#21: Everything is going to be okay
I hope you’re doing well, and I really mean it. Many of us are struggling right now, but I promise you everything is going to be okay.
In my little universe, I interact with writers - people who write on the Internet. I’m not exaggerating when I say that every writer I speak with is experiencing a dry-spell. They feel like they’re throwing spaghetti against a wall - putting forth effort, but getting back a bunch of gobbledygook.
This feeling surpasses our careers and passions. It is not only limited to writers. Many of us, human beings, are feeling a spectrum of negativity and cynicism.
We’re in a global funk.
I don’t blame us. There is a lot is happening in the world. We’re approaching the second year of a global pandemic, people are dying from fires and floods, there is political instability around the globe, human rights are being threatened, global leaders are fighting, nail-biting elections are around the corner in Europe.
And this is just what we read on the news!
Sheesh - no wonder we feel cynical and helpless.
In other news, in our little reality, we each have our personal lives to tend to: our families, our careers, our dreams, visions, and goals.
We also have all of the daily, situational things that bop around in our minds. All of the questions, like: what will I eat for dinner? will I get to exercise this week? when is the next time I will get to see my parents? when will I finally start that hobby I keep putting off? will I have time to see my friends this weekend? am I seeing my friends enough? do I need to call my parents more? am I too busy? am I not busy enough?
It can be a madhouse in our brains.
Phew, I’m tired writing all of that. It’s a lot to feel.
Yes, I said the “f” word: feelings.
The truth is that our feelings need to be heard and respected. They need a place at the table. Feelings are a sign, from our body and our mind - and like a compass, they can help us navigate turbulent times.
If you’re feeling dull, pessimistic, cynical, and/or bored, you’re not alone - you’re just a human being living in 2021. The good news is that you have the power to change how you feel.
Our emotions are like an iceberg. There are some emotions, like anger, that we tend to outwardly display, and hurt ourselves and other people in the process, but really the anger is covering up some deeper emotions, which are really the root cause of our suffering.
We can also apply the iceberg model to pessimism. A pessimistic mindset is the outward display of deeper emotions. Pessimism manifests itself in a dullness and boredom, a general blah, things are mediocre shitty, but I’ll just tell people everything is good because I don’t want to confront my feelings, attitude towards life.
I grew up with a pessimistic attitude. Most days, I felt a malaise and melancholy. I ignored these feelings for a long time, even though I was suffering. I didn’t know that the root cause was actually self-doubt, shame, and guilt - and I didn’t know that I could work on these emotions.
As a recovering pessimist, I continue to struggle with finding joy amidst the negative narratives I hear in the media, and un-learning negative thoughts that I have internalized, but now I know that mindset and emotions are like a muscle that can be trained.
There’s a lot of trauma in the world, and healing this trauma starts with healing ourselves. We each have a responsibility to create the world we want to live in. This change starts by doing inner work and confronting our deep feelings, so that we can show up positively, authentically, and courageously, in our relationships.
I challenge you to look beneath your surface level emotions to understand what is brewing down below.
I also challenge you to speak up and share what you’re feeling. A safe place to start the process is with a therapist.
Take care, and be well. Everything is going to be okay.
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