Force the smile if you have to


A big part of the recovery process is getting in touch with your real feelings. People spend years of their lives numbing and avoiding unwanted feelings or thoughts, so they can survive in life as they know it.

Indeed it is important to go through the unwanted feelings but is it really necessary to show them? Do you need to get mad, sad and angry? Do you need to let all the people who have done you wrong, know exactly how and why they hurt you?

I’m going to give you advice I wish someone gave me. Don’t show it. And here’s why. Nobody is coming. Nobody is going to respond to your cries for help - sounds harsh, but I’m sorry, it is the truth.

Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t feel the feelings and let it all out somehow, I’m just saying not to do it publicly. And I say this to help you - because what you really want in the end is to connect with people and feel supported. You aren’t going to attract love and kindness, by acting out with pain and anger. You will send people running. They will not like you. You will perpetuate a cycle of rejection, sadness and anger.

Here are some ways you can express your negative thoughts and emotions, without ruining your chances at finding love and connection. Hire a therapist, write letters, blogs or poems, draw or paint, run or do yoga. I have seen hundreds (really… hundreds) of women cry on their mats. Scream in your pillow. Shout it out in your car with the window up…. and then let it stop there.

Recently I met a man who showed me this lesson. I couldn’t see it in myself, until I witnessed the way he interacted with the world and how it worked out for him. It was like looking in a mirror. This poor guy had a story about how he was adopted and how he felt like an outsider in his family growing up. He was skinny and unhealthy and people didn’t like him or pick him for teams, or even invite him to birthday parties. He told this story any opportunity he could get. He still wasn’t over the way he was treated as a kid. It was like he expected everyone in his current life (even though they knew nothing of his past) to be on board with the mean people and join in making his life hell. When I saw the way people interacted with him, I realized he was right. People appeared not to like him. They tried to avoid him. They didn’t take any interest in what he was saying. They did this not because they wanted to make him a victim, but because they had no interest in spending time with someone so negative and life-sucking. Why would they?

I realized I do this. I look for reasons to be offended. I expect people to treat me in ways people have treated me in the past. My attitude creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. People shy away from me, because I send out the vibe that I expect them to do or say something mean or hurtful. We are all falling in line with the law of attraction. You get what you put out.

So yes friends… feel all the feelings you need to in order to process your past and then leave it where it belongs. In the past. Get mad and upset and angry and express it through art, writing, crying or screaming… but do it alone (or with a therapist). And then go out and seek what you truly desire and deserve. Wear the smile you want to see smiling back at you. Do the kind deed you would love to receive yourself. Be the kind of friend you seek - loving, compassionate, fun and free.

Don’t forget. You are a child of this universe and you deserve to be here. Who are you not to be amazing?