You Gonna Cry About It?
You’re allowed to be happy OR miserable. You can be content OR restless. You can be good OR bad. You can be strong OR you can be sad.
I’ve heard this for too damn long and I’m not buying it anymore. One gift my fertility struggle has given me is the ability to get out of this black and white, either-or, way of thinking. The truth is, we’re all dynamic and complicated and messy and to think we only have permission to be one way is just silly.
In my work as a therapist, every day I see people who think they “shouldn’t” have a feeling. As if they don’t deserve it or it’s not the right way to be. This causes so much unnecessary distress.
Here’s the thing: pushing away a feeling is like putting a glass of milk in a box and hiding it behind the couch. Sure, it’ll be out of sight for a while. You can ignore it. But eventually, that box of milk will get rancid. It will demand your attention in a big way.
I’ve been challenging the idea of being allowed to be strong or sad – but definitely not both. This is a load of crap. Ladies, gentlemen, boys and girls – you can be strong and sad at the same time! * Sometimes, the strongest thing to do is to lean in to how sad you are *
It doesn’t mean I’m going to build a house there – in sadness – and live in it forever. But I am certainly going to acknowledge it because anything less would be a disservice to myself. And I don’t want to wake up to rancid milk someday.
In an article on psychcentral.com, feelings are described as guides for our emotional and even physical growth:
“It is amazing to watch a baby progress toward crawling and then walking. It is as if the next stage of life is pulling them forward. If they are blocked, they become emotionally upset.
This enjoyment of growth is available to us at any age. We can keep exploring, challenging ourselves, mastering and enjoying new competencies.
Ask yourself am I allowing my feelings a chance to support new growth and learning in my life? Toward what new challenges in life do my feelings want to take me?”
I have to be grateful for my feelings. If I didn’t feel my deep pain, I wouldn’t know my deep strength. And everyone going through fertility struggles has both. Whether you know it or not. Your pain is your map to finding your strength.
And eventually, when asked whether you’re “gonna cry about it or boss up”, you can boldly say “Imma do BOTH”!