When you’re feeling down and out, or generally just low, do you ever feel pressured to pull yourself out of it as soon as possible? To constantly appear happy? But what if we accept that not being okay, is very much part of being okay; how might this impact our personal journey?
Recently, I’ve been feeling quite down, for various reasons such as inconsistencies with my health, toxic friendships, dealing with some repressed emotions that have surfaced, and just generally feeling a bit lost. And I feel a real expectation, from no one in particular, or maybe from myself, I don’t know, to pull myself out of this funk, immediately. To the extent that I’ve found myself apologising to people for being a ‘Debbie Downer’ when I’m with people or speak to them, because I think that the expectation is for me to always be chirpy, and that if I am not, I am somehow letting myself down.
But what I’ve realised, is that whilst I may not be my ‘ordinary self’, I am being my truest self, in that moment. And that is why it is okay not to be okay. So often I get old to ‘be grateful for what I have’ and to ‘have some perspective’, and I find it so frustrating. Just because everything else in your life is running smoothly, doesn’t mean your feelings of sadness should be invalidated.
I am grateful. I do have perspective. But I am also human. And I believe it is natural to have emotional highs and lows. You can wear a smile on your face, be well composed, be in a loving relationship, really enjoy your job and all other positive things and still not be okay. And that’s okay. Because you can be both grateful and woeful at the exact same time and that these emotions can, and do, co-exist.
It is never for other people to tell us how we should or should not be processing our emotions, merely because they have made an assumption about your life from the outside.
What’s more, is that you never need to justify why you are not okay and you certainly don’t need to apologise for it, and I find this idea really quite empowering.
You know, when we have feelings of happiness, they are ours to revel in. And so, when we have feelings of sadness, they too are ours to own. And so instead of being in a rush to overcome them, maybe what we need to do is accept them. Because by accepting them, we can start to appreciate that having low points is all part and parcel of living a normal and balanced life.
Without the low points, we would not value the high points as much. And what I’ve learnt, is that difficult times do pass, even when they seem to last forever. And when I have come through the other side on previous occasions, I have felt enlightened because it is an opportunity to re-evaluate what I want, how I’m going to get there and who I want on the journey with me.
I think it is so important that we take the pressure off ourselves to ‘figure it all out instantly’ and learn to take the time that we need to feel blue and let time be a healer. And I know it sounds cliché, but after having low periods, you really do come out stronger, knowing yourself better and naturally bounce back quicker the next time it happens.
About Natasha Jain
Natasha is passionate-come-obsessive about the sustainability of our mental and emotional health. In a world where so much connectivity has led to an ironic increase in isolation, Natasha has taken it upon herself to look through the ‘filters’ and improve relatability through her YouTube channel, Tash Talks. http://www.youtube.com/TashTalks