In Order to Heal, You Have to Feel

Don’t let your emotions weigh you down.

When you’re dealing with something difficult, there’s a belief that you shouldn’t get too down.

That the best thing you can do is plaster over the pessimism with positivity.

Pick your head up. Look on the bright side. Put the past in the past. And move on.

In general, I’m a subscriber of this belief, because doing the opposite has often led me to trouble.

I’m not an optimist by nature, and I have a tendency to obsess over sorrow and ignore silver linings.

I wallow instead of rally.

But sometimes, as I’ve learned, you’re in need of a good wallowing.

In fact, it’s arguably the healthiest thing you can do.

Trauma, be it heartbreak, rejection or anything else, floods your body with emotions.

And if you avoid or dismiss or simply try to power through them, those emotions will weigh you down, like an albatross that keeps you from moving forward.

As my mother-the-therapist says:

In order to heal, you have to feel.

If you’re sad, or mad, or scared, give yourself permission to be sad, or mad, or scared.

Too often I tell myself to fight those instincts, fearing that if I give in, I’ll give in forever.

And though you do have to be careful about becoming too comfortable at rock bottom, processing these feelings serves as a full system reboot.

It’s like when you finally get that last drop of water out of your inner ear.

There’s a release, there’s relief and there’s a new lease on life.

And before you know it, you no longer have to strain to see the sunshine.

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This article originally appeared on 100 Naked Words.