Growing up, I was a sensitive kid. I would feel things at extreme magnitudes. Pain and happiness were equally overwhelming. The lows were really low and the highs were really high. It was a double edged sword. But at least I was learning about myself and I felt alive.
It was a blessing and a curse, because while I had to deal with my everyday life like everyone else, my emotions were a really big hurdle to navigate. Oftentimes, I didn’t want to feel them, because they felt like a huge distraction from operating normally.
However, I learned that balance was the best way to go. I had promised myself that no matter what I was feeling, there was a day to be lived. There were things that had to get done. There had to be a choice and a discipline that followed. I couldn’t react to everything that happened around me and let it paralyze me and my productivity.
I tried really hard not to let my emotions eat me up. There were times where I suppressed my feelings. I had periods where I felt totally numb and times where my emotions still got the best of me. It’s all really a journey of ups and downs. You just come to a point where you realize that you can still feel deeply and be balanced. You can still be sensitive and resilient. You can still be in deep pain and not break, even when it feels like the end of the world.
It’s not that your feelings became smaller or that they became less intense or valid, but you learn to grow around them. You learn to place them in the big picture. Your thoughts your narrative have the power to put these emotions into perspective, to give them a hug and handle them from a mature lens. At the end of the day, you come to learn that they are just emotions. Just reminding yourself of that tones it down a little. With time, your feelings become more like a compass to show you where you should focus your attention and where you should do the internal work. Ultimately, instead of being your weaknesses, they could become your strengths.
To be honest, not feeling doesn’t allow you to reflect on your life. It’s like not knowing how this human experience is going. Are you sad? Scared? In love? Ashamed? Excited? All of our lives, we feel things to some degree and that help us in some way to always get feedback to improve our situation. I don’t think there are good or bad emotions. We should all remember that. All emotions are equally important, and it’s inevitable we’re going to feel them all. Life doesn’t completely shield anyone, and then your feelings mirror your personality to you. Heartbreak is heartbreak, there is no sugar coating losing your parents or being betrayed by a friend or being sad because you’re ill or your country is at war. So let’s normalize being sad just as much as feeling content. Only then can you let yourself be at peace with the process of feeling and observing whatever may arise and ultimately healing.
At the end of the day, when you’re dealing with intense emotions, you should try to use your brain to rationalize and say, “What do we do now? How do we get the engine going forward? Why am I reacting this way and what can I do to improve the situation?” That’s the never-ending dance, utilizing both your heart and mind. So let’s feel and think and navigate our lives using all of our human capacity. You are not a victim. You are powerful beyond measure.