotion and you will find that the emotion quickly passes through you and releases, allowing you to come back into balance and harmony.
It is also important to show and teach our children that it is ok to be emotional and grieve, they will only learn this by seeing adults do it unashamedly. Take the sting out of your grief by remembering that it is simply an emotion, like any other, even though it comes intensely like a giant storm, it will pass.
It is ok to grieve and cry, it is not weak, it is a natural part of letting go. If this article has resonated with you, or made you emotional on some level, maybe you want to take some quiet time to do so right now.
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