Society doesn’t give us the opportunity to process our emotions. It promotes moving on and just ‘accepting’ what life has served up to us. I like to call this stifled grief.
Grief isn’t sexy. Being vulnerable and letting people see that life has hurt and debilitated us, isn’t easy. Especially in today’s fast-paced culture, we want fast resolutions. And the quickest way to feeling better is, well, embodying that feeling. But it’s not fixing the problem, just masking it.
What we end up with is an emotionally stunted society who have become masters of stifling their pain.
Asked, ‘are you okay’, what you reply is rarely how you feel. Instead, we tend to hide how we really feel, in order to save face. It’s simpler to smile and say ‘yes, I’m fine,’ rather than show genuine emotion. We’re scared of showing a glimpse of weakness, especially if we don’t understand what it is that doesn’t quite ‘feel right.’
Getting in touch with yourself and your feelings will help you move on and continue your life in a meaningful way. Grief doesn’t have to mean tears, intense pain and sadness. Grief looks different for everyone. You might break down and weep for days, while someone else might feel nothing, completely unmoved.
There’s no way to label what grief comes out as, as well as how it’s handled. Grief knows no time limit, either. Like the theory that it takes half the amount of time that you were together to get over someone. It softens the pain, yes, but grief and loss is a lifelong commitment.
Let go of the macho.
It’s important to give yourself space to let yourself feel. Bottling it inside and ignoring it will just make it worse. The grief never goes but it does grow and it’ll turn into something that’s more difficult to manage.
Society misunderstands grief. Western culture suppresses pain, but you shouldn’t. Find ways to process your emotions. It could be as simple as giving yourself 15 minutes every day to sit down, with no distractions and write down how you’re feeling. Yes, this is being vulnerable and honest, but it’ll allow you to address the grief, get to know it, and move forward. Don’t let society tell you there’s a quick fix. There’s not. There’s no simply ‘getting over it’.
Only you can change the course of your life, by going inward.