October is not always about the beer. Sometimes, it also signals a time for self-evaluation before the year ends once again and a new year full of hopes and dreams comes. I’m so lucky I have these moments where I am reminded of how things used to be, or rather how I used to be. In these short blissful moments, I realize that how I used to think and feel about the world has come such a long way.
From a totally depressed and angry teenager, somehow I grew up to learn that the world is not something to hate or be resentful about. It’s true there are a lot of imperfections we will always encounter but life itself does not suck.
And I’ve struggled to live through those trying times but learned to see the light in every situation. I’m loving myself more and the more I appreciate myself with all my imperfections, the world slowly becomes a little more colorful and high definition.
It’s addictive how radical self love has taught me to embrace myself and the world for what it is. And today I would like to share with you a few gems of wisdom I truly keep dear to my heart.
And just so you know, I wrote this down sober.
Allow yourself to feel feelings
Some of us have a hard time dealing with our emotions that sometimes we consider feeling hurt, feeling betrayed, humiliated or frustrated are emotions that make us feel weak. We bottle them up so we can continue being the person that society sees us. That society, usually being something we make up to make ourselves feel important.
We fear criticism for our poor judgement. We fear criticism for being a little less manly. We fear criticism for our self-declared imperfections. And when we stumble or fail at something, more often than not we’re the only ones who end up persecuting ourselves.
I am guilty of building a huge wall around me since the day I learned I couldn’t trust the world as much as I used to. I was the girl who wondered why people called life a “harsh reality” until I got a firsthand taste of it.
It was nasty. Like a shot of tequila shoved down your throat, and you just have to take it like an adult. No salt. No chasers. Pure nasty tequila burning through your esophagus and into your stomach.
I took a hobby of placing brick upon brick of Note to Self letters full of hate, mistrust and cynicism in my head. I always prepared myself for the worst by assuming the worst all the time, because somehow, the worst always happened.
And the more I felt weak and helpless, the more I tried to make myself “stronger” by suppressing my emotions. I tried my hardest not to cry when a good friend betrayed me nonchalantly. And I sucked it up when the guy I used to really like dumped me on the phone. I brushed it off when I was humiliated in front of a huge crowd because things went out of control.
I felt myself choking on my own tattered pride.
However, over cursing my friend for what she did or hating the guys who dumped me or not trusting people in general, I hated myself for letting my emotions pour out. It’s like crying and feeling bad made me feel like a loser. A wuss. And I’d rather feel dead inside.
“The tragedy of life is in what dies inside a man while he lives – the death of genuine feeling, the death of inspired response, the awareness that makes it possible to feel the pain or the glory of other men in yourself.”
It took some time before I realized that concealing our emotions only lead to its eventual explosion. Because we’re all trying to be patient and nice people, we say “It’s okay” each time we feel shitty to control our inner monster from coming through.
Unbeknownst to us, those monsters grow each time we pretend everything is okay. It takes the wrong time and place, and a very unlucky person to experience all that bottled up emotion. Worst is, we end up regretting letting our inner monster out, and now back to the process of harboring hate in a ball of negativity in an attempt to “control” ourselves.
We tend to forget that as humans, it is in our DNA to feel “feelings”, or those so-called emotions that make us feel bad or in other cases, lame. If something upsets you, it’s okay to cry about it. It’s okay to feel weak and powerless against an inevitable situation.
It’s okay to feel mortal and get a deeper understanding about the value of time. Because it is in allowing ourselves to feel vulnerable that we feel the craving for power.
“Just feel the feeling. Feel the hurt. Feel the anger. Feel the pain. Give it its time to remind you you’re human.”
Let it out in the most convenient and safe way. Then let your little monster die.
It almost always dies.
Forgiveness goes way way deeper than being apologetic. Sorry is a word that has been thrown around as casually as I Love You. In fact, it’s a verbal tick that saves us automatically from confrontations. We accidentally hit someone, we say sorry. We interrupt something, we say sorry. We sneeze, we say sorry.
“Forgiveness shuts down your ego. Forgiveness sees beyond the pain. Forgiveness heals.”
Forgiving and forgetting is an utter bullshit, at least according to reality. Truth is, it’s really hard to say you have forgiven someone when the pain still haunts you steadily. It’s a miracle of a situation to see anyone forgive someone for causing something that continues to traumatize them.
It’s like saying verbally that you forgive your friend for spilling your dirty little secret but saying to your inner self that her face will always remind you of how betrayal feels. It almost always never happens.
True forgiveness is seeing the good in a bad situation. Forgive that jerk who broke your heart, and be thankful for that because now you can tell the ones who really care from the ones who only know the right things to say.
You don’t really have to check the “forget” factor because seeing the positive light in a shitty situation cures the need or the struggle to forget.
When you forgive him, you no longer see the hurt. You will always remember the good times. It’s going to be painful from time to time. However, there will now be that sense of resolve that what happened was, and has been, purely intended by the universe to make you stronger and wiser.
It was supposed to happen for a specified time frame in your life and just because it’s over, doesn’t really mean it was all a waste of time.
“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”
-Lewis B. Smedes
There are a lot in your life that you have to forgive, let go and surrender to the universe. You may not always see the silver lining during the pain but trust me, as cliche as it sounds, everything does happen for a reason. And it takes time to realize those kinds of lessons usually in quick but meaningful epiphanies.
More often than not, the wisdom you earned from surviving pain will manifest in a form of a rope when you find yourself in the same sinkhole. You will survive. You may get scars, but you will survive.
Life will continue to happen and time will continue to fly. Trees will die and buds will start growing. Night will come and the sun will rise. Unfortunate events will happen and life will still be awesome.
Set yourself free this October. Do it with love, gratitude and a great sense of optimism.