There is an occasion for everything, and a time for every activity under heaven: a time to give birth and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to uproot; a time to kill and a time to heal; a time to tear down and a time to build; a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance; a time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace and a time to avoid embracing; a time to search and a time to count as lost; a time to keep and a time to throw away; a time to tear and a time to sew; a time to be silent and a time to speak; a time to love and a time to hate; a time for war and a time for peace. ~ Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 HCSB
As a nation, we are in uncertain, uncomfortable, painful, scary, and confusing times. Many of us are experiencing the same kinds of times in our personal lives. We don’t like the anxiety, anger, and sorrow they are generating within us. Maybe we’re feeling out of control and overwhelmed by it all. Perhaps we’re starting to feel a slide down the slippery slope into depression.
Underneath all of this, we may be feeling unjustified guilt for feeling these things. We may feel like we need to find ways to be cheery and hopeful when what we’re really feeling is grief and sorrow for the things and people that are changing or that we’re losing.
While it’s true that we need to mitigate symptoms of anxiety and depression lest they get us so far down the rabbit hole we see no way of getting ourselves out, the truth is, it’s okay to feel the dark feels. They’re valid and minimizing or denying them will only cause us more problems in the long run.
We are in a time of weeping and mourning. We are seeing things that need to be torn down and uprooted being called out and demanded with some good results and some terrifying repercussions. We are in a period where hate feels like it’s overshadowing love and where we feel on the brink of war.
All the feelings running throughout our bodies and brains, our minds and spirits are completely understandable, justifiable, and valid. It’s important that we honor, accept, and respect these things which lie within ourselves and not minimize or deny by forcing ourselves to be positive when it’s not true.
We are in the time we’re in and it’s hard. However, a time is coming when things will be better. If we don’t allow ourselves to experience the darkly challenging and difficult feelings which arise during this period, we won’t be able to authentically and genuinely celebrate the good times when they arrive.