I hear so much emphasis in the world today on learning how to “not be afraid.” We are told to “Be positive,” told to “Be strong.”
Why is that?
God gave us emotions for a reason, so that we could feel, so that we could better understand what we might need. They are clues we use to discover what’s wrong. When others tell us to be strong, it’s more a reflection of their own discomfort with our sadness, than it is of what we really need to be doing.
It’s okay to be afraid, it’s okay to be sad, it’s even okay to not feel very strong, its okay to be sad for others.” These feelings clue us into the fact that something in our environment needs our attention. Perhaps, we need an uplifting hug, or a good conversation with a friend who listens and validates our struggle.
I was listening to a woman battling cancer today, she said, “I know I am supposed to be strong and positive,” “I know I am NOT supposed to be afraid, but I don’t know how to remain positive while at the same time being truthful with what I really feel inside? So, I end up pretending all day long and coming home, to tears.” Emotions don’t simply vanish because we banish them. We all face fears, we all have doubts, and when we acknowledge them, it helps us connect, express and look for what we need.
I challenge you, the next time you feel, write it down! Express it, reach out for support from someone you love, let others love you through whatever trial you face. Share your fears with them, and experience the comfort that only a good listener can provide, ask for the healing hug that sometimes only the power of touch can bring. Feelings are tools! Lets remember to reach into our toolbox of life.