The significance of this quote is often underappreciated or misunderstood, however, this idea is a really important one to acknowledge in regards to mental health.
The human experience encompasses a range of emotions and feelings that every person in the history of mankind will have felt and dealt with. All human emotions are natural, so to suggest that one emotion should be negative and another one positive is a belief our society has built. To feel sad or down is completely normal and despite how distressing it can be, the range of emotions help us survive and thrive. Without sadness, happy and joyful emotions would not be such a pleasant experience and without these positive emotions, the world would not be able to function. As a result, it is clear that to feel the full variety of emotions is okay and should not be stigmatised.
In recent years, a shift has begun in relation to the way certain emotions have been approached and dealt with. Children in some UK schools are now taught that the appropriate way to deal with depression or anxiety is to express these thoughts and communicate these difficult feelings. This is a very healthy and organic way to tackle this and by accepting that those emotions are present and will be present in the future is an important step towards coping and feeling better. Even today however, the underlying response to being sad is to block it out rather than address the feeling in the correct way. This is bad, because it teaches young people that if you are feeling upset, this is not normal and it should be buried away rather than talked about. The conversation and acceptance of all emotions and mental health is crucial in both the development of a person and the progression of society overall.
It’s okay to not be okay.