There are many people who go about their day masking their true feelings and putting on a façade of happiness because they don’t want to disappoint people who consider them to be the ‘strong ones,’ ‘the happy ones,’ ‘the emotionally stable ones…’
If you too are feeling this way, if you too are holding back your true feelings because you don’t want others to see you as weak, please understand that there is inexplicable freedom in being in touch with your feelings and letting them out in the open.
It is really okay to have feelings and being able to express them openly and honestly.
I admit, I was always trying to keep it together, even in my worst moments and never let anyone see me struggle. I would smile and poise for the public even in moments when I was dying inside.
Last month, I attended an event and I bumped into a friend who I haven’t seen for a very long time. We got into talking and she asked me: “How are you doing? Is everything okay in your life?” And my response was: “No. I am doing everything I can to not fall apart. I am in a very difficult phase in my life and I hope it will be over soon…”
She immediately made it clear how disturbed she got from my response. She said: “Wow… You sound so pathetic and miserable. You are not supposed to tell this stuff to others. It’s too much. You’ll drive them away. You should only think and say positive things.”
At first, I felt stupid about my response. I immediately started regretting having said that and ruining my “image” of a “strong and upbeat” person. At the same time, I felt embarrassed for letting out my vulnerability and exposing myself.
However, after I thought about it for a moment, I figured that I don’t have anything to be ashamed of because my answer was genuine. I realized that I am in a place right now where I don’t have time to pretend and fake anything. I only want honest and genuine connections. I am no longer pretending that everything is fine when it’s not.
I also thought about how many people wear masks every day only to avoid showing their vulnerable side because they don’t want others to make uncomfortable or they want to persevere their façade of strength and power.
But, the psychotherapist Barton Goldsmith said, “When you open your mouth, you’re also opening your heart. And knowing that someone truly hears what you are feeling and understands you is soothing to the soul.”
That’s why being open and forming genuine and honest connections with other people is so important.
Oftentimes we cover up our feelings because we want to mask the pain, but the pain won’t go away by acting out and pretending we are happy when we are not. Therefore, allow yourself to feel and truly experience your emotions.
Stop telling yourself that things are okay when they are not. You are not weak for that. Cry if you want to. Scream. Smile. Laugh. Expose your fears. Be vulnerable and honest with yourself. Share your truth and never apologize for it.