veronica cuyugan

It’s OK to Feel

The original title of this post was “It’s OK to be Sad.” However, after a brief text conversation with a friend, it felt more adequate to leave the emotion open-ended. We are all born with the ability to feel. The verb definition of feel is to experience. For the intents and purposes of this post, the feel I refer to is the experience of emotions. Culturally and socially, we are taught that certain emotions are more acceptable to feel than others. It is necessary to recognize that all emotions are valid, and that giving ourselves (and each other) permission to go through the motions of feeling what we need to is of paramount importance for our own health and for the health of our relationships.

When I realized what Become Your Own Bliss evolved into, it was a set of notes that served as reminders for me to come back to center, I felt the pressure to deny the inklings to feel certain emotions. I did my very best to overcome sadness, anger, and rage before they even set in. The way I processed the aforementioned emotions was to immediately invalidate them. I told myself that I had no reason to feel sad, angry, or livid.

The problem with intentionally numbing myself was that when it came time for me to have to process negative emotions, I was stunted. It’s prevalent in societal conditioning that people who are happy and joyful are the favorable ones. Life is so sad and the people who can hold the happy torch come out ahead. Yes, happiness, joy, and bliss are beautiful. They are experiences that we all strive toward, although using those emotions as a mental/spiritual litmus test to determine how life is going, misses the point more often than not.

I often have to remind myself that it’s perfectly OK and necessary to experience the other side of the bliss coin. I would be completely remiss in the process of savoring the goodness that happens in life if I continued to ignore everything else.

Whatever you’re going through, it’s important that you feel your way through it as a part of the process. Give yourself permission. Don’t judge it. Move through it then come out of it better, with more clarity.

What my Close Call with Death Reminded me About Life

I had a close call recently, and it was the strangest thing. My compact sedan was seconds away from being t-boned by a moving truck, and I knew that had the driver struck my car, I would have ceased to exist. The strange part is that when I felt moments away from death, I wasn’t fearful. I thought my death was imminent and I was at peace. I thought of my family.

To summarize, I was making a left turn on my way home from Target. The light was green, and the oncoming traffic was steady. There was a short break, and this oncoming truck had his right blinker on. There was a gap, and I took  the turn. Up until a couple of days ago, I never trusted people’s blinkers. In a split second, I floored into my turn, and the truck didn’t seem to slow down (I don’t think the driver could have).

Before you tell yourself a joke about an Asian woman driving, I’d like the point out that the latest vehicular accident death statistic is around 3,200 people who perish per day in car crashes (statistics from Assosication for Safe International Road Travel).

I was shaken and surprised that there was no loud crash, no shredded car, and that I was still breathing. I really did think I was going to die. And in that moment, I felt the weight of everything I always wanted to do but have never done. I wondered what I had been waiting for. I was so grateful. I inhaled deeply and savored the sensation of air filling my lungs.

I remembered that it had been a while since I did something that scared me. 

That I couldn’t remember the last time I watched a sunset, or a sunrise for that matter. 

I don’t enjoy selfies enough. 

I have to get these books out. 

I must serve more people. Who can I help?

I must love more people and animals and flowers.

I gotta plant more trees. 

I’m leaving Florida; I should surf while I’m here. 

I must become a billionaire so that I can save animals and parts of this planet. 

The list goes on. I’ll take it one day at a time, make an impact in the space I occupy and serve those who are open to me.

So.Grateful.For.Life.