Making Sense Of Negative Feelings – A Children’s Poem

“I find myself with myself more than ever before. Really, truly, responsible for my life and therefore the only one accountable for my shortcomings. I have come short on many an occasion.

But remind myself, I should, or could, or may as well,
That life is a lesson.

It is a class only passed if we choose to be present.

It can only be failed when indifference prevails.

Fear, despair, anger and pain are all part of the module,
Let me explain.

As a conscious machine with feelings thoughts and Ideas,
Cultivated by what you see through your eyes and hear in your ears,
The world that you live in has the power to move you.

Up you can go to the happy place you may well know.

But sometimes, if things arent quite right, then down we may sink
To a place where no-one is invited, a place that truly stinks.

Lets focus on the latter because its better to be prepared,
When you find yourself heading directly to there.

In this place of darkness and sadness,
where the sofas are wet and the gardens a shambles,
The first place we encounter is not much fun,
A terrible place to bring your best friends mum.

But still we stay, not by choice, per se,
In the Hallway of THINK,
Which really does stink.

Once in the hallway we never go far,
With too many distractions flying past:

There are Manic Monkeys throwing their poo,
Shrieking thoughts that could never come from you.

You may be shocked and disgusted and utterly dismayed,
At what these poo-flinging monkeys have to say.

But step one to the process of getting out of this mess,
Is to know that they’re just monkeys, and its all a test.

The horrid thoughts that they chatter to each other,
Whilst they pee on the carpet and fart on their brothers,

Are not from you.
The real you. The
you-yourself that you know to be true.

Underneath the noise from the swinging ape boys, there is a feeling of being that is unscathed and gleaming.

This is the you that knows right from wrong, the you that knows all the words to your favourite song.

Its is the you who is good at laughing, good at listening and good at dancing, its the hope behind your late-night wanting.

This you is steady like a mountain and gold like the sun, its harder than diamond and powerful like lions let run.

This you flows like water and whispers through your bones, its the lifeline to your feeling of love and to home.

This you knows peace, this you knows truth, this you guides the very feet in your shoes.

This you is not involved in the mind game arena, the Hall Way of THINK, where cows go to drink.

With this at heart, hold yourself steady,
Its time to move on now,
You can do it.
You’re ready.

Block out the monkeys and turn to your left,
You’ll see a door wide-open, now you’re ignoring those pests.

March up the stairs without looking back,
You’re far too clever for that awful pack.

Head to the end of the corridor and climb up the ladder,
In the Loft of Feelings, where we’ll fix this matter.

In this special place, where your feelings will be uncovered,
you’re invited in by a round rosie-cheeked gypsy god mother.

With a seat on a fluffy bean bag with blue and pink spots,
At first she’ll first congratulate you on finding the loft.

Then, with her hands laid gently on your head,
She’ll ask you:

“HOW DO YOU FEEL”,
The first step to heal.

As she does so your feelings emerge,
You have begun a very, very important search.

Its important you know, that you may find discomfort,
Feelings in this house can appear harmful and unwanted,

But this is the time when you have to be brave,
You have to face these feelings to get the grade.

But know also that you’re never alone.
There are people around you thanks to your phone.

With the soft fluffy bean bag and warm chubby hands,
Look deep inside your emotional land.

Is it fear or anger or bitter regret?
Or disappointment and frustration for expectations not met?

Whatever you find, don’t cover it back up!
When left unearthed those feelings will grow,
And in no time they’ll be a big ugly beast that no-one wants to know.

Why you ask, spend time searching this way? If it isn’t much fun and you want to get on with your day.
But you must remember, intelligent friend,
That there is a reason for these feelings, and once understood you can make amends.

With the feelings unearthed with the help of the godmother,
She opens her mouth again to utter:

“WHY DO YOU FEEL THIS WAY?“

And here comes the part where you have to think,
What did you see, hear or feel that brought on this stink?
One step further, its wise to ask, why it upset you,
Not an easy task.

It may take time and you may not want to,
But these questions need answers, you already knew.

Why are you hurt?
And What did you lose?
When the world did you wrong or your friends were rude.

When you find these answers the landscape is clearer,
Your final destination draws ever nearer.

The gypsy godmother, now your trusted friend,
Asks one more question with the end round the bend.

“HOW WILL YOU ACT NOW?”

This is the part where you have the power,
You are the captain in this crucial hour.

With what you have learnt about your current feelings,
Let them transform into solutions to fulfil their meaning.

I cannot predict or give you a plan,
But here are some advice from an experienced man:

Forgive where you can,
Hugs heal a lot,
Crying is healthy,
Even with snot

Let go of your pride and often say sorry,
Talk to your friends and family to soften your worry.

Its also normal to not always feel fine,
But remember that you love people almost all the time.

Remember the good times, with the laughing and the hugging,
All the good meals, the sunrises, the rough and tumbling.

Remember when you were there for others, how you helped a friend in need;
Remember when you shared your last cheese string with Scruffy Steve.

Remember the taste of ice cream and berries,
All the Christmases when Granny overdid the sherry.

Remember the feeling when you danced in the rain,
How little trousers mattered back then.

Remember the sound and the feel of the sea,
Of being bashed about by waves and floating with glee.

Remember how it felt to run, and run and run,
Through woods, streets and fields, to catch your breath in the cold morning sun.

Remember home, your place of family and friends,
They need you and love you, and they’ll be there with no end.

Remember this, to remember that,
You’re a human being with human feelings, and unescapable fact.

And although the world can be dark and you can feel empty inside,
You have a profound ability to love and to live, the evidence doesn’t lie.

When you’re in a slump, and you feel useless or hurt,
Know that it will pass, and you’re a star in this world.
,
With this short guide and your big clever brain,
You’ll never be lost in the dark again.

Now back to our journey from darkness to light,
The next bit is best! You’re about to take flight!

As you zoom out of the house back to normality,
The world you enter has a newfound clarity.

You wave goodbye to the godmother and shout back your thanks,
She’ll always be there should your feelings tank.

Now you’re free and with your balanced restored,
Ill wrap this up with one final word:

Be kind to yourself, dear sensitive friend, and listen to your feelings.
What do they tell you?
There’s always a meaning.

Notes:

We are often told as children about happiness – what it is like to be happy, what should make us happy, that happiness is the goal in life. Indeed, for many children, happiness is the predominant setting for many of the early years. But in truth, any adult reading this will know that as we grow up our emotional  spectrum broadens and our position on it will frequently vary. When we find ourself in the darker corners of our emotional landscape for the first time, it is often a surprise. What is this horrid feeling? Am I going mad? Will it last forever? With no rational answers to these questions, the situation worsened by fear and perpetuated by emotional isolation.

We are not warned and educated about this unavoidable aspect of living. For those that encounter low-mood and anxiety more frequently, it can take years to develop adequate coping mechanisms. In that time they are at risk of potential suffering in many forms, from breakdown of relationships to maladaptive practices such as substance abuse. Many do not find a way out organically, as demonstrated by the significant increase in the use of Anti Depressant medication over the last 20 years.

The initial shock of negative emotions can be avoided through honest education about the realities of living. Developing emotional awareness from a young age can only be a positive thing, not only for an individual, but for the wider community as well. 

Negative feelings should not be demonised and brushed under the carpet. If they are, we will find ourselves under the rug with them, trampled by the heavy feet of false expectations. Instead, we need to understand the uncomfortable parts of our emotional spectrum. In doing so, you may find they actually seek to restore us back to a steady state. They form an important part of our complex system of input and output, ultimately conspiring for systemic peace. Its up to us to listen and creatively act on them, using our big clever brains and proper good mates to find the solutions they demand.

Will be writing again soon. Difficult to find the time!

Big hug,

Hugo x

Making Sense Of Negative Feelings – A Children’s Poem
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