Yes, We Can Feel “This” and “That” Together

A topic that often comes up for me in therapy is feelings and emotions. We work through the tough emotions together and my therapist often reminds me that we can feel more that one emotion at the same time.

This time if physical distancing and isolation has brought up a lot of emotions for me and I am guessing the same is true for many of us. Lately I have been noticing that I am experiencing what appear to be contradictory feelings, feelings that don’t seem to make sense together.

For example:

I am feeling a deep and profound feeling of grief. I grieve for a life I used to live, for the missed milestones for my children (like graduation ceremonies and hockey banquets). Its for the freedoms we used to enjoy, for the people who are dying and the families they are leaving behind. I am grieving the loss of a relationship, the loss of my home, the loss of being able to work closely with the staff and students I love so much.

At the same time, I feel tremendous hope. I have hope for a planet that is healing. I have hope for humanity that is willing to do this really hard thing. Think about it…no one has been forced to physically distance. We are doing it because it is the right thing to do. I have hope because this is bringing out the best in humanity. I have hope for a return to our friends and families. I have hope that we have learned something about what really matters.

You may be feeling similar conflicting feelings. Maybe, like me, you are feeling:

  • anger and acceptance,
  • anguish and joy,
  • confidence and vulnerability.

It can feel very uncomfortable. It can feel very strange. But the beautiful thing about being human is that we are able to hold both and many emotions at once. As my therapist tells me, you can feel THIS and THAT. Let’s allow ourselves to be more human during this time of isolation. Let’s become curious about those contradictory feelings.

If you are finding it difficult to navigate difficult emotions at this time, reach out. You are not alone. Find someone who can help you make sense of the challenging times we are going through.

As always, friends, stay safe, stay home, reach out, be well.

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