Another year has passed, and I’ve been thinking a lot about how people say we start to feel bitter to the world as we grow older.
Life has a way of hustling, bustling, and throwing us to the ground… So after enough time passes, some of us put up a wall to try to hide and protect ourselves.
The world makes some of us bitter, or cold, or untrusting. Lots of people become weary and tired. Flinchy, perhaps.
I know this because I’ve seen it, and I get it. I know the world can be a lil’ harsh on us sometimes. That being said, I don’t think it’s a good reason to shut everything out or run away from what adds to our human-ness: emotions. And it’s definitely no reason to feel hatred towards the world.
I’ve met people who have grown to think the world deserves our unkindness.
I thought this for awhile too (we’re all human, I’m not perfect either!), but nothing deserves our unkindness, especially if we want to receive kindness, love, respect, valuable friendships, pleasant interactions, and all around bliss.
We lose our awe at sunsets. We aren’t amazed that we are here. We lose touch with our inner selves. We forget how good kindness does the world. And we pull ourselves back from the sweet-and-sometimes-sour, but-most-human-thing-ever, feeling… Simply because we’re afraid to put ourselves out there and get hurt again.
I can’t count the number of posts I’ve seen on Facebook that carry a derogatory tone towards feeling. Such as: “next time I try to catch feelings, just slap me instead” or “there’s a new STD called feelings – don’t catch that shit.”
These always make me roll my eyes and sigh the type of sigh that fills your cheeks and makes you close your eyes (you know which one I mean).
Feel whatever you may. Really. You don’t have to run and hide from things, you just have to choose to accept them or change them. Have faith that you will make it through. As cliche as it is, you really do have to believe in yourself and avoid resistance because you’re resistance to things (be they your situation or the way you are feeling about your situation) is a primary contributor to your misery (yes, RESIST RESISTING!)
Catch feelings. For everything or anything – whatever suits you – and let it happen. Watch it as it does. Take it all in. I’m not just talking about love, I’m talking pride, shame, pain, joy, fear, trust, betrayal, adrenaline, everything.
I find it unsettling to see others take cover behind “I’m okay’s” and forced smiles. If you fake your joy all the time, or put on a faux smile to please those around you, or run from other, more negatively associated feelings, you won’t feel pure joy. You need to feel pain to feel true joy. And that’s okay. It will pass, just as all things do.
From 20 to 21 I felt a wide variety of things, and a lot of them were exhausting, terrifying, and generally… horribly unpleasant. I had uplifting moments too, as we need a little bit of that to keep us going, but it really was not my year.
And at 21 I feel amazing. After all that struggle and trouble, I feel much better than I did at 20 or 19. That’s probably because I’ve grown, and being 21 actually does feel a little different than years past. I can’t feel a difference between June 8th and June 9th, but I can certainly see it looking back. It’s all very clear.
I feel much more free, not because I can buy alcohol or rent a car or whatever, but because the hardest years of my life have made me grateful and right now, I’m happier than I’ve ever been.
Since I have stayed true to myself and my emotions this past year, although it damn near drained me, I have come back 10x the woman I was before.
I’ve fallen in love with strangers’ quirks, dimples of children, sketchy mountain ridges, pouring rain, thunderstorms (especially the kind that beckon you into the chaos).
I’ve felt lost and tragically imbalanced and self-detrimental. I’ve felt pain and loss. As my consciousness continues to shift, these feelings tend to fall away, as well… But when they come, I feel them, and feel them fully.
I’ve felt things I have tried (and always fail) to put into words. It’s sort of… Just the way it goes.
This is a human experience – and through acceptance and eagerness to feel it all, I’m just loving it.
So catch feelings – for anything you may.
The sun, the stars, earth, water, sons, daughters, pride, literature, architecture, nature. Tell your mom and dad you love them. Go visit your grandparents. Feel for your pets, light, darkness – feel things for whatever you choose. It is your right.
There’s no need to hate the world for what it gives us. You can always find the light in your feelings.