“I am so freaking MAD and SAD and OVER EVERYTHING,” I texted my best friend late one night. “Just layers and layers of unmet sadness and anger and tired-of-the-bullshit are done being unacknowledged. I feel like a hot disastrous mess and it is not fun.”
I was sobbing. And reeling. Every cell in my being was vibrating with a blur of anger and sadness with a source that was nearly unidentifiable. It was just a big mashed up mess of stuff that sat for too long.
“Being a mess is good,” he replied with wisdom, as he always does. “That’s all the stuff that’s built up over a long time coming out.”
The truth is, I’m a feelings machine.
I feel all the feelings, all the time. With intensity. With force. With depth. With every bone in my body… whether I’m sad, excited, angry, or hurt.
And you know what? I love to feel my feelings.
I love to be overwhelmed by them. Engulfed by them. Turned upside down inside of them.
But, truth be told, I love the dark, hard, challenging ones the most… because the dark, hard, challenging ones are the ones that break us down and crack us open in all the ways we most need. Being cracked open, though it hurts like hell, has made up the most beautiful moments of my entire life. And it’s allowed me to feel the joy, love, peace, and passion with even more richness and intensity.
I spent a very large portion of my adult life in a state of numbness. So much so that I had to learn to fake emotion. To laugh at things that were supposed to be funny. To be enthused and excited about gifts and surprises. To be sad and cry about things that were sad and cry worthy.
People have told me my entire life, in their own ways and words, that my feelings are “too much.” I’m too intense, too passionate, too deep, too dark, too feeling, or that I care too much or for too long. They’ve actively shut me down from their own discomfort. From their own inability to face their emotions, to feel them fully and completely.
And, more times than I care to admit, I’ve let them do it. But I’m finally learning how to stay open and feeling and “too much” anyways. Despite who feels uncomfortable. Despite who’s unable to meet me inside of it. Despite those that tell me I need to get over it already, feel differently, or be less than I am.
Because when I shut the feelings down — when I let them continue to be unmet or made wrong — I lose myself.
Big, chunky, important pieces of who I am. The part of me that creates and writes and passionately works to make a difference in this world. The part of me that is a gifted empath and intuitive. The part that innovates and catalyzes change in others and the world around me.
And I lose the part of me they most want to return… the light, the laughter, the bubbly, sparkly, in-love-with-life-ness.
You can’t have the bubbles and sparkles without the intense depths from which they surface. You can’t have the light and laughter without the darkness and the tears. You can’t have the in-love-with-life-ness without the parts of me that question the point of any of it, the parts that don’t belong and will never understand this world.
You’re a feelings machine too, though you may not know it.
Probably because you’ve shut that part of you down, or you’re afraid to show it. Or maybe because the thought of venturing into that pocket inside yourself is terrifying. Or, like me, someone told you that it was too much, unwelcome, and that they preferred another part of you instead. That they only wanted the easy, happy, shiny pieces, because they’re afraid to face their own darkness. Their own unmet, unacknowledged, and stuffed down hurt or anger or sadness.
I’m here to remind you, and myself, that all your feelings are welcome. All your emotions, your “too much-ness”, your intensity. All the parts of you that are deep and dark and challenging and hard.
They are welcome. They are beautiful and true. They are healing and powerful. They are the place from which the light is born. They are the reason you can feel so much love and joy.
They are welcome, so let them move through.
Find the people who can sit with you inside of them without making you wrong or too much or too slow to feel… and hold them tight. Anyone who is unwilling or unable to meet you there — anyone who can’t handle all parts of you — well, they don’t deserve the light, the laughter, the bubbly, sparkly, in-love-with-life-ness that comes from the dark, hard, challenging parts, now do they?