Being aware of our emotions is something that is not widely accepted in society, particularly in the Western culture. Because of this, there has been a surge in mental illness, especially depression. Being unaware of our emotions makes it very difficult to deal with with grief when we have “lost” someone close to us. We need this awareness so that we can understand what we feel and why we feel it.
I denied being angry with my son, John, for a very long time. Anger is a very typical emotion when grieving, especially if the loss was due to a suicide. I was very closed about my anger because both John and I had the same attitudes towards suicide and euthanasia. We both agreed with it under the right circumstances. My problem was that now, it was my son who chose to do this. That made the matter entirely different for me but I did not want to admit it. I did not want to seem hypocritical.
Do not get me wrong, I was the one who understood why he did what he did. I really do understand, but my son is very special and important to me. The loss of his physical presence is very difficult for me to do deal with. Every mother wants to be able to hold her child and show their child affection. I could no longer do this. I was very angry about it but did not want to admit it.
My other issue was that I felt as if everyone was watching to see if I would crack up again. With my psychiatric history I felt this was a very strong possibility. If I could go off the deep end after loosing Tina and Ricky, who were miscarriages, then what would happen after loosing a child who I raised and had in my life for 26 years?
I was afraid to show too much emotion, yet also afraid of not showing enough emotion. I was trying very hard to balance my grief and this was very difficult. I wanted very badly to look like the “perfect grieving mother”. My biggest fear was either having others trying to talk me into going to the hospital after years of staying out or, even worse, I was afraid of being forcibly committed. Being pink slipped is not fun and I vowed those days were behind me. I was trying very hard to keep that promise to myself.
I eventually had to come to terms with my anger and my pain. It has been a very long process and I am still working on it. I think that my art and my crafting has helped me to deal with these emotions which I was trying to suppress.
When we can identify our emotions we can then ask ourselves what is causing us to feel in that manner. We can ask why these emotions are coming up. When we contemplate these questions we are being honest with ourselves and we can release these feelings from our emotional system. When we release them we can say that we are now ready to acknowledge our pain and become a healthier person.
There is nothing wrong with any emotion. They all serve a purpose. The only way to be healthy, both physically and emotionally, is to allow all emotions. When we allow our emotions to be and validate them, we will discover that, in actuality, there really is nothing wrong with us. We are having these emotions for a reason and the trick is to discover why we are having them. Feeling angry, sad, anxious, depressed are perfectly valid emotions. It is when we try to ignore or suppress them tat we begin to have problems.
When we feel an emotion arise, we need to sit with ourselves and figure out why we are having these feelings. If we need to cry, that is perfectly fine. If we need to have a quiet alone time, that is also fine. If we need to be others and share our emotions, that is fine. If we need to vent, find a pillow or something you will not cause harm to and beat the crap out of it. This does not make you a crazy person. This makes you a healthy person who is dealing with a difficult situation.
In order to cure our hearts, we must acknowledge that we are emotional beings. We are not machines nor are we only rational thinking beings who figure mathematical problems, science and business situations. We feel before we do anything else, yet we have been taught that being emotional is weak and wrong. Showing and acknowledging emotions takes courage. This takes much more courage than suppressing your emotions and appearing strong to the world. We need to be able to find people we feel safe with and share our feelings with. In this manner we can vent and if we want advice and/or feedback, the person that we trust can offer that. We need to understand that this is not a sign of weakness, but one of strength. We need to be able to share our burdens. We are, in reality, one and united. The separateness that we experience is mere illusion. We need to understand that we are here to help one another because when we do this we are also helping ourselves.The issue of being a loner is very unhealthy for us as individuals and a mass consensus. When we learn this and act accordingly, we will see much healthier individuals and a healthier society.
It is time that society acknowledged that all emotions are real and valid. Putting Band-Aids on our emotional wounds through mere medications is not enough. This solves nothing. If you feel that you need medication and your doctor agrees, then by all means, do so, but do not stop there. You need to figure out where these emotions are coming from. You can do this with a therapist, on your own in a healthy manner or there are many Spiritual teachers out there who are very good at teaching us how to do this. I highly recommend Teal Swan. She had an extremely abusive childhood and is very adept at teaching others how to deal with past traumas and current pain. You can find her information on our Resource Page. – Michelle