Hell. We’ve all been there right? Whether you’re struggling with a difficult illness, going through a bad breakup, dealing with a job loss, grieving the loss of a loved one, or any other hell-ish experience, you know what it’s like to be feeling the lowest of lows. Sometimes it feels like it’ll never end. I think that’s the worst part about these experiences is not knowing if you’ll be able to pull yourself out of them. You wonder if you’ll ever be back to normal or feel happy and carefree again. You may even forget what it’s like to laugh. I’ve been there. I know how it feels and it ain’t fun. But if you’re going through hell try to remember this. It’s only temporary.
You WILL feel better soon. If there’s one thing for certain about life it’s that it’s forever moving, forever changing, forever continuing forward. Everything changes. Nothing remains the same. It can be both kind and tragic, depending on where you stand.
One of the mantras I’ve come to repeat over and over again when times get hard is “This is only temporary.” This phrase reminds me that in a few days I’ll be feeling better again, I just have to get through the worst of it…
So no matter what you’re going through, when it feels like hell, just remember it’s only temporary. What you’re feeling, how you’re feeling, it will pass. Allow yourself the time you need to feel those painful emotions. They’re important. You’re meant to be feeling them right now, don’t push them away. Feel them. Let them remind you that you’re human. Let them sink in so that when they do pass you’re able to feel the good emotions just as deeply as you felt the bad ones. Because without the darkness there is no light.
If you don’t fully allow yourself to feel negative emotions then you’re also blocking yourself from fully feeling positive ones too. You’re just floating somewhere in emotional no-man’s land where you just simply feel “OK” or “fine” all the time. Trust me, that doesn’t feel good either. I’ve been there. I’ve blocked negative emotions for so long because I was afraid of them. I was afraid of feeling depressed because I was afraid I wouldn’t know how to get back to feeling normal. But by blocking the negative emotions I didn’t feel good, I ended up feeling nothing. And nothing feels empty. It feels lonely and lost.
Tap into your emotional state right now. Ask yourself how you’re feeling. Can you name that emotion? For the longest time I would do this and nothing would come up. I couldn’t identify my own emotions. I had been blocking my negative emotions for so long that I was stuck feeling nothing at all. I was numb. If this is happening to you, don’t worry, it’s totally normal! Most people are this way until they start learning to feel their emotions. We aren’t taught how to feel our emotions ever so it’s a new practice for most of us, whether you’re going through hell or not.
Little by little I’ve been working on feeling my emotions more deeply. It’s surprisingly harder than it sounds, especially when you’re starting out from such a numb state like I was. But it gets easier with practice. This practice is really important to me because I’ve come to believe, as many experts do, that depression, anxiety and many other illnesses, both physical and mental, stem from people not allowing themselves to feel their emotions. We push them away to the point where they get bottled up and explode in one way or another. Or we “de-press” our emotions to the point where we become depressed and we have no idea why.
Having emotions is all part of the human experience. We have the bad ones to remind us how good the good ones are. We can’t have the good without the bad. So next time you’re going through hell, just remember that it’s temporary. That those bad emotions will come, allow them to come, and then allow them to be released. They will move on. Things will change. I promise you things will change. Things will get better. Learn to feel the hell as deeply as you can so that when it passes you can feel the good as deeply as humanly possible. By the way, once you allow yourself to feel the bad emotions they usually pass quickly after that.