It’s Okay to Feel

Well, well, well. Here we are a mere nine days (!) from autumn. The temperature will drop, the leaves will fall down, and the apple pies will be baked. With the change of season so near, should anything else be changing? I would say yes.

This topic has been on my mind because lately, I’ve noticed so many of my friends and classmates putting up the fakest front… myself included. Every single one of us is guilty of being fake with each other. This isn’t okay.

Now, I’m all for quotes, but I don’t love the ones that give the message “hey, just be happy all the time.” Wrong! You can be joyful in everything, but happiness is not typically something that is very constant. Feelings are not consistent things. And that’s okay.

This world is a tangled mess of broken people with empty hearts. Even those who have the joy of The Lord aren’t happy folks all the time. It would be crazy if, say, I had just experienced an awful breakup with someone and my friend asked me if I was okay and I said, “oh, of course! I’m a Christian, why wouldn’t I be fine?”

I think we’re afraid that people will judge us if we don’t appear to have it all together. Let’s be honest, guys. No one has it all together. But rather than letting others see who we really are, we show them our best and call it a day. No realness, no truth. And I despise this.

I’m challenging myself, starting today: I want to show people who I actually am. I crave freedom from worrying about what the boys in my theatre class might whisper when I wrap myself in a blanket to stay warm (side note: the theatre room is VERY cold). I don’t want to worry about what people in the hallway will think when I’m mouthing Pentatonix lyrics. I don’t want to worry about what people will say when I post five times a week on Instagram.

I just want the pleasure of being accepted for who I am, and not for who people think I am because of how I falsely present myself. If we’re all a little more open to sharing ourselves with one another, I think we’ll all feel a little better; I find that I’m much more content when I’m honest with people.

I know myself too well, so I know that I won’t be very good at this challenge for a while. I need to move over to the passenger’s seat and hand the wheel to Jesus here, because I’m apparently a pretty awful driver in life. Despite the fact that I always organize and plan things out, I’m constantly stressed because I’m afraid that if everything doesn’t go according to my plan, all is ruined. My agenda usually secretly includes “make sure people don’t know how you really feel” (whether I’m aware of that or not), due to the fact that I’m often feeling quite insecure around others. I mean, obviously when my friend turned down my offer of giving them a ride home, they meant that they hate my guts. GIVE ME A BREAK.

I read way too far into everything, and then I’m afraid to ask for clarification of a situation. Then, I go about my week feeling totally confused, afraid to feel anything. It’s very tiring. And I know I’m not the only person out here dealing with this.

This leads me up to my Segway into my main point… It’s okay to feel. Feelings are terrible, confusing things. They’re honestly the worst. As much as this is true, feelings are genuine and shouldn’t be pushed away… they’ll only grow uncontrollable if we ignore them.

So, this being said… Are you sad? Find a way to let it out so that it isn’t a crushing weight on you. Are you angry? In a respectful way, release the anger (I, for one, prefer writing a letter to the person/people frustrating me… but I never give them the letter [because it’s not always very kind]). Are you in love? Tell the person. Do you think the people in movies end up getting married to the love of their life because they’re too afraid to tell their crush how they feel? Fat chance.

Life isn’t meant to be something that we all float through, afraid to show our true selves or admit our own emotions.

You and your opinions matter.

Who cares what people think of your likes and dislikes? Truly kind-hearted people won’t cast you out for being a little different. As long as you’re respectful to yourself and others, sharing your opinion is 100% cool. Do you like brussel sprouts? Do you have a problem with feminism? Are you infatuated by silverware? Are you into Twilight? Is algebra your favorite class? Do you hate the summertime? Are PSL’s just not your thing? Do you prefer vanilla over chocolate? Do you like the current Disney Channel? Are you not a dog person? Shout it to the world and revel in the freedom of uniqueness!

Well, okay… don’t misinterpret that. It’s important to remember that, while God is still the only one who will ever be able to hold you accountable for things when you die… He’s going to hold you accountable. Don’t act out of stupidity, and don’t ignore God’s word or toss it aside. Christ is foremost here. We should live to please and honor Him, not other people.

Hopefully, this has encouraged and inspired some of you. It’s okay not to be okay, and it’s okay to show it.

Eyes open. Heart on full-love mode. Truthful tongue.

Let’s try it, shall we?

Blessings! Lauren Joy

 

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