Valid Feelings

One of my favorite things about living in Charleston are the impromptu run-ins with friends. Anytime, anywhere… you never know! This morning, I decided, such a gray day would be perfect to go somewhere and write. Upon entering my favorite coffee shop I saw a friend and amazing yogi, Jessica, sitting at the counter. We got to chatting and both being from the Boston area, the subject immediately jumped to the marathon bombings. Both of us were here in Charleston when everything happened.

Honestly, I think being so far away from the events made dealing with the entire situation more difficult. Phone service was down in the city so calling to check up on family and friends was nearly impossible the day of the bombings, the news dramatizes everything; that week was just downright scary.

[On the day of the bombings – a dear friend from home had gone in to watch the race and I was unable to get ahold of her after the explosions, friends were running, people I know work in the city… The day of the manhunt – the same morning that I dropped my mom off at the airport to fly into Boston and the day my brother and friends were on lockdown…]

After talking about our experiences, we were in question as to whether or not we overreacted emotionally during that week. The answer? Not one bit.

All of our emotions {happy, sad, anger, fear} are real and they are always valid. Jessica and I had every right to feel sadness and fear for the Boston community being 800+ miles away. Maybe others viewed me as overreacting while crying at work, fearing for my brothers safety. But crying and reaching out to my family via phone calls and texts was my way of being present and respecting my emotions.

Suppressing our emotions and labeling them as invalid isn’t healthy. If we choose to be happy then we also need to love our emotions and find healthy ways to express them. Right?

I choose to be happy. I choose to respect my emotions and others’. I am willing to be vulnerable and expose myself. I choose to go where love is and allow myself to be seen by the people who have the capacity to see me.

You are only overreacting if you label yourself as doing so. For that, there is a simple solution. STOP.

The conversation Jessica and I had ended in acceptance and was sealed with a hug. Everyone we know is safe and our feelings remain valid and true.

Love.

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