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Embracing Your Emotions

I think it’s safe to say that most of us have been on a rollercoaster of emotions since COVID-19 shelter-in-place has become the new normal. For me, there are days I’m perfectly fine, and others I feel slightly depressed and trapped. Seeing all the new measures in place at the food and drug stores, like the plastic shields to protect cashiers or distancing dots on the floor, gives me a strange feeling of permanence. Is this our new normal? I binge-watched The Handmaid’s Tale—I know, probably not the best series to watch right now—but seeing everyone walking around in masks and gloves, keeping distance and barely looking anyone in the eye, is eerily similar to the show’s drastic change in lifestyle for those unfortunate. My emotions are all over the place; however, on a particularly low day, a little voice inside me said, “It’s OK,” and I smiled.

I felt relief in that moment. It’s OK to feel what I feel. I don’t have to push against my emotions; in fact, it would be better to embrace them. And I did, and I have been ever since. If my feelings are low and I just want to lie on the couch, I just do it (hence The Handmaid’s Tale). But you know what, after three days of doing that—allowing it—I emerged replenished and energized.

I got into the flow of my emotions and let them run their course, and I was better for it.

A large percentage of my days are good. I’m a very positive person and believe that everything happens for a reason. I know this way of life will eventually end. I try to keep my focus on the present and what it is that I CAN DO. But some days are simply more challenging than others, whether it’s family- or business-related. I think everyone is trying to deal with their emotional highs and lows the best they can. I want to say to you, “It’s OK.” Feel your emotions, embrace them, and do whatever it is you need to do to get into the flow. Just go with it, wherever it may take you, because it will be your emotions that anchor this experience.

Our emotions are meant to be felt, not ignored and stuffed back down to pretend everything is OK. That is NOT OK. Emotions are the biggest indicator of connection to source. Ignoring them will prevent your learning and growth. If one day you wake up sad and overwhelmed, that’s OK. If the next day you wake up happy and eager, that’s OK too. In other words, whatever emotions you’re feeling throughout your day, it’s OK. Don’t beat yourself up about it, and don’t stuff it down. Give yourself permission to let them flow. If a book will help, read it. If a movie will help, watch it. If food will help, make it. When you allow and process negative emotions, you experience a deep reflection and understanding of your inner self. It can help you better connect to your positive emotions as well.

Twenty years from now, when you think back about the coronavirus event, what you will remember most is how it made you feel. It won’t be the particulars like home-schooling or masks and gloves. You’ll remember how it felt to lose your job, hug your kids more, lose a loved one, or get inspired. It will be a mix of emotions. Your emotions are the real storytellers of your life. Think about 9/11. I guarantee when you tell your story of where you were when the plane hit, it’s full of emotion and heart. Every story, every memory, and every life is rooted in emotions. So celebrate them in all their forms. While I don’t wish you sadness or pain during this unprecedented event, I do encourage you to feel ALL your emotions, even the bad ones, so in the end, your story is true.

Be well.

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