Emotions are big. In fact, remember the movie based on the book Where the Wild Things Are? Yeah it wasn’t like the book, but I read an interview with the man who made it and he and Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs said that they wanted to show that, to a kid, emotions are scary and ‘wild’. The goal was to show that big emotion is like a big scary monster.
Well they definitely got that right, but it’s not just something kids are afraid of. I’m a full grown adult and sometimes I still get really freaked out by my emotions.
Now, I am not all that old. In the grand scheme of things I’m still pretty young, and in my relatively undeveloped life I’ve experienced a whole lot of emotions. I’ve been depressed many times which is a beast in itself. I’ve had my heart totally broken by romances and friends. I’ve felt what it’s like to hurt someone else. I’ve had to literally run for my life and felt the surge of terror and adrenaline that comes with that and then lingers and lingers for what feels like forever. I’ve had scary health problems full of uncertainty and being desperate for my mom to tell me it would be ok. I’ve lost people that I loved, and had my most loved pet die in my arms. Like I said, lots of really, really big emotions.
From all of these experiences I have learned some completely invaluable life experience, and I wouldn’t trade any one of them. Most importantly, I’ve learned that you can’t hide from emotion. You can’t hope it will go away and sit it out ’till it maybe does. You cannot pretend like you aren’t feeling something.
It’s not that emotion will come and bite you on the leg if you don’t feel what it wants you to feel. It isn’t actually a giant monster, but if you don’t allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling, you can’t fully heal or recover from it.
When you have experienced loss, or something terrified you, or someone broke your heart or you feel bad because you broke someone else’s heart, you need to allow yourself to experience that emotion. You need to feel it for a while, dig in to it a little, so you can understand why you feel that way. You might be surprised by what you find. Maybe you aren’t upset because you hurt them but because they weren’t what you expected them to be.
Once you allow yourself to feel and experience your big scary emotion monsters, you can heal. You can work through the feeling. Only when you fully understand your emotions can you understand how to approach them and make yourself feel more like yourself again.
Sure sometimes it doesn’t work. You feel it and still can’t figure out why you’re feeling it. In those cases you just have to move forward as best as you can. Either way working through huge emotions is hard.
If you ever feel overwhelmed by what you’re feeling, get the help you need. Go see a counselor, talk to friends, and find resources. There’s no shame in doing any of those things. In fact, it’s extremely healthy and smart to take care of your emotional and mental health.
No matter what you have been through, experienced, or felt, you deserve to feel the best you can and sometimes it takes help. Don’t ever be afraid to find that help.
So feel what you feel. Work through what you feel, and if you can’t do it alone, find an ally. Good luck, dear readers! Go tackle your big emotion monsters. You can do it!