I used to have unthinkable thoughts–thoughts so dark I thought they made me a bad person. I had unfeelable feelings–feelings so big and scary I thought they might swallow me whole.
A good person wouldn’t think these thoughts.
A good mom wouldn’t have these feelings.
So I pushed them down and pretended they weren’t there. And when those thoughts and feelings forced their way through, I denied them, excused them, tried to explain them away.
Because I wanted to be a good person. I wanted to be a good mom. In my rigid thinking, those thoughts and feelings didn’t coincide with how a good person would think and feel.
But as I healed and grew, I began to understand what it looks like to live wholeheartedly. I began to understand the complexity of being human and how thoughts and feelings can be unexpected. I began to look at myself with curiosity. For example, I might think–
Wow, I feel really irritable today. I wonder what’s going on with me? Am I tired? Do I need alone time? Is something making me anxious?
Or, Hmmm, I feel sad today. It feels like a heavy blanket. Where is this sadness coming from? How can I be gentle with myself today?
Or, I feel energetic and happy today! I feel like the sky is bluer and the sun is shining brighter. What is contributing to this feeling of joy? Did I sleep well? Finish a creative project that is filling my soul?
There are no thoughts or feelings that are off limits. Thoughts and feelings don’t define me–they’re information. They don’t control me, they give me insight into what I need and want.
I am layered and complex and imperfect and amazing. I can be all these things at once. I can be surprised by my own thoughts and feelings and hold them with curiosity and wonder. And when I do this for myself, I’m able to do it for other people, too. I’m able to hold others with less judgement and love more fully.
Do you make space to think and feel hard things? Can you let yourself go to dark places and breathe through it? You are loved–right now with all your complexity. Breathe. Everything is okay. Breathe. Even if it’s not okay, that’s okay.