Do you remember when we were little and our knees got hurt, we would directly get the first aid to treat the injury? We would cover the wounds with a band-aid and treat it with proper care, as we give it time to completely heal.
Now, when our feelings get hurt, why do we tell our hearts and minds to just shrug it off? Why do we tend to avoid it, judge it and run away from it? Shouldn’t we get our emotional first aid and treat the wounds carefully until it slowly heals?
Unfortunately, that’s not the scene that we are growing up. We currently live in a modern society that forced us to carry our responsibilities on our shoulders, while maintaining an auto-pilot mode in everyday actions in order to professionally function. We are commuting from place to place, hustling from time to time, and pushing ourselves to our limits, without taking care of our inner needs and desires.
In the midst of our tight schedules, we often look forward to the weekend or holidays, so that we can take some time off and get all the rest that we need. More often than not, we use our time off as a form of escapism from our daily hustle, be it soaking in the typical urban life of nights out, café crawling, shopping, or movie dates. We think that we are doing great in nurturing our body, mind, and soul through these leisure activities. However, what if these pleasurable activities are not only escapism from your daily rush but also an escapism from your emotions?
With all the entertainment, media, and amusements that are only one click away, we are taught by society to distract ourselves when we are feeling emotional pain. Hence, we would go out, order pizza, watch television, or hop to an ice cream shop as a way to get distracted—as a way to suppress our emotions.
The biggest mistake we usually make is when we deny our emotions. We tend to reject it, criticize it and bury our pain and suffering with hope that it would be magically gone. However, at the end of the day, we would realize that our emotional pain still lies there, if not getting stronger. We would start to think that our coping mechanism was just not enough, and we would start to find more ways and methods to kill our pain, until it began to get more infected and severe, just like the untreated physical wounds are.
As difficult as this may sound, we should allow ourselves to feel the pain. When we start owning our emotions, our emotions will stop owning us.
Feeling the pain means you are ready to fight your darkest fear, instead of running away and hiding in the corner. Feeling the pain means you are addressing your root problems, and listening to your trauma or inner fear. Feeling the pain means you are admitting your truth, even if it comes with great discomfort. Feeling the pain means you are finally accepting yourself as a whole; you don’t only take the filtered goods inside of you, but you also take everything that’s left inside: your vulnerability, weaknesses, fears, trauma, guilt, shame, and sadness.
Even though feeling the pain may feel like sinking in the ocean of unpleasant emotions, but just know that you are one step away to swim in it, rather than to drown in it. You are giving a chance to yourself to feel the real humanness of you by facing and embracing your raw, authentic emotions. Once you take that chance, you will understand that allowing your emotional pain means that you were brave enough to experience the love, loss, grief, and guilt that had happened before. Pain is a part of you, an accumulation of your hopes, wishes, expectations, and emotions that you once had and need to be let go. By acknowledging this truth, you would finally be able to own your pain, slowly learn from it, and ready to start your healing journey.
Accepting our emotional pain is never easy—it might come with the loudest storms, and we might be getting trapped in the delusional phase by wishing that everything would go back to how it was. The hardest pill to swallow is the fact that the beautiful city that once we built is now becoming crumbles and ruins, and though we cannot instantly rebuild it, we can always start it all over again somewhere. To do that, we need to hold all of our emotional pain on our hands instead of squashing it all together. We need to pay attention to our inner needs and listen more to our voices. We know that this storm shall pass, but always make sure that we will not be taken away by the storms as we are standing in the middle of it.
Let’s start sitting with your emotional pain. Take care of your emotional pain with love and tenderness, just like how your mom would take care of your physical wounds when you were little. By doing so, there will come a day when you will finally be able to stand up feeling fulfilled and content as a whole.