Last week we got the news that our summer vacation would be nixed (no big groups allowed). I felt so defeated. The kids and I had been clinging to the hope for our end-of-summer vacay to get us through this time. Then I felt a wave of guilt because people are experiencing much bigger losses right now and my problems aren’t really that big. I’m having a privileged pandemic, relatively.
Dr. Marc Brackett called this kind of feeling a meta feeling on Brené Brown’s podcast. It’s a feeling about a feeling. I bet this is happening for a lot of people right now since there’s such a vast range of experiences during the pandemic.
Many people are experiencing catastrophic losses—lost lives, lost employment, loss of dreams, loss of normalcy While others are relishing The Great Pause.
Some are terrified.
Some are burnt out.
Some are getting six-pack abs.
I was wracked with so much anxiety a few weeks ago that I ate an entire jar of Nutella with a spoon. (Which was a step-up from the week previous: eating chocolate chips from the bag, huddled away from the kids in the corner of the mudroom like a bridge troll).
It’s easy to invalidate your own feelings because they don’t measure up when you compare them with other people’s.
Yet all feelings are allowed.
There’s no such thing as an inappropriate feeling. Feelings are simply emotional energy that arises within you from your experiences.
Denying or suppressing your feelings leads to even more problems. They’ll sneak up on you later in a much uglier way.
You can hold space for other people’s struggles and honor your own feelings.
It’s not an either/or.
So go ahead and acknowledge what you’re really feeling right now. You have permission to experience the fullness of your own experience.
Wishing you ease.