It is okay to be not okay.

Me at Coban Talun, Malang, Indonesia.

Sadness is often portrayed as negative and bad that we often hide it. Whenever we feel sad, we quickly tell ourselves to be happy. Sometimes we feel bad for feeling sad. We feel worse for feeling bad. Endless. But, is it really not okay to feel sad or to show the world that we’re not feeling okay? That we’re unhappy? That we’re sad? Regardless of the reasons, it is still a feeling. (And this writing might be related to my previous post, read here!).

Anyway, many of us are trying so hard to be happy that we often blame ourselves for feeling unhappy at some points in our life. We provide us countless reasons to be grateful, hoping to be happy – not to be sad. But somehow it still hurts, it’s still painful, and we start hating ourselves thinking that we’re not thankful enough for what we’ve got. We feel bad. We feel guilty. But again, we can’t really reason with feelings. The thing is it can never be helped. So sometimes, I think it’s necessary too to show people that we can feel not okay. It makes us human. Truth is there are times when I don’t feel ok myself, and I find strength by reading or listening to others who feel the same. It is not that I am happy with the fact that they don’t feel okay. It’s just that it helps me to accept that it is okay to not feel okay myself, and so I blame myself less for not feeling okay. And it makes me feel better. And it gives me courage to move on with my life; I am not alone.

So, well, I know many of us (including me myself sometimes) seem to get sick with people complaining, whining, etc, that we might feel discouraged to show that we are not okay, fearing that we’ll be judged for it, thought to be ungrateful. But hey, if that really makes you feel better, go ahead. We have no idea how others can relate to our stories and find strength and courage from them, how our sad stories might actually help others to accept theirs and make them feel better. But of course, if you prefer sharing happy stories more, that’s good, too. I know I often find happiness witnessing others’ happy life. Even though things do not always work out for me, I’m glad that at least they work out well for others. And it kinda gives me hopes, that maybe someday it will work out for me as well.

Me at Mount Lemmon, Des 30, 2017.

My point is, we shouldn’t feel bad for feeling sad because it’s not our fault. Sometimes it just happens. Haven’t you experienced being so emotional, feeling down, feeling so sad out of the blue? Like, you know you’re not supposed to feel that way; you don’t want to feel that way; and you’re mad at yourself for feeling that way. Often times you’re not sure why you feel that way. Or maybe you know, but you just can’t accept it? You tell yourself that you should actually be happy, but you simply are not. Well, it just happens. Feelings are inevitable. We won’t be happy all the time; it’s okay to feel sad too sometimes. It’s okay to feel not okay. We just need to accept it and find some ways to get back up.

And, I know many of us are worried about people’s reactions towards our feeling down. Some will think we’re just complaining and need to stop doing it. And we don’t want them to see us as bad. Understandable. It’s a good thing that we care for others’ feelings, but I think that’s not how we are supposed to do it. I mean, caring for others shouldn’t make us disregard our own feelings, right? It shouldn’t inhibit our freedom to express ourselves, right? Remember the golden rule: as long as it doesn’t harm or disadvantage other, go ahead!

Just like that. I mean, I’m trying to do self-acceptance, stop blaming ourselves all the time for the things that are beyond our control. So, if you feel sad and feel like sharing it, do it. If you feel happy and feel like sharing it, do it. Being sad and being happy are just parts of our life anyway. So, any sad stories you want to share to make you feel better?

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