It’s only Wednesday, and I already caught 3 people attempting to diminish their feelings. I, too, engage in that narrative. The one that sounds something like “I can’t complain, I know many people that are much worse off than I.” Here’s the challenge with diminishing our feelings…
Our feelings are real. What you have felt, are feeling and are going to feel ALL matter. YOU matter. While perspective is useful, humbling and a can serve as a benchmark it should NEVER be used as to measure what you are feeling. Your feelings are unique to you based on your life experiences. Feelings aren’t a competition, there are no winners or losers. I’ve learned, rather painfully, that when I subvert or measure my feelings about what I perceive should be so, I’m engaging in self harm. I’m creating a narrative that I am less than. Goodness knows that life’s thrown us plenty of curveballs this year alone. We are the LAST ones that should be making our journey more challenging.
You are not alone. On the feeling and emotional continuum, according to The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in Nickel: This new mental health campaign is what we need right now in sports and in Wisconsin, “More than 17 million adults in the United States have endured at least one major depressive episode in the last year, according to National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).” This is an alarming number. It also notes “at least one major” which means there are those that have had more than one, those that may remain in that state, and likely many more with less than a “major” episode. In the event you’re not familiar, mental health challenges are known to be underreported. All to say, you’re not alone.
While I will explore a bevvy of considerations in the future, today we’re going to begin at home. What I’m going to suggest seems so easy, and yet you will find that it is one of the more challenging possibilities. Commit to changing your relationship with yourself. I heard someone share a story about a Peloton rider’s username “Change the chatter”, let’s borrow that. As soon as you are willing – change your chatter. Commit to talking to yourself the way you would speak to someone you care deeply about. And, if you’re willing to share, I’d love to hear how that makes you feel.