It is incredible humans have the capability to feel emotions so deeply. The rawest form of pain shows just how immensely we care and that is something remarkable. As difficult as it is to endure, don’t push away pain. Allow yourself to feel the entire spectrum of your emotions because that is when you take the most direct path to healing and growing. It is when we push away and numb pain that we prolong our suffering.
An empathetic heart is not weak, it is courageous.
The “all good vibes” lifestyle is enticing, but it isn’t always realistic. Life gets messy and it is completely okay to not have it all together. Positivity shouldn’t be used as an armor to block out negativity. That armor will crack because it was built out of fear, and you will be left having to face the darkness you pushed away. Pure joy goes hand in hand with utter despair. It sounds so contradicting, but I have personally experienced the lightest, freest and most blissful feelings immediately after my lowest moments. You know that peaceful feeling of acceptance after a good long cry? That’s the feeling I’m talking about. Something about giving in to your emotions and allowing yourself to ride them out without judgement is so restorative.
I was driving home the other day when an old song came on the radio. I don’t know why, but the song triggered something in me. I burst into tears in the middle of the road. Usually I would have immediately stopped myself and thought something like “it’s so unreasonable to be crying right now” or “get it together the neighbors are going to see you,” but this time I let the sadness hit me like a ton of bricks. As I laid down on the floor of my room, my kitten, Dreamsicle, pawed at my face and played with my hair. Um excuse me, I’m trying to have a moment. That goofy cat always reminds me not to take life too seriously. I got out my journal and wrote out exactly what I was thinking. Being unfiltered in my thoughts and feelings makes difficult situations less scary and intimidating. Seeing the words on paper can be daunting, yet eye-opening. There is something about holding the pen that gives me control over the words I see. The power is taken away from them and is given to me instead because I can see they are real, face them, and control their ending.
It allows me to write my own story, instead of someone or something else write them for me.
I picked myself up from the floor and had a long phone call with my cousin Angie. Do you guys know what a soul person is? Probably not because it is my own invention I created (Copyright Becca). To me, a soul person is a friend, family member or even stranger who you connect with on a whole other level; the person who understands you a little more than you understand yourself; the person who sees the best in you when your own judgment has fogged up. Well, Angie is that person for me. We can go days, weeks, even months without talking, but as soon as we do it feels like there was never any distance at all. I literally feel rejuvenated after a long talk with her. She never judges, just intently listens, and gives her opinion in a forward yet kind way. I feel safe telling her anything. That is why she is my soul person, because I feel like her soul matches mine. The talk with her left me feeling at ease and hopeful, just as it always does.
After our conversation, I jumped in the shower to wash up before going to a country concert with my sweet friend Kelsey. Her positivity never fails to put me in a good mood. I plugged in my phone to the speaker and blasted my favorite country songs by Zac Brown Band and Josh Turner (“Your Man” will be played at my wedding). As I lathered shampoo through my hair, I was surprised to notice I was singing at the top of my lungs and swaying along with the songs. My vocals sounded incredible in the bathroom, so I reveled in that moment because I knew I would go back to sounding like a dying animal as soon as I stepped out. I smiled at the fact I was experiencing authentic happiness. I constantly tell myself “be happy, be grateful, enjoy this moment,” but when those feelings naturally flow through you without you even noticing, it is the greatest thing in the world. I felt so proud of myself for surrendering to the earlier sadness because it freed up space for genuine happiness to replace it.
As uncomfortable as it may be, we must allow ourselves to face the reality of what we are going through. Family problems, relationship problems, mental health problems, self-esteem problems. We all have something. For me, writing out my reality helps me to accept it and move forward. Our lives can be so incredible and abundant in every other aspect, but if we choose to ignore the one part that is just too painful to acknowledge, it will fester under the surface of our lives and create problems when we least expect it. In my blog post, Break the Cycle, I mentioned the amazing podcast episode of Show the World Your Greatness with Trent Shelton. In his interview, he stated everyone has negative seeds from our past that we must dig up and replace with acceptance, love and strength. These seeds have been stashed out of sight and out of mind in the hopes that we never have to deal with them again. Well seeds grow when fed and watered, so if you aren’t careful with what you think and how you treat yourself, you could be nourishing a bad seed without even realizing it. It isn’t until we do the dirty work of facing our dark truths that we can have the awareness and courage to plant seeds of self-love and worthiness in their place.
We must cherish the parts of ourselves we are most ashamed of and keep hidden from the world.
For me it is my struggle with anxiety and depression. I am trying to figure out how I can be my fullest, most authentic self while accepting it is a part of me. It makes me who I am and shapes how I view the world. I used to get embarrassed at times when I was unable to control my emotions. When I was at my worst, I felt crazy and dramatic for going into a full-on panic over seemingly small matters. As much as I repeated, “You’re fine, it’s fine. This isn’t as bad as it seems,” I still couldn’t prevent a wave of heavy breathing, crying, pacing, and fear from washing over me. My fists would clench into tight balls and I would brace myself from the terror that flooded in. After the wave would pass, I was left exhausted and sad. Knowing I have had moments like those makes me so grateful for the plentiful times of calmness and joy I now experience. I have a new appreciation for spending quality time with my friends and family. I have been blessed with so many amazing people who love me unconditionally and support me constantly. It is so uncomfortable to share my experiences with anxiety because I fear judgment, but I realize that I must accept this is a part of me. I am strong, empathetic, and resourceful, not despite my struggles, but because of them.
It is difficult to talk about the insecurities we try so desperately to keep out of the public eye, but I think it’s essential to fully accepting yourself for who you are in this very moment. I would always think to myself, “Once you get your emotional problems under control, you will be lovable. When you don’t look too skinny and unhealthy, you will be confident.” Well I’m now cutting out those wishful thoughts that prolong my journey to full acceptance and replacing them with positive affirmations that remind me I am worthy and enough in this very moment just as I am. Even at my darkest hour, I am valuable because God created me.
I want you to know you are a priceless treasure in this world. No matter what you have been through, what you are going through now or what you will endure in the future, know you have so much to offer. Let hard times soften you and make you more empathetic toward others. We are all in the same boat here just trying to stay afloat. In the midst of trying to survive, we find grace and meaning. God always creates beauty from our brokenness. It may feel like you’re sinking, but please realize that you are actually rising day by day. Love the darkest parts of your soul. When you illuminate what you have kept in the dark, you become a light so bright, you illuminate others as well. You’re beautiful, you’re worthy and you’re strong. Remember that every single day.
Thanks for reading,