I hate that we sometimes feel alone in this life – the fact is that we are never alone – there are always others out there going through the same thing that we are, it’s just that we need more of us who are willing to be honest about it so we give permission to everyone else to feel comfortable being honest about it as well. None of us are perfect and that is perfectly okay! Which leads me to my message today:
The start of the New Year is always filled with mixed emotions. It’s a little sad to take down the Christmas decorations and box them all up because it means the holiday have come to an end. At the same time, it is also nice to have the house back to normal again, ready to start the New Year. Life is like that. It seems that in any situation involving changes in our lives there is the blend of both sad feelings and happy feelings. And if there is anything you can be certain of it is that life is full of changes. Life is full of endings and new beginnings. And anytime we go through changes, or endings and beginnings, there is an incredible amount of emotion we deal with as we go through it, and I believe that sometimes we get afraid to express the emotions we are coping with to anyone else around us because we are afraid that they might judge us for feeling any sadness when we have something happy also coming. Thus, many of us hold our sadness or fears in and try to cope with them on our own. Sometimes that works but sometimes it doesn’t, and not being able to express what we feel can cause us to become isolated, lonely, and withdrawn.
I spent time with a dear friend the other day and we discussed why it is that we hold certain feelings in and don’t express them to others or ask for help in dealing with them. We came to the conclusion that many times we are coping with emotions that we hold in and don’t share with anyone because we almost feel ashamed for having them…almost ungrateful for having them…and we worry that if we were to express them out loud that other people would judge us as being a terrible person for having those feelings…so we often hold them in and don’t deal with them properly and we don’t ask anyone for help in dealing with them. Not good.
A perfect example from my life – I sold my company in 2012. Selling that company was a tremendous blessing in my life without question. But there was also a sad part that came along with selling it. That company had been my baby for many years. The employees were like family to me and the clients were dear friends. So selling it, as happy as that was, also came with the sadness of no longer having those people in my life every day. Yet voicing my feelings on the sad part was something I never did because I didn’t want to seem ungrateful for the happy things it brought to my life. I was going through a major shift in my life – a huge ending and a huge beginning – and yet I didn’t feel comfortable talking to anyone about those emotions and how difficult it was to go through because I felt I shouldn’t be having those emotions to begin with. I told myself I should just be grateful – which was true, and I was, extremely grateful – but the reality was that there was still a major life adjustment happening because of it that caused a lot of internal stress for those first few months after I sold it and had I felt comfortable talking to someone about the feelings I was experiencing they could probably have helped me get through it much easier than what it took for me to get through it on my own.
Having learned that lesson the hard way, I have decided that it is always better for ALL of us to feel comfortable being honest about our emotions when we are going through changes and need support, even if they are supposed to be happy changes in the eyes of the world, that doesn’t matter because change is still hard – even when it’s good and happy. And it’s okay to ask for help to deal with your emotions when you go through those life changes – whether that help is through a friend or a professional (professional counselors are amazing!) – seeking out help and support is always a good thing! And it doesn’t make you weak or ungrateful or incapable! It makes you a stronger person because you had the courage to be open and honest and seek out help to move past it in a healthier way. So there – I said it – and that is the gospel according to Amy!!
So having said that I will tell you that this year is one I am super excited and super sad about at the same time. This year my kids will both be out of the home. On the one hand I feel proud and happy that my kids have grown up well and are independent enough to face the world on their own – but on the other hand there is a huge ending happening that is incredibly sad – my time as being the person they need most in the world is coming to an end and my entire identity as a parent is about to change drastically. I am not ungrateful that they have grown up. I am proud. But the truth is that it is still killing me to be only a few months away from becoming an empty nester! It tears me apart inside. So I am being honest in saying that I recognize that I could use help getting through the emotions that will be coming into my life later this year when my two kids will both be in college. And I am not going to let myself feel embarrassed or ashamed to admit that to all of you – in the hopes that my being willing to admit that will give any of you going through a difficult life change yourself the courage to admit it and get support and help getting through it as well.
Here is to a new year of being happy and healthy and dealing with our stress and sadness that comes this year in the happiest way possible, and never needing to be alone as we do.
Happy New Year everyone! Have a great weekend.
Tagged admit, afraid, alone, anxiety, ashamed, bad, begin, beginning, change, changes, christmas, coping, counseling, courage, embarrassed, emotion, empty nester, end, ending, express, fear, friend, good, happiness, happy, help, hold it in, holiday, honest, identity, identity crisis, incapable, independant, integrity, isolated, judge, lesson, life change, lonely, never alone, New Year, open, perfect, professional, sad, sadness, share, start, stress, support, ungrateful, withdrawn