When we are fed up or angry or feeling sad or depressed, our well-meaning family members and friends often tell us to cheer up, to think of this thing or that thing instead. No one says "Oh you're fed up? Congratulations! Way to go! Good for you!" It seems like the wrong thing to say. But I want to tell you today that if you are fed up or angry or sad or depressed, congratulations! Your ability to experience the whole range of emotions and sensations and human predicament is intact.
When we choose to acknowledge that there is a part of us that is capable and is perhaps currently feeling fed up, we are reminded that we are alive. We have chosen to feel everything- love and pain, joy and suffering, elation and heartbreak- over nothing at all.
The positive and the negative are two sides of the same coin. When we feel all of that which we are capable of feeling, our existence becomes expansive. We know the nervous excitement of staring into the eyes of someone we're in the midst of falling in love with. We also know the paralyzing pain of things not working out. We are well aware of the scorching heat of the noontime sun. And we also know its comforting warmth.
To feel fed up is to experience one shade out of many from the patchwork of emotions in this thing we call life. And what is the alternative to never being fed up? It is to feel nothing, to shut ourselves off, to deny our emotions, to minimize our complexity, to diminish our humanity. When we choose to feel nothing, what happens is precisely that. We live without feeling.
Next time we feel fed up, let it be a reminder to us that we are alive and awake. It is a reminder that we are not perfect, nor are we meant to be. The struggle is a challenge for us to dig deeper, to be more compassionate, and to love more. Being fed up is being fully alive. It is like the appearance of sudden lighting- temporary and frightening, its beauty unintentional and underappreciated, its existence part of nature and all that is.