As I did my yoga the other day, tears started to form in my eyes. I found myself fighting the urge to cry.
I thought to myself, what if someone sees, and they know, they know that I’m sad? And why do I care? Why do I care if people know, that today, today I’m sad. And then, I just let the tears come. After all, it was virtual yoga, no one else could see. But there was still shame, so much shame in feeling sadness.
After yoga was done, I finished my work for the day, picked up my kids from school, and thought, would I cry in front of them? Would I ever allow them to see me sad?
I project an image of myself with them, happy, joyful, strong, confident. Because that is how I want them to be. Believing that if that’s all they see, that is how they will be. And not that I’m not these things, but there are times that I don’t “feel” this way.
And I think, “Why does sadness come with a stigma?”, that if you’re sad, you’re somehow weaker than others, when in showing how you truly feel, there’s so much strength in that. To be brave enough to say “today, I feel sad”.
We are taught from such a young age, you don’t cry, don’t show emotions. Even labeling them “bad”. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard or said to my kids, “why are you feeling bad?” meant in an endearing way. Or even, “what’s wrong with you?” As in to say, if you’re upset, something is not right.
But what am I actually teaching them with these statements? Sad and Bad, every emotion outside of happy is labeled, “bad” or “wrong”. Teaching that you’re bad if you feel anything outside of the range of emotions that is happy and joyful. Oddly, somehow anger is more acceptable than sadness. We allow ourselves to be angry in-front of our children, but shielding them from our sadness.
Lately, I’m a bit sad. Next week, that could change. Maybe that even changes tomorrow or tonight. But in this moment, I’m feeling sad. And I keep reminding myself, it’s okay. It’s okay to be sad. I want my kids to know that sadness is an emotion you can and will feel. And feeling, that’s a wonderful thing. In allowing myself to feel this emotion, this emotion that I’ve been taught doesn’t feel “good” or feels “wrong”, truly feeling this sadness, somehow allows me to fully feel happiness and love to a whole new level.
Someone once told me, “sadness, sometimes there is some really good stuff in allowing yourself to really go there.” I didn’t know what she meant at the time, but sitting here today, I understand.
Feelings are your way of understand yourself. How you feel, it’s your guidance for what you’re asking for, from yourself, from your surroundings, from your relationships. It’s so important to understanding how you’re perceiving and adjusting to the world around you. There’s power in understanding what your emotions are asking for. “What in me is sad?”There’s power in allowing myself to feel an emotion, in feeling it, I release it, instead of fighting it, it subtly fades.
This is how I feel in this moment, sad. And that is okay. It’s not bad, nor is it good. It just is…
How do you feel?