Almost a year ago exactly, I broke up with my boyfriend of two years after a month of just moving in together.
Ending things with him wasn’t exactly something I wanted to do—but I knew I needed to. The moment I did it, it felt like I stomped on my own heart and drowned myself into emotional misery. And to top it all off, I had to live with him for four months after we broke up. Needless to say, there was no separation which didn’t make it any easier. The entire situation was a complicated disastrous mess that I put myself in.
During this time of suffering, instead of exhausting myself even more by covering my emotions with a mask—I wore them. It didn’t matter where I was or who I was with, they remained visible. I just showed up as I was, with my feelings, and I didn’t apologize for it.
I can remember one of those moments very vividly:
On a Sunday afternoon, my friend, Danielle, called me and asked if she could stop by to pick up a shirt she left at my apartment. When she came into my apartment, she shouted my name, and I shouted back, “Up here!”
She walked upstairs not only find me almost in tears because of an argument I just had with my ex, but also fully naked because I was taking a bubble bath.
I looked at her and said, “Can you french braid my hair?”
In this moment of pure vulnerability, Danielle opened up space with nothing but acceptance. She sat on the edge of the bathtub to braid my hair like the wonderful friend that she is.
The point I am trying to make is that society teaches you to suppress your emotions, but I am here to tell you that you don’t have to. In fact, brushing your emotions under the rug doesn’t clean up anything. You’re just collecting dirt that will eventually pile into a bigger mess later on.
I have an invitation for you.
Rather than joining the social norm of covering up who you are and how you feel. Reject the system that doesn’t work and doesn’t serve you. Choose to practice showing up authentically, even when it feels difficult. To embrace how you feel, instead of denying it. To give yourself permission to sit with your feelings, although they are uncomfortable. To provide space to dismantle through your emotions, so that they don’t carry into the next chapter of your life. To be patient, despite how long it’s taking you to heal. And to remind yourself that it’s okay not to be okay.
Are you accepting the invite?