“We all experience difficult times in our lives. Some of you may be experiencing them right now. Death, divorce, job loss, sickness, depression…all of these things can be traumatic.
I’m directly in the middle of one of the most difficult seasons of my life. I don’t want to focus on the details, but I do want to focus on the emotions and how they impact every aspect of my life. As much as I would love to push the negativity aside and focus on the positive, that’s not always possible. And I don’t think it’s healthy.
I have spent a good part of my life putting bandaids on gaping wounds. Healing, real and true healing, does not look like personal development books and good vibes only. Healing is messy. Healing is sitting with your sadness, anger, rage, confusion, shock, discontent, and letting yourself feel all of it. Those feelings won’t go away. They can be pushed down and suppressed, but until we feel them and really process them, we will keep them inside us. Those feelings will fester, and at some point they will impact our lives again and again.
Sometimes I’m sunshine, and other times I’m a tornado. That’s because life is exciting, happy, and filled with hope. Life is also messy, painful, and tragic. I don’t think we need to give our energy to positive things all the time. Yes, we should as often as we can! But sometimes the heavy things require our energy and our time too.
Every person heals in their own time. Every person processes trauma in different ways. If you need to scream, then scream. If you need to write, then write. You might need to cry, share your hurt, or seek therapy. There may be days when all you can do is breathe and sleep. All of this is okay. Give some of your energy to the negative things that are happening when you need to, because they are happening, and may require your attention and energy in order to heal from them.
I’m not suggesting you stay stuck in these places of negativity for long amounts of time. But in a ‘good vibes only’ society, we are failing to process our trauma. Most of us don’t even know how. And that makes us unable to help the people we love through their difficult seasons, too. Love yourselves enough to embrace your pain and really heal from it.
The price I’ve paid for not properly healing has done more damage than good. I have continued to attract other broken people into my life, time and time again. I’ve realized that I cannot attract healthy, healed people, if I’m not healing and healthy myself.
My emotions and my healing are my responsibility. Letting go of toxic positivity in a good vibes culture has been the biggest step in my healing process. I encourage you to embrace the trauma and the pain, work on it, feel it, and then heal it.”
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This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Jennifer Vaughn of Alabama. You can follow her journey on her website, Facebook, and Instagram. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.
Read more from Jennifer:
‘I never thought I’d be one of ‘those’ people. You know, the ones who lose control of their lives and spiral. Turns out, I’m wrong.’: Woman learns to ‘celebrate imperfections’ after trip to psych ward, reminds us failing is only ‘human’
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