One of the most well-intended yet detrimental things we say to each other, and to ourselves, is “Don’t feel that way” followed by an equally well-intended “chin up” soliloquy.
“Don’t feel sad…it’s okay… things work out for a reason”
…and it WILL be okay and I DO believe things work out for a reason but right now, it isn’t fucking okay. And you need to give yourself, and others, permission to feel that.
“Don’t be upset, he/she was a jerk (or insert appropriate epithet)…you’re better off”
…and you probably ARE better off. And that doesn’t change the fact that you still have feelings about the situation. Someone can not be right for you and you can still be sad that your time with them has ended.
I can’t stress enough that, while this is always well-intended, it is COMPLETELY and UTTERLY DISMISSIVE and keeps us locked in a culture of being unable to feel, express, and process our emotions in a healthy way.
It’s okay. We’ve all done it, and you know I do not play the shame/blame game. We do the best we can until we know better, then we do better.
We don’t like to see other people in pain. It’s a natural human instinct to want to comfort them and take their pain away.
There’s a better way to support someone’s healing. Imma teach you ‘bout it now.
Straight fire truth:
🔥We are self-healing when we allow ourselves to truly feel.🔥
We must allow ourselves to FEEL and let it be okay that we feel.
And the most powerful amplifier for that healing is when someone else holds space for us to feel and process.
Holding space for someone looks like:
💖…being completely present with them in the moment
💖…offering ZERO judgment
💖…offering ZERO advice
💖…offering ZERO platitudes
💖…simply saying “I’m here with you, I love you, you are safe. Let it out.” and passing them the Kleenex (take a few for yourself too)
THAT is what someone who is grieving really needs…holding space for them to know they are safe as they ride out the storm, as they bring up the emotions that have been buried in the depths because they haven’t been allowed to truly feel them.
When we allow ourselves to truly feel and process our emotions, we move that energy out of our systems and we begin to truly heal. Depending on the depth of the pain, it may need to happen a few times. We heal in layers...just like peeling an onion (and the tears are natural here too).
THAT is how we can truly support each other in healing our pain.
Sparkle on, friends…💖