Everything I Feel is Okay

I feel angry and even sometimes that I want bad things to happen to some people: the people who ignored all our warnings about where this country was headed; the people who sat on the sidelines because they wanted the perfect candidate; the people who enabled those in power through their actions or their inaction.

I feel helpless and hopeless. I feel afraid.

I feel silly and ridiculously optimistic.

Sometimes I feel in a rush to get things done. Sometimes I feel that I don’t want to do anything, that I just want to stop and lie in bed or sit in a comfortable chair. A nice, ergonomic Eames chair. And everyone, including the people I love, can fend for themselves.

Sometimes I feel endlessly tender toward family and  friends, and then that feeling expands to include everyone else in the world, even those who would wish me harm. But almost instantly I feel that everyone else is on their own, and I can’t help anyone except those closest to me because I haven’t the material or emotional resources.

Sometimes I feel certain that, with all these conflicting feelings, I must be losing my mind. I feel inadequate and useless–a terrible person. Cracked and broken and past any hope of repair.

Sometimes I feel proud and brave for having endured the difficulties I’ve gone through so far in life. That then turns to feeling I’m being dramatic because other people handle these same situations just fine, so I must be weak deep down.

Sometimes I feel arrogant and judgmental, and then I feel guilty and ashamed for being arrogant and judgmental. And in the next moment I feel base and lustful, wanting only food and drink and sex and other pleasure. Then I decide that this only makes me alive and appropriately human.

Sometimes I feel that everything’s ending, and almost simultaneously I feel that everything’s beginning again, and I feel terrified for everything and everyone that I love and might lose. And soon I feel incredibly fortunate because I’m sure that all those I love will be fine.

If it’s a good day, I eventually come to myself and remember that these are only feelings, flowing from the different parts of me, from the ways those different parts are trying to come to terms with life’s uncertainty.

And I remember, too, that uncertainty is nothing new; it is our constant state. But all too often, that’s easier to forget. When we don’t have daily bulletins about a rampaging disease and death and economic trouble, we can pretend that those maladies will never belong to us. That we live in some magic land, like the one the old folks in the film Cocoon travel to at the end, where we and our loved ones will never grow old and never die.

On those good days, I realize that feelings are information. That they’re often less about the state of the world than the state of my psyche, and all of them are okay. I remember that the measure of my life won’t be the fleeting feelings that wash through me, but will consist of what I choose to do with them.

Today, I’m trying to choose compassion, compassion, compassion. For myself. For everyone and everything else. And for all the tangled and confused bits of me trying to make their way in this ultimately unfathomable world.


One thought on “Everything I Feel is Okay

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