Most of my clients are going through some really difficult stuff. But at some point, I still hear them say some version of, “I probably shouldn’t feel this way,” “I know it shouldn’t affect me this much,” or “I feel like I should be over it by now.”
We don’t come to believe these things on our own. We get a lot of messages in our culture and from the people around us about how we should handle our pain and tragedies. We are often told how to feel, how long we should feel that way, and at what point we should be “back to normal.” But I want to push back on some of this, because I think it’s really damaging.
This world can be unkind. This life we’re living is hard. On some level, we know this, but we also expect ourselves not to be “too” affected by it. We get these messages that we aren’t allowed to be “too” sad, or grieve “too” long, or be “too” angry, or “too” anxious. But I think that’s a bunch of malarkey.
Because to deny ourselves of these things is to deny our humanity. And to deny our humanity is to intensify our pain. You are not a robot and there is no protocol for how to feel and heal. The only protocol is to make space for what you do feel and to give yourself patience and time to heal in your own way and at your own pace.
You have every right to feel the way you do. What you’re going through IS hard. And no matter what anyone else says, I don’t believe you need to be fixed. What you do need is someone to sit with you in all of your pain and messy, beautiful humanness, and not try to minimize it, fix it, or point out the silver linings. You need some one to just let it BE what it is. You need someone to say:
What you’re feeling is okay.
Who you are is okay.
However long it takes you to heal is okay.
Maybe this hole is so big it won’t ever fully close and you’ll just learn to thrive and live around it. And that’s okay too. Because “some things cannot be fixed. They can only be carried.” -Megan Devine
You get to choose what healing looks like for you. Eventually, you’ll be able to integrate this and find some hope and joy in life. But let that healing start by giving yourself permission to just not be okay right now.