It’s okay, to be not okay …

bad-feelings_2

Here is the story. I was in a networking event, meeting some old friends and discovering new ones. A good friend of mine was running toward an important thing (a cocktail,  a prospect, a cherry tomato, we don’t care…) and while walking in front of me, he smiled and launched a warm “hey Virginie, how are you today ?” without stopping his walk. I was in a kind-of-worried-anxious-tired-mood and I answered “Well…”. Immediate effect. That friend, lost his smile in a second, stopped his walk, u-turned, and staired at me with wondering eyes. I saw how my beginning of vague answer did affect him. I felt I had to reassure him “I’m okay, it’s okay, I’m okay, no worry”. Pretenting everything was okay, more then ever.

Not okay, really ?  I realized at that specific moment, the reason why I was most of the time reluctant to admit my bad feeling : it takes some energy and bravery to assume it. The possibility that something could go wrong is a bad signal that makes some people uncomfortable. But well, look at our crazy world : what can cause some bad feelings ? Potientally a lot : stress, multiple and constant social interactions, quick decision making, always on and ready, juggling different human facets and context. That, each day. And it may be hard to protect ourselves, in this multitude. Each of us has a kernel, that under attack will create ususally negative reactions, pain, sadness, violence, anger,… Well, I did not invent anything, I am not the first one telling that we all have a dark sidet (some french friends wrote about it [1] [2]). But the reason why I am talking about it is because I recently spent some times trying to understand my dark side and spent some time on my bad emotions. And I found few things to deal with those negative feelings.

Admit it. I do not question anymore, I am not hiding myself, I stopped denying. Admitting my dark mood and accepting the associated feeling has been a great victory (but the battle is still going on…).

Share with some. Not being okay can be dealt alone, but balancing this loneliness  with time spent with my friends and familly helps. So if I wanna share that bad feeling or state, with others. I choose them carefully. I take someone I believe will not be yelling or crying after my announcement, or who will not start denying, judging my feeling. This part is difficult, as our affective relations do not always allow to have the appropriate distance (which for me is empathy with no compassion). By the way, congratulation to the lucky winners, and thank you, friends, I love you !

Feel the feeling. My body and I are co-existing with that darkness (bad mood, bad thoughts, bad intentions, deep sadness, well, you see). That’s a fact, you have to cohabit with it. And I found that mindfulness can help : it suggests to recognize the physiologic signs in your body associated with the sadness, anger, all bad feelings. Once being able to detect from your own sensations where you are on your emotional scale, you can decide what to do with this :share it, keep it, monitor it, control it, or run away. Well, usually minfulness suggests to breath, but it’s up to you. There is no judgement here, neither a good way to manage that feeling. The objective is just to be in a position to choose how this internal feeling will affect your relation with the others and with the world.

Silence the feeling. Meditation is also an intersting exercice to create a DMZ. A white zone, empty, where nothing happens ! I just concentrate on breathing or noise around, filling my thoughts. Looking for that neutral state during ten minutes (or more, depending on how brave I am) helps also to relax the storm created by my internal fight between being kind and being that miserable thing able to yell at anyone.

Express the feeling. I have a wander-wonder mind. My thoughts are always climbing somewhere, making links, balancing, reminding something. I guess like all of you, there is always something happening. I have decided ot use that energy to write, draw, take picture, and share my thoughts on this blog. While doing those things, I have no shame (anymore) to integrate my dark filters. And I believe this is what makes me a human.

Learn. I am also trying to learn about the bad feeling source. Where does it come from, is there any explanation ? Any psycho or cognitive reasons. Explaning is not about judging or skipping, but about understanding, and thus helping better admiting (go back to point one of this post). Some side effect could be that bad feeling vanishes but this is not a quest for me, my own quest is understanding. At least this is my own mecanic that will allow me to survive the idea that I am not a perfect person. I recently had a great time looking at Brené Brown on how vulnerability is cool. I also got the difference between being aggressive and being violent. All those little pieces of information makes me understanding my own humanity and internal amazing life.

That’s a lot, right ? You can try some of those tools, or not. But experiencing that path is sooo interesting and rich, that I am just about to wish you veeeery bad days to give you a chance to play with it ! Mouhhaahhhaaaa…

[1] french blog of a french psy I like http://cabinet-hacor.com/2016/09/28/le-gentil-mufasa-et-le-mechant-scar-ou-lillusion-du-bien-et-du-mal/

[2] La bienveillance, c’était mieux avant https://medium.com/@valvert/la-bienveillance-c%C3%A9tait-mieux-avant-80f9a64d889c#.iojgi830x

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