It’s Okay To Be Not Okay

Have you ever felt the term “think positive” is overgeneralized?

I’ve been there, and so has everyone else. You’re not alone in feeling less than okay. It’s just like getting a cold. It’s going to happen and, you can’t always prevent it. All you can do is take care of yourself until you get better. Amidst a tough time, at times to “focus on the bright side” just doesn’t cut it.

To downplay, deny or dismiss those not-so-good feeling emotions denies the human experience. Once we truly see this truth, we transcend it!! So if you’ve been feeling bad about feeling bad, I encourage you to reframe how you view positivity.

Feel all your feelings all the way through!

We humans aren’t wired to feel pain but to avoid it. When we fully embrace our painful emotions – no matter how vulnerable that makes us – that is when we can access our source of strength. You do that by leaning into, versus running from (minimizing, invalidating, drinking/eating down, or distracting yourself from) your uncomfortable emotions.

Don’t try to handpick which emotions to feel and which ones to avoid. When we choose, we confine ourselves to living only in the middle octave of life. In a true sense is not living at all! So if you have a tough time and feel pressure to put on a smile, accept whatever comes your way. It will help you to avoid the scourge of toxic positivity and work through those not-so-fun feelings in ways that serve your highest good.

When uncomfortable emotions arise, sit quietly and let them pass. Let not your feelings judge you for who you are. For instance, I’m feeling sad right now versus I am sad right now. See the difference? An emotion is something you experience. It’s not who you are. When we fully feel our feelings, it helps us to loosen their grip. On the flip side, when we deny or avoid uncomfortable emotions, they bury deeper. When left without any channel for expression, they fester until they eventually express themselves in destructive ways like lashing out and inflicting pain.

Avoiding difficult emotions makes us hostage to them.

Allowing yourself to feel all your feelings all the way through is a profound act of self-liberation. Actively processing and allowing ourselves to show up for our emotions is what heals all wounds.  It is okay to feel pain, scared, grief, and, to feel uncertain. It is okay to be not okay. Yes, it will pass!!! It is impermanent. You can honour your emotional experience by being present for it and not by distracting or avoiding it with every fibre of your being.

Embrace yourself and your feelings with compassion. Be kind to yourself and permit yourself to be fully human. If you’re unsure how to do that, imagine what the most loving person you know would say to you right now, and say that to yourself. Aloud. I promise you, it helps!!!

Be selective. Not everyone deserves the unfiltered truth of our lives. Curating a fake emotional world cuts us off from the people who could help us carry our burdens better. Wearing a smiley-face mask may provide the illusion of invulnerability, yet, it ultimately puts us at greater risk of superficial friendships with counterfeit intimacy.

We build resilience through authentic connections. The maxim- “A burden shared is a burden halved” holds timeless truth. We assume that reaching out for help and sharing the truth will make us look weak. In reality, it’s one of the bravest things we can ever do.  Confront painful realities, but retain hope. Being fully present in life’s harsh realities and hoping for a positive future are mutually inclusive. We can honour our negative emotions without abandoning optimism. No matter how hard the times are, they won’t last forever.

“The cure for the pain is the pain,” -Rumi. So embrace those painful emotions. Then, like dark clouds in a stormy sky, it will pass on over. Those dark and painful emotions are just as essential to the full tapestry of our lives as the lighter ones.

Diversity makes for a rich tapestry!! All the threads of the tapestry are equal in value irrespective of their color.  We must confront our deepest fears and not deny them. There is no place for toxic positivity in that space.

My Journey

Author: Dr. Roopal Patel

I’m Dr. Roopal Patel from Mumbai. A Dentist, Mrs. India 2018 runner-up, an International Yoga Instructor, the Chief Administrator of a Yoga Institute, a fitness model, and an avid traveler at heart with an insatiable and burning desire to explore the world, having set foot in 100 countries across 6 continents as of now. An adventurous alpha mother and a spunky globetrotter who has a claim to fame: ‘Atlas in my hands, adventure in my eyes, and never-ending wanderlust in my veins.’ My aim in life is to inspire and bring a smile to every life I touch. I live by the phrase "Carpe Diem" and firmly believe in यद् भावं तद् भवति ।