So, it's been a long time since I had an actual rant on here. I mean, this blog IS called "Rants of an Optimist." I felt like today was a perfect day for a rant about something that seems to mess with people quite often. Our emotions.
For one, I am generally a happy person. Since I was a child, I always had this smile plastered on my face. I was always complimented on how beautiful my smile is. But, I think what most people miss is that fact that I have more than one emotion. Though I don't show it very often, I feel the gamut of emotions quite often. But I think it is the way I deal with the negative ones for the most part that allows me to move on to the positive ones.
A smile is a mask. Many times, it is a mask that I hide behind. Why? Well, for one, people tend to act towards you much better if you are smiling or in a positive mood. They are more likely to work with you on whatever you are going to them with and get it done without hard feelings. This is because positivity makes you a good person to be around.
But hiding hiding behind a smile is NOT healthy for you. If you push those emotions inside and don't let yourself feel them at some point, they will bottle up for a long time. It is a proven fact that those who bottle emotions physically get sick more often, have higher blood pressure, better chance of heart attack and stroke and can end up blowing up at the wrong time. Blow ups can lead to loss of friendships or ties with family members. It is truly very sad.
And something that I have experienced first hand. There was a lot of things that I allowed to bottle up for a very long time and I finally blew up on a March morning. Now there are family ties I am sure I will never regain, and members of my family who won't even say hello to me when we are in the same vicinity.
I have learned that bottling up emotions is not a good thing at all. After my mother's death, I hid a lot of pain and resentment inside myself. Though I went through counseling in high school, it never really helped much because I wasn't comfortable with the woman who I went to see. I told her what she wanted to hear. I told her what was expected. It all went down to the one time I said something I truly meant and the woman said that "I think you are lying." I acted out in the wrong ways for the attention that I craved.
So when I got to college, I hit a dark place in my life. Those first couple years of college were some of my most tumultuous and painful. They were lonely. I remember spending hours lying on the floor just being sad. I remember sitting in the dark because I didn't want to turn on the light.
But I came out of that dark place thanks to the help of some great friends in my life. Through their hugs and them lending me their time and ears, I have developed ways to cope and move on from those bouts of darkness. I learned from those months of happiness in between the darkness that I was bottling up every negative emotion I felt because I was afraid that feeling it would lead me back to the dark place...and eventually it had.
So, what I really learned. If there is anything that you can learn from this post, it is this: let yourself feel the emotions. If you are sad. Cry. Be sad. But let it happen because it will pass. If you are angry, find a way that won't hurt you or someone/thing else and let it out. May it be talking to a good friend or lover. Or screaming into a pillow. Or playing a musical instrument. Do it. And let the anger pass.
I know for a fact that humans don't like feeling negative emotions. But if you let yourself feel them, they will pass. I think that we all need to remember the phrase "This too shall pass." Because it will, everything does.
And if you find yourself is a dark part of your life, know that I am always here for you. Even if we have never met. I am always willing to listen to you and let you get past this part in your life.
And if you are presented with a friend who is sad and angry, don't pass them off. If they are coming to you, it means that they trust and love you. It means that you are their person and they want to come to you with all the issues that they are dealing with. Most of the time, they just need someone to listen to them for a little while so they can figure out how to move on. You can be that person for someone.
And that is more of a gift than you could ever imagine.