The world feels bleak to me today. Bit by bit my work in the fall is officially being rescheduled or cancelled. I’m horrified and angered by the murder of George Floyd. My once carefree, athletic little dog is confined to his bed for the foreseeable future. Political leadership continues to spread outright lies on Twitter (although Twitter swung back.)
Sometimes I just want to say, enough. Enough. I’ve had enough. The world is a mess even without this pandemic. I’m a mess. I’ve not been in a good mental space all day, and the continued cruelty and stupidity of what happens in the world feels overwhelming.
I know what you’re going to say. We need to practice gratitude. We need to look to a more long-term future. We should believe that these challenges will foment positive change and bring the world together. Life and music will return. Look at the bright side: your dog is alive. Hey, look, you can still pay rent, unlike some people we know.
And it’s not that any of these statements are unreasonable, or untrue. It’s just that sometimes, it doesn’t matter, because they don’t make me feel better right now.
I think it’s important to feel awful sometimes, to feel hopeless, to feel angry, to feel despondent. It’s important to understand that you don’t need to reason or cajole or meditate or whatever yourself out of those awful feelings. And we are often too eager to not fully engage in those uncomfortable emotions, eager to find ways to put them aside.
And this is what I want to say to you: sometimes it’s good to say, enough. I’ve had enough right now. To say, I don’t need you to tell me to look on the bright side, or that better days will come, or that I should be grateful. It’s OK to really sit in those awful feelings, and to feel angry and powerless. Because unless we can acknowledge their existence, recognize them as our own, and fully feel them, we can’t authentically be ourselves, we can’t authentically be human.
And when we can fully accept these feelings, we have the tools to be able to work through them, to work beyond them. And that’s a whole other post, and something I don’t want to write about right now.
Today I just want to say I feel deflated, and despondent, and that it’s ok.