Sit in Your Authentic Feelings When They Aren't Blissful

November 28, 2022 Joanna Satterwhite

I know how important authentic feelings are to recognize. I'm feeling a little blue. Sorrier words have never inaugurated a blog post, I'm sure, but I'm not here to impress you, I'm here to be authentic, to share authentic feelings. What's authentic right now is that it's just one of those days. 

In a past life—say, my life between ages 17 and 26—I would've really fretted about this. I would've moaned and sobbed. I would've called each one of my friends and family members, in turn, to announce that woe was me. I likely would've rounded this circus off with a panic attack and then, perhaps, a self-sabotaging binge. I might even have self-harmed to punctuate my punishment. These days I just shrug and throw my hands up. C'est la vie. 

Authenticity in Your Feelings Allows for Pain and Pleasantry

I am not trying to demean my former angst or anyone else's, truly. The bloated sadness I used to feel was absolutely authentic; I couldn't seem to escape it, no matter how hard I twisted against it. This was the problem, though, the twisting against it. Any tiny dent into my frail mental health would send me tumbling. I'd worry a pebble until it became a mountain. I thought any amount of unhappiness was worth reacting to. 

What I know now is that unhappiness is a necessary component of happiness. Like anything else, a high-quality life is a wave. A pulse. The world is made of on and off, there and not, black and white, light and dark. We aren't built to feel constantly euphoric any more than a stomach is built to be constantly stuffed or the fields constantly lit up with sunshine. Feeling unmotivated, sad, or whatever isn't a sign of lack. It's a sign of good health. 

Stoicism in Action

So these days, when I reach a point that I may previously have labeled "of no return," I let myself rest there. Not only do I know that the ebbs of my life make way for its flow, but I also know that a return to flow is inevitable. Just as we can't feel pure bliss indefinitely, we can't feel pure dejection indefinitely, either. Life goes on, and the wave keeps rolling. Hold on tight and ride it. 

APA Reference
Satterwhite, J. (2022, November 28). Sit in Your Authentic Feelings When They Aren't Blissful, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 23 from

Author: Joanna Satterwhite

Joanna is a writer and teacher based in Atlanta. Find her on Substack and Instagram

Leave a reply