Ugh…this happens to me all the time.
But I have no reason to. My life is so blessed. Here I am sitting in a beautiful house that my parents are graciously allowing me to live in until I finish my Master’s degree, I have not 1, but 2 jobs, and I recently got a full-ride scholarship for grad school, so I have no debt; I get to purely save my income because I have minimal expenses, oh and did I mention I have THE CUTEST daughter to ever walk the planet???
Yeah…my life is pretty ok right now.
Yet I find myself having bad days like everyone else and I do a little bit of whining.
But hey, I’m still human, right?
Then I was thinking…and I realized that it is healthy to complain…in moderation of course.
My whole life I always felt like I had such a good life and I was so priveleged and blessed that I had no business complaining in the slightest. I knew so many people that had FAR BIGGER things to worry about and I felt like if I ever complained or admitted to having a bad day I would be considered such a spoiled little brat.
The other day I was mentioning to someone that I was feeling a little overwhelmed now that grad school had started…and she responded “well at least you’re in grad school, imagine all those other single moms out there roughing it who aren’t as lucky as you”
Ouch. That was enough to shut me up. And make me feel stupid.
Then I spent the rest of my day feeling so guilty that I was feeling overwhelmed, and I basically couldn’t get it out of my head (I’m kind of an over-analyzer in general).
Then, in one of my classes we began talking about empathy (a common theme for professional counseling).
During the lecture we were discussing working with tough adolescence…and how many of their remarks are that “You just don’t understand what I’ve been through!”
How does one respond to situations where you really have not experienced has tough a situation as many people are in? How do you empathize with them…when empathy means that you can understand what they are experiencing?
The professor said you can respond with something along the lines of “You’re right, I don’t know what you’ve been through, but when I look at you I see pain, and I’ve experienced pain too. It might not have been from the same way you got pain, but I understand pain”
This made me think….we are all allowed to experience our feelings.
When we are validated in our emotions and feelings, it is easier to work through them.
Our feelings may have come from different events. Some people will experience much worse and traumatic events than others…but we all share the human experience of feeling things.
Feeling overwhelmed, stress, sadness, pain, anger, loneliness, joy, happiness, tiredness, etc. These is how we can relate to others. We all feel things. Our experiences differ, but we are united in our feelings.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it’s ok to be a slave to emotions, but I don’t think acknowledging a feeling is bad.
For so long I’ve held my feelings in because I felt too guilty to admit that I was overwhelmed or tired or stressed when “have been so blessed and have such a good life”.
Don’t misunderstand me…I DO have a great life and I AM extremely blessed, but I am also human and I am allowed to feel down every now and then without getting a total guilt trip for it.
In fact I think it’s healthy to acknowledge a feeling and then let it go.
That is actually something I’m learning in school…it’s better to acknowledge and validate a negative feeling than to keep it bottled up. Once the feeling is brought to the surface, it is easier to let it go.
So….all this to say, I will choose to have brief whine sessions every now and then, and I will NOT feel guilty about it. And then I will let it go and move on with my life.
Whine and cheese at my place!
Who’s with me!