The phrase ‘your feelings are valid’ may sometimes feel tone-deaf or boring, because why would they not be valid? Isn’t that intrinsically what the human experience is based upon? Why would your feelings not be valid? But in many ways, we may minimise our own feelings in the way we talk to ourselves, or others use language that makes them seem unjustified.
Life, the world and your place in it can be often be more than confusing. You can easily squash what you are feeling down to a pulp, because you’re trying to overcrowd your mind with the idea of gratefulness. That what you’re feeling doesn’t matter so much because you could be feeling much worse. You’re being irrational, over-reactive, paranoid. You may convince yourself that it’s your mental illness talking, or that you don’t even have grounds to feel the way you feel at all without working through the why and trying to understand where it is coming from. Everything you are feeling is worth giving your attention to, because it has grown from somewhere and is worthy of being felt, and being worked through.
Your feelings can often seem invalidated by what someone says to you in response to you sharing what you feel — even if they didn’t mean to do so — (ie. ‘don’t worry, it’s not that bad), or filter into your subconscious from posts floating about on social media about finding the good in everything.
Feelings are not able to be right or wrong. Feelings just are. They are natural sources of information for your brain, and should be treated as so. If you ignore them, try to suppress them, or try to replace them with something else as an easy fix, they will only work their way back in a different way and often in a more intense way.
If you do not allow yourself to feel your feelings, to validate them or to allow yourself to work through them, the stitching on your old wounds may come undone unexpectedly. The pain feels fresh, almost new, as if you had not healed at all. And the process of healing begins all over again.
It’s okay to feel angry at the state of the world, at other people’s opinions. You are completely justified in feeling upset, confused, anxious and unsure. The most important thing to remember is that your feeling, though, is not a reflection on the situation itself; it’s a reflection of what’s going on inside of you as a result of the environment and the state of your mind. Work with yourself in understanding them, rather than against yourself. Allow yourself to feel whatever comes your way; your feelings are valid.