You are entitled to emotions—to your humanity


People have it worse off than you.

A look of pity is all they offer—a quick second of understanding—until they come to a realization that jades their “sympathetic” eyes that look down upon you, metaphorically and literally. Your situation, to them, to an outsider, is insignificant. Reducing you down to all the current events in the world, in the country, in the state, in your tremendously tiny town, your issue becomes categorized in their mind like another file of information.

Placing it on a scale, they rate it, and they dole out the same old line haphazardly handed out far too often: it could be worse.

And they are painstakingly correct in the logical sense.

Yes, it could be worse. You could be dying. You could be starving. You could be kicked out and homeless on the streets with nothing but gum stuck to the sole of your worn-down shoes. You could be on the verge of a breakdown.

You could be all these things, but you are not, and emotions are not necessarily included in the scientific equation of logic.

Instead, you are simply feeling, experiencing, and living all that life has handed to you on the gold, but sometimes rusted and dented, platter. You are feeling rejoiced, dejected, introspective, or deep down in life’s dastardly dumps. Situations are racing around in your head, and you are deciphering every detail and flash displayed in front of that magnificent mind.

Feel with your fingers, your heart, and your soul. Feel like you’ve never felt before…”

It’s not a big deal; don’t be so dramatic.

You are not being dramatic; you are expressing yourself. Crying over a good song, breaking out in dance because you got into your dream college, stressing over that one grade that seems destined to drag your GPA down—it’s all so raw, so real, so human.

And that’s what you are: human.

You are not dramatic, you are not relegated to the “could be worse” pile, you are not overreacting. You are not any less than the person in the room adjacent to yours. You are not any less for feeling with all you have.

You are brave.

With your heart on your creased sleeve—blame mom’s folding—you are giving a VIP pass to those you cherish that allows them entry to the most principal part of being human: the heart and soul. You are entitled to dole out the pass, with care of course, because you are entitled to your feelings, to your opinions, to your experiences. Everyone has them despite incessant denial.

So why are we shamed for it? Why is someone trying to dictate your emotions, something so exclusive to your mysterious mind and healing heart?

Get over it.


Relish the moment. Feel everything deeply. Love your friends with all that your heart can handle. Despise the table corner—the one you often stub your toe on—for its inconvenient placement. Smile until your cheeks hurt and happiness has to flow out of your ears to escape the joy pooling behind your bright eyes.

Feel with your fingers, your heart, and your soul. Feel like you’ve never felt before because one day—in a future you and I would both love to avoid—you might not feel again.