I think we are all afraid to say we have feelings. It’s understandable, really. We live in a world where the people we tend to be fascinated with the most are the ones who are reserved and laid back. We ridicule people who express their feelings openly and unashamedly. We are always more interested in people when we think they aren’t telling us everything, and once they do we aren’t interested anymore.
So we pretend we don’t have feelings. We act like our emotions are just things to bottle up and restrain, and that showing them means we aren’t normal. But even the least emotional person has been moved at one point or another.
We are human. We have feelings. And it’s okay.
We stopped looking at feelings as beautiful and natural ways of expression and labeled them inconvenient. The more emotions you feel, the less stable you are, they say. You are vulnerable and weak, and those aren’t considered desirable. Never mind that emotion also means you have compassion and a big heart as well. Those things don’t appear as important, because you also have the capacity to be dramatic, jealous, or angry. We worship the people who act like they don’t care and who appear like nothing fazes them. The less emotion you have, the cooler you are.
Maybe because somewhere in us, we know we are affected by our emotions so strongly and we wish we could control them. So we praise the ones who look like they can.
I’ve been the chill girl. The one who shrugged her shoulders when they apologized for canceling a date. The one who said she liked a guy or thought he was alright when inside she was feeling things so intense she was even making herself nervous. The one who pretended to not even notice when a friend walked out of my life. Who acted as if the joke made at my expense didn’t cut me deep. I hid my emotions because of the fear of being labeled emotional. And it wasn’t until I was comfortable enough with someone who let me express the way I felt, in all of it’s messy and uncomfortable glory, that I realized how silly it was to pretend to not feel. How unrealistic it was to pretend my feelings are a switch I can flip on and off, instead of an unpredictable and powerful hurricane.
We want everyone to love us and to love who we are.
We are afraid that by expressing our feelings out loud, we are going to scare them away from loving us.
Yet the truth is not everyone in this world will love you. Not everyone in this world will be looking for the things you offer. It doesn’t make you less valuable, less worthy or love. When you take a look at who you are, and decide that you love the things that make up who you are, you put yourself in the best possible place you can be. Because then regardless of whether anyone else likes you, you know that you do. Eventually it means that you can love someone else. Someone who appreciates you for the person you are, instead of validating it.
Because at our core, we all have feelings that we don’t always know what to with.
We are playing a joke on ourselves if we pretend that we aren’t feeling anything. We are kidding ourselves if we honestly think other people are always chill, laid back, and unemotional. We all have our moments. We all have been shaken and broken and excited and amazed. We need to stop wearing a mask that is just as indifferent to a gorgeous sunrise as it is to a devastating loss. We need to look around an understand that feeling things isn’t something to be ashamed of. Feelings things in intense amounts isn’t anything to be ashamed of. It makes us human, and it connects us if we let it.
Let’s stop pretending that unemotional is the best thing we can possibly be.