By Laura Day:
We live in a society where we have been taught to suppress our emotions, only show people our ‘perfect’ lives, live the right way, do the right things and don’t differ from that path because you will be rejected.
Women are meant to be this perfect ideal of life with the perfect unattainable body, happy, gentle, motherly whilst men have to be strong, masculine, unaffected by emotion. If a person is seen crying or angry or affected, we look down on them as a victim, as someone weak and not strong enough to do it on their own. We give negative feelings towards negative feels because we have been brought up thinking that sadness is bad, pain is immoral and emotion is merciless.
I want to be a strong and empowered woman, but as soon as I show a side of myself that isn’t a happy, bubbly, welcoming presence people think there is something wrong we me. I become the victim. I begin to say to myself, “how dare you feel like that, there are people in this world experiencing so much more pain that you could ever imagine. You do not deserve to be sad. You should be happy and grateful for the life you have been given.” But you know what, no matter how much we try in our day and age, there is always going to be poverty, there will always be war and there will always be someone experiencing suffering greater than you can ever imagine.
Your sadness matters. Feeling pain does not make you any less human; it is a part of you. Ignoring our pain and emotion is ignoring the growth and transition we need in our lives in order to push forward and to move through all our shit.
Emotion is okay and feeling feelings is natural! Don’t be scared to feel your own pain.
IMAGE: Nobara Hayakawa