Updated: Oct 5, 2019
I have been shamed in the past for singing too loudly and dancing too freely, but song and dance are two of my healthy outlets. As long as I'm not overstepping my boundaries with others, I believe the more outlets a person has, the better. Emotions can't stay bottled up. They need to be released.
This morning, I woke up feeling sad and angry. I ate breakfast quickly. From above my spoon of oatmeal, I glared around, hating the world for all the blame and judgments I have absorbed. Soon, a headache began to build and that's when a terrible dream from last night resurfaced and took over.
I suffer from post traumatic stress.
I have nightmares quite frequently and an enormous amount of anger and pain living inside of me. I used to let this pain fester. As a kid, I didn't know any other way to deal with my emotions because I had very few healthy outlets. Most days, I swallowed the hate and sucked the tears back in because I knew if I cried I would make family members uncomfortable and if I screamed I would scare people. I hoped for the pain to disappear inside and subside over the years, but life goes on and hardships continue. As I grew older, I realized I needed to expel these negative feelings in a healthy way. I needed song and dance.
So after finishing my oatmeal this morning, I went upstairs, put on some music to match my mood, and danced out my feelings. I belted out verses, messed up lyrics, sang off-key, cried, and lost my balance a few times, but in the end, I felt better. I chose a more uplifting beat with each new song, working my way from rage to sadness to hope and elevation. I brought myself back up to a place of positivity. I physically pushed myself through the pain to emerge on the other side stronger--energized with a cleaner more powerful emotion: love.
The anger and sadness will come again, I'm sure. I wouldn't be surprised if I wake up tomorrow feeling the same, but as long as I have my outlets and my tools to get myself back to a place of positivity, I know I am on the right track. There is no cure for negative emotions, nor should there be. The world can be a very negative place and it is only natural for a person to feel angry and sad in the face of negativity, but how a person handles those emotions is what determines true strength. I could have walked out the door this morning and yelled at the first person I bumped into, but that would have only perpetuated the pain and revealed weakness. A strong person doesn't take negativity and pass it along to another. A strong person takes negativity and finds a way to expel it in a healthy way or turn it into positive energy to feed into passion. I often visualize a machine inside my chest--a sort of contraption meant for sucking in pain and churning out a relentless drive for positive change.
What are some of your outlets? How do you react and handle pain?