Permission to Feel.
My high school boyfriend and I went out for frozen yogurt exactly one time during the course of our relationship. It was a Saturday, and we walked around a weird, nerdy store I had never seen before after we finished eating.
As we drove back to his house, we somehow ended up in a conversation that made me emotional. I can’t remember the exact topic, but I recall not being able to put more than two words together.
I remember being embarrassed. Overwhelmed. Feeling dumb. I remember him sitting there, completely caught off guard by the intensity with which I had shut down so quickly.
Back then, I thought emotions were best kept inside. Deep, deep inside, to be exact. I thought if no one could see them, I might get lucky and they’d disappear. But alas, we all know what happens with powerful things we try to hide: they explode.
After all of the effort I put in to shoving my emotions down, they exploded and all I could do to contain it was crumble to pieces, and bring the conversation to an abrupt halt in the process. This was not the only time my suppression of emotions did such a thing. Even in my freshman year of college, I was known to self-destruct every now and then.
One of the most freeing things I have heard in the past couple of years is that I am not – and never have been – required to hide my emotions in order to be worthy of Love.
My emotions are valid. And so are yours.
My emotions are worth listening to. And so are yours.
My body is trying to tell me something through emotion. And so is yours.
We cannot listen if we shove our emotions deeper and deeper inside of us.
I’m not flipping to the other side of ignorance here. I’m still aware that feeling can be scary. It makes us vulnerable. Talking through what we feel requires us to expose a delicate part of ourselves. It reminds us that we are not unbreakable. That we cannot be strong all the time.
But that doesn’t mean our only option is to self-destruct. Not when Love surrounds us.
Love is your family. Love is your significant other. Love is your best friend. Love is yourself when – instead of suppressing to the point of exploding – you take a walk with your emotions, you listen to them, and you try to understand what they might be saying.
You are allowed to cry, to be completely overwhelmed, and to crumble if need be.
But you are not allowed to shut Love out, because Love stays. Love listens. Love wipes your tears. Love understands that life can seem like too much.
So Love will hold you, and Love will not let go.
But first, you have to give yourself permission to feel.