The fact is, we’re all so quick to seek answers externally, (from outside of ourselves). Writing from personal experience, when I’m feeling unhappy for whatever reason, I tend to hyperfocus on my appearance, seeking a sense of ‘betterness’ through changing myself- my weight, hair, tattoos, clothes, makeup, etc. The problem with doing this, however, is that, in being so quick to run away from my feelings, to ‘squash them down’ and ‘bury them away’, I never get to uncover what’s really going on for me, I never get to realise the root cause of my feelings of discomfort, and so, such feelings keep coming up again and again, and I end up in a cycle of; feeling crap, cutting my hair off, feeling even worse about myself when the hair cut doesn’t solve anything, and on and on the cycle goes. I know that I’m not alone in this, either. In fact, I believe that it is this tendency to seek refuge in other ‘things’ or even, in other people, that significantly contributes to the mental health crisis we find ourselves in today (1 in 4 people in the UK have a mental health condition-Mind). As I pointed out, when we ‘run away’ from our feelings because they’re ‘too uncomfortable’, going to the hairdressers instead of a therapy appointment, for example, we never allow ourselves the chance to heal. Whereas, sitting with our feelings, whilst yes, it might make us feel uncomfortable for a while, (in fact- it will, there’s no denying that), it will also make us feel alive, instead of the default- ‘numbness’ that we usually feel…
So, I challenge you, next time you’re feeling; angry, sad, lost, confused, numb, (all of the above), to sit with those feelings, no matter how uncomfortable they might make you feel.
I’ll be right there with you, ‘practicing what I preach’, leaning into it (the discomfort), in the knowledge that; it’s the only way that we can become self aware, by really looking inwards and questioning how we’re actually feeling, acknowledging what we’re actually going through, (because, it was never about our body or our hair or anything else we clung onto to distract ourselves from the real issues).
And so, let’s all sit together, all the while, being gentle with ourselves, showering ourselves with compassion, whilst reminding ourselves, and each other, that there is hope, that things will get better.
The discomfort is temporary, but, the growth we will experience in sitting with the discomfort, that’s permanent, and it will be so worth it, I promise.
For the day when we wake up and, finally, feel like we’re alive, not just existing, it will be so worth it, a million times over,
Just sit with it.