The Permission to Feel

Grief, Heart break, Rejection, Failure, Loneliness
They are all part and parcel of life. If there are anyone who said they have never gone through any of these, they have not experienced the reality of life.
If you have experienced any of the above, how do you process the experience?
I lost my grandmother on Christmas Day 2019. I just returned to work for a day after my sister's joyous marriage celebration, and the sad news came. I took an urgent flight back immediately after work, and the days that followed were a blur. There were funeral ceremonies, comforting others, folding of papers, chanting etc. The instruction to us was: "Not to mourn too much, do not cry too loud, so Grandma's soul can rest in peace."
To be honest, there were stirrings in the heart during the few moments when I saw my aunts/ uncles cry. Most of the time, I was numb. The feeling was almost like a ice flake. The moment I touched it, it melted to nothingness. I felt guilty that I felt that way, and felt disconnected with myself.
When colleagues asked, "How was your holidays?" Do I say, "It's fine / I'm ok?" Well, I was not sad, but was I ok? I felt stuck in my throat.  Since the funeral was over, things should resume to normal like going back to office right? It felt wrong! I needed to pause and have time with myself. Therefore I took a day off, and went to Bali for a long weekend just to be with myself.

Through my reflection, I realised I did not give myself permission to process my emotions. Anything that wanted to surface was crushed so quickly I barely had any chance to face or respond to what I was feeling. Once I allowed myself to release the sadness, I felt truly ready to receive whatever that is coming my way next.

If you feel your life is generally “ok”, and bordering numbness and emptiness, that could be a signal: years of neglecting your emotional development.
Since young, we were told to "Stop crying. Do not be a baby. Stay strong." Day by day, every denial of emotion is equal to “I DONT MATTER.” It is chipping into our self confidence, self worth and self IDENTITY. 
There’s also a saying that “time heals.” Is that true? Will time heal wounds if you simply DO NOTHING?
I doubt so. 
Acknowledging your own emotion by showing vulnerability, shedding tears, revealing disappointment, anger, sadness are all acts of compassion to self. There is NOTHING WRONG with you. Be gentle with yourself. We are just BEING human.
There’s an inner child in all of us that yearns to be loved and comforted- regardless of gender.
If you see a child crying in real life, what would you do? 
Seeing some videos where passerbys just ignore accident victims in need were so heartbreaking for me. If collectively as a society we forgot to embrace the crying child in us, how can we expect to have empathy for others? 
Have you given yourself permission to properly process these experiences? 
Or you simply say, “I’m ok” and “move on”?
Being vulnerable is giving yourself permission to process trauma and FEEL the negative emotions. Following the 5 steps of grief, only through release, could we acknowledge and accept the situation, before we can truly move on. 
Being vulnerable is being tender with yourself and not abandoning your inner child. YOU MATTER.



It’s ok to be NOT ok. When you have felt the world has given up on you, Stay with yourself. NEVER abandon your inner child who’s with you since you were born.  


When our hearts are whole, we have the capacity to love again. 

Cottongrass Co holds authentic relating events where we practice being human and build a conscious community. Sign up now for the next gathering happening on 11 Jan, 2020, 4:45pm-7pm.