Am I depressed? Does it matter whether or not I know the answer to this? How do you define a feeling?
I have the need to always understand, compartmentalise, and wrap up every emotion I feel into a nice little box, so that I can step back, examine, and understand it from afar. Does this make me a control freak? I have a friend who thinks I am, but I’m not so sure. Does it matter if I’m a control freak? Do I really need to understand every single facet of myself in order to be happy? I work so hard to understand, and then my feelings change, and I have to spend my time trying to understand them all over again- always catching up. Does understanding really help me in the long run? Would my time be better spent doing something else? Is it even possible to understand your feelings anyways? I know that having a label for what we are experiencing can help us to know that it’s normal, and give us the tools to work through it- and that is definitely a positive thing- but I don’t think that’s what I’m doing right now. What I’m doing doesn’t feel positive, it feels like I’m obsessing and trying to control my emotions. Am I obsessing? Why can’t I embrace the messy, confusing feelings for whatever they are, and then just move on? Why do I feel the need to understand everything?… Is it to separate myself from the feelings, so that they’re not so personal?
And here I go again… trying to understand why I feel the need to always understand.
My feelings are a part of me after all. Or are they? We are friends, enemies, strangers, and roommates; we work together. My feelings push me to grow, to change, to move forward. I choose wether I want to embrace them or to say “thank you, but you can move along”. We are partners I suppose, but I am not my feelings. Maybe I don’t need to understand any of it? Maybe I just need to surrender- to the emotions, to life, to the process of it all, and instead of working to understand, I can work on developing a deep sense of knowing- of trusting- that no matter what comes, I can and will get through it.
I know who I am. I have a support system. I am strong. Feelings sweep through me; they come and go, but they do not define me. I am the same person no matter what my feelings are telling me. Maybe I need to just focus on that?
Besides, lately I’ve processing all these feelings through my mind, and I know that the mind can not be trusted. Instead of asking my mind how I feel, should I be asking my body? The mind has good intentions, but it’s very unreliable- very easily influenced by outside sources. The body on the other hand is our biggest supporter, it’s love for us is unwavering and unconditional. My body has never once lied to me or tried to hurt me. My body and I are in this together- bff’s till the end. More than friends or roommates; we are sisters. I trust my body to tell me what I need, because it’s smarter, kinder, and more loving than my mind could ever be. I ask my body because it knows- it always just knows.
Sinking into my body and listening to what it needs brings me into the present moment and let’s me focus on “the now”. When I’m having a particularly bad day mentally, this is the best cure I’ve found. There’s no need to overthink or obsess over why or what all of these feelings mean; only to focus on the present moment- my breath, my heartbeat, where my body is holding tension, where it feels good, the feeling of air dancing on my skin, how good it is to be alive.
Am I writing a post about meditation right now? Is that what this is turning into? I don’t even meditate that much, but maybe I should? Well obviously I should, everyone knows that. Is meditation what all of this is about?
I don’t know, guys. I’m not writing this because I have any answers to share. I only have questions. “Hi I’m Jessica, and I have a lot of questions, and a lot of feelings.” I think I need this on t-shirt. Can someone make this happen for me? Thanks.
I guess I’m writing this to try and come to terms with the fact that I don’t need to always understand everything about myself. In fact, it’s probably healthier if I don’t. What I do need to do is listen; just listen to what my body is saying, and practice being kinder, gentler, and more patient with me. Feelings will come and go, and I can’t control that, but I can control how I speak to myself and choose to move forward. My experiences with depression have brought me into some very dark places of hating and blaming myself for how I felt, but that is just not true, nor is it helpful.
The truth is that you are built of love, from the inside out. Your body loves you, your body wants to be healthy, your body is doing everything it can to support you. It might need a little help, so learn how to help it, not blame it. Your mind isn’t the bad guy either; it’s doing it’s best, but it’s not the most reliable- it’s easily fooled. Life and emotions don’t need to make sense, and they don’t need to be understood in order to be felt or worked through.
So, moving forward, I’m going to practice letting go of the obsessive thoughts and desperate need to control everything. Instead, I’ll focus my energy inward on being more present, more accepting, more compassionate, more loving… and I hope you’ll join me. We deserve it, don’t we?