Let's talk about our feelings. It's been a hard week around here. The kind of week that not only knocks the wind out of you, but smacks those you love, too, as if to say, "if you're calling yourself an adult, let's see you handle THIS."
"But wait, I can't handle that! I still sleep with a stuffed animal," I panic.
Part of growing is dealing with painful times, though. Sickness and death. Finances and careers. Keeping friends or making new ones. And helping those you love through the storm can be just as challenging, especially when we know that we don't have it figured out for ourselves.
This past winter, I took a few acting classes at Black Box Acting Studio that taught the Meisner technique. I'm not going to launch into a lengthy description of the technique or classes, but an important lesson I learned that rolled over into my everyday life was the utmost importance of acknowledging how I (honestly) feel and then moving forward. Social graces may prevent me from following through with my feelings (I feel frustrated at work, so I will punch my boss!...uh....no) but at times like this I find the lesson crucial.
We can say to ourselves and those we love--YES, I/you feel sad. Angry. Embarrassed. Lost. Rejected. Confused. Let's allow ourselves to feel that way! It's ok to feel that feeling! The tricky part is then moving forward. "Forward" may not be the absolute correct word--maybe I should say, "moving to the next" instead. Whatever the terminology is, it's important to not to pressure ourselves into feeling a certain way. Sadness can be followed by giddiness, rejection by rage, and anger by excitement. Trust me--there is no order here. There's no way you should feel, only the way you do feel. It's so difficult to allow ourselves that freedom, but if it were easy, they'd call it football (see? I can put a very funny joke into a serious blog post).
How do we allow ourselves to do this? And how do we help others to do this? Uh...I have no clue! But for me, I know that it involves coffee & pie dates, new projects, catching up with friends, putting on some favorite music, maybe some retail therapy at a comic book store. Most important, listening. These actions are like band-aids--they won't stop the wounds from hurting or the scars from forming, but maybe the design on the back will make you smile.