It’s ok to feel. It’s ok to let the darkness affect you. It’s ok to feel vulnerable and scared and alone and lost. It’s ok to hurt. It’s ok to grieve.
It’s not ok to push the dark away without owning it. It’s not ok to bury it so deep inside of you that it poisons you. It’s not ok to run from the dark to dark devices. It’s not ok to let the dark in you rush out in a rage lashing out and hurting you and those around you.
For a long long time I equated vulnerability with weakness. I thought that showing that I was hurt or frustrated or desperate meant that I was weak. I thought it meant that I was incapable of being a mature adult capable of handling my stories. I would bury those emotions and feelings by cracking jokes, or reading a book or watching a movie. I would focus all of my energy on someone else’s problems telling myself I was just being a good listener and shoulder to cry on. I would meet my friends for drinks or have glasses of wine. I would get angry with myself for not feeling better. Can you imagine that? I would ask:
“What the hell is wrong with me? Why can’t I get past this? I should feel better by now. I can’t stand myself!”
But you know what? It is PERFECTLY OK to feel angry, upset, frustrated, worried, stressed, hurt, unhappy, desperate, scared, afraid and unsure. It’s ok to cry and stare up at the ceiling. It’s ok to want to crawl under the covers and stay there. It’s ok to want to watch tv all day with junk food on the couch next to you. It is ok to allow yourself to feel all of this. It’s necessary to allow it to swallow you sometimes. It is ok to sit with it for a while. That is the only way you can move past the darkness and into the light. And I promise you, the light will come. You WILL feel better.
“The moon stays bright when it doesn’t avoid the night.” ― Rumi
Now, I’m learning to allow myself to feel unsure and afraid that I wouldn’t let myself achieve what I was meant to. I allow myself some time to mourn for what I’ve lost, to feel remorse for mistakes I’ve made and to yearn for things that are yet to come.
You see these emotions are all part of the healing process and if I try to run away from them or bottle them up, I will never move on to the next step: Healing. I am learning to allow myself to reach that place of vulnerability, and see it as being brave not weak, so that I can comfort myself, pick myself up and take the next step.
I am allowing myself to relax and let go a little. I am letting myself breathe. I am beginning to understand my fears and doubts. Spending time with them and allowing them to be heard gives me insight into where my insecurities come from and this is important for me as my insecurities have become triggers in the past. Now I am learning to put them into perspective and face them.
When the darkness becomes too much, I write and write and write. With no real intention other than to let everything pour out of me. It brings me clarity and closure. When writing doesn’t work, and on occasion it hasn’t, then I ask for help. Yes folks, I am learning to reach out without apologizing for feeling! That dreaded sentence: “Gosh, I am so sorry for burdening you. I don’t now what’s wrong with me.” is officially gone.
But, I have to say, there is something merciful about sitting alone with my darkness. And there is such peace and beauty when the darkness lifts. 🙂