Embrace your emotions
Most of us who become bachelor(ette) the second time around, are often told that it is going to be okay. ‘Time will heal the loss/separation’,’just get busy’, ‘divert your attention’…..
I feel otherwise. The more you ignore the fact that you are angry or sad about this phase of your life, the more it is going to have a long lasting effect. I keep emphasizing these 3 lines to myself:
1) Do not try to forget the incident/person who put your through this phase,
2) Try to forgive the incident/person
3) And express your emotions and your feelings
I eventually let go and started howling, crying with the grief, it paved the path for me to reach the first and second points sooner. And this was no Bodhi tree enlightening I received. I did tread the path of ‘everything is going to be alright, now put on your happy smiling face’. The result – I started going through literally zombie moments during the day. I would get lost in deep thought, I was unable to concentrate and hold a conversation and worst of all, my 6 year old started noticing. He started asking me if everything was alright with me. Most of you must have experienced at least some of this, right?
During that time I was introduced to a person who was a widow and a trained counselor. Her advice to me whenever I felt low was cry…Just cry. Let it out. Squeeze out every tear there is in you! Don’t hold back.
At first, it felt a bit awkward to hear this advice. But as I gradually started following it, I found a big difference in my day-to-day emotional levels.
While interacting with phoenix family community members, I felt that there were others as well suppressing emotions caused by separation and their anger started to change them into a different person. E.g. A member was overly straight forward and blunt to whoever she spoke with. But after a few chats with her, I realized that she is a very emotional and soft person whose suppressed emotions were not only changing her character but was affecting her child as well. The child, who had seen a loving mother, started seeing a very angry person in her. Her child began to withdraw from her.
I know! I know! I have been there. It is much easier said than done. There are reasons we avoid expression. We are not to be fully blamed of course. We hide emotions for various reasons. People may not understand, they may take advantage of my vulnerability, I do not want to bother my dear ones, I do not want to be looked down upon. The reasons are endless. What I have noticed is that by suppressing our emotions and feelings, we tend to create layers of protection on top that alter and transform our real character. And with time you tend to feel the layer of protection you created is your real self.
So the challenge is finding the environment to express. I find that people are often able to freely express themselves with people in a similar situation as they find empathy and not sympathy. And I know that not all are lucky to find one such trusted shoulder. I say use your alone time to cry or vent. Punch that wall or pillow, cry loud, and yell the questions you would not hear answers for. I confess, my office restroom was my primary “expression room”. Alternately, inculcate the habit of writing a journal to express, that helps a lot. It helped me.
So do not hide behind a mask. Embrace your emotions and let them out. Hit them head on … just do NOT let them take over!