Post Grad Duck #5
Per usual, there are a lot of emotions swirling around in my head. And in that way, I’m a lot like Riley Anderson. Riley is the main character (sort of) in the new Pixar animated film, Inside Out (If you’ve seen the movie, then you know why Riley is sort of the main character). I don’t want to spoil the storyline because it’s a good one and I encourage everyone to see it, but I do want to spoil this.
IT’S OKAY TO FEEL AND IT’S OKAY TO BE SAD.
It shouldn’t be. I think that more often than we are willing to admit, we’re told that we need to keep our emotions in check. We’re taught that feeling too much isn’t a good thing. If you’re a girl, it makes you dramatic and if you’re a boy it makes you too sensitive. (I don’t want to gender stereotype, but in the game of emotions, sometimes that happens, does it not?)
Feelings are a part of who we are, all of us. For Riley, five main emotions of joy, sadness, fear, anger, and disgust literally make up the mechanics of her brain and control how she reacts at any given moment. In that way, emotions are what show that’s she’s alive. The same goes for us. Emotions give us vitality, they give us personality, they give us…us–they’re who we are. No, they’re not all of who we are, but they’re still a pretty big part.
In a great article detailing an interview between, Amy Phoeler, the voice of the character Joy, and Pete Docter, the director of the film, Phoeler had this to say, “…Sadness is like a superhero.” And the film proves this to be true. I won’t tell you how Sadness saves the day, because it really is a film that I encourage everyone to go see, but I can tell you about why I agree with Ms. Phoeler.
Sadness is an emotion that demands to be felt. It’s raw and it’s vulnerable and sometimes we can’t escape it. I know this personally because of the season of depression I experienced during my junior year of college. But I also know that we can’t escape sadness simply because like I sad before, it’s a part of who we are. I’ve been sad this week. It’s an emotion that allows us to be who we are. Sadness is a pusher, if we allow it to be. It can push us to the far corners of ourselves that we want to ignore. It can push us to points that make us want to break. It can push us to beyond where we’re comfortable. Is it fun to be sad? No, of course not. But sometimes it’s good. We need to feel so that all of us, all of who we are, can function–the parts we love and the parts we hate. It’s not fair to just let our favorite parts of ourselves to operate, it’s not true.
Yesterday I had a really good conversation with a friend. He said a lot of things that really resonated with me, but the one word that’s stuck with me is vulnerability. Earlier I said that sadness is vulnerable, because it is. Vulnerability is beautiful. It’s not easy, but it’s beautiful. Sometimes, sadness can push us to the necessary point of vulnerability, the point where other emotions can grow in our hearts so we can heal. But if we don’t allow ourselves to be sad, we won’t allow ourselves to properly heal. And in one way or another we need that healing…all of us.
So if you’re sad, that’s okay. Be sad. Be vulnerable. Be brave enough to heal.
[Jesus, thank You for emotions. Thank you for feeling. Help us to own them, but to not be controlled by them. May we listen to them and not ignore them, ultimately bringing glory to You.]
photo credit: www.screenrelish.com