Last week I was shown on national television bawling my eyes out. Wailing. Ugly crying. Several GIFs were made of me with tears streaming down my eyes. There were mean tweets about me along the lines of "can Catie just stop with the crying already? Ugh she is annoying me." Articles were written in national magazines about whether it was appropriate for me to have been crying as much as I was. While part of me wanted to defend what was happening and share more of the background about why I was crying, such as the things that I had been told or how extreme the isolation is in filming or how unable to access the tools like yoga or journaling that I usually use to temper my emotions, I decided not to. Instead, I decided to fully embrace the beauty of what I was seeing. The raw humanness that I was witnessing.
I decided to remember to tell myself, and to tell everyone else, that to feeling feelings is okay. That you can be powerful and also vulnerable. That you can be strong but also soft. And that in fact, to feel feelings is one of the biggest gifts that we get to experience as souls on this wild journey.
When we put a stop button on certain feelings, we press a stop button on our ability to fully experience all life has to offer. Without pain and sadness, we wouldn't appreciate big joy or the waves of bliss that follow after. Without allowing ourselves to dive into the sweetness of life when things are going well, we would lose hope when things get difficult or bleak.
We are told that some feelings are okay and some feelings aren't. But it's all okay. It's all beautiful. It's all divine. Life is messy. It's imperfect. It's also impermanent. That's where the beauty lies. Our ability to experience each feeling as it arises and feel it fully is what is the juice of life. That's where the magic is.
I spent several years not crying. I mean that. Not even once. I hated the way that crying felt. I hated what I looked like when I cried. I hated the feeling that would swell in my chest. As a child, whenever I felt like crying I would run and hide underneath my bed so that no one would see me or know. Luckily, my Dad figured out my tactic and would quietly sit on my bed until I was ready to come out and talk about what I was feeling. I hated uncomfortable feelings, so I just avoided them. The issue is that when you avoid what's uncomfortable, you slowly start to turn down the light on your life. You mute it. The colours slowly start to fade and the magic dwindles.
A few years ago I decided that I wanted to access greater levels of joy, bliss and enthusiasm in my life, but in order to do so, I knew that I had to learn how to sit with and feel into uncomfortable feelings too. It's a pendulum. The more uncomfortable you allow yourself to be and feel into, the greater the joy you get to feel on the other side.
Seeing myself cry so openly and so vulnerably on national television was a massive gift. Because I worked hard to be her. The one who feels. The one who is okay to embrace whatever is arising, knowing that it'll pass. The one who learned that there's no shame in feeling uncomfortable feelings and being honest about it. The one who knows that only by feeling into what's uncomfortable is what allows it to be released. The one who knows that each feeling is a gift, designed to take you deeper into your heart, deeper into your knowing, and deeper into your soul. The one who knows that being vulnerable can be difficult as hell, but there's no greater gift than to allow yourself to experience your humanness.
My wish for you is this: don't be scared to feel uncomfortable feelings. It's okay. Putting a stop button on your feelings will only quash the magic that is available for you in your life. And I want you to have magic. You deserve all the magic.