All the feelings. All the time.
That’s me in a nut shell.
I can use my imagination to create a story line that will rival any 3-year-old’s.
I can make a completely fake scenario in my head that can bring me to my knees in angst.
I can turn on music and be emotionally transported to some far away location that was not even on my radar just moments earlier.
Once i was reminded that, when i was a little girl, i sat in my yard quietly making little bracelets of clover, and I felt so nostalgic that if i would have died right then and there my life would have been complete.
I can be surrounded by a group of happy people and feel instantaneously elated.
After i finished the book White Oleander, i couldn’t eat for days because i was so overcome with sorrow.
When i read the divergent series and Triss died—sorry if that’s a spoiler for ya—i felt like my entire world caved in and i swore off novels forever. I didn’t pick up another book for 2 years.
When i read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, i felt so insanely creative that i started drawing and coloring like a mad women applying to a remedial arts school. I threw my entire portfolio away as soon as i was finished.
When i was about 10 years old, this sweet blonde girl showed up at church and I immediately fell in love with her. She walked into the gym in her jean skirt and my internal commentator, (who sounds just like me) said: “And when she met this girl, she knew that we were going to be best friends forever.” The next week i went to her house only to find out that they were only allowed to listen to gospel cassette tapes, and her crazy-ass mother forced me to eat lima beans and peas despite my adamant protests. I wanted nothing to do with her after that. Best friends for-never. I hated her and whole fam damily.
Oh god, and don’t even get me started on what Ray LaMontagne’s music does to my supple heart.
So what i’m saying is this. All the feelings. All the time. Subject to change with the wind.
Can anyone relate????? ANYONE????
Now i know i probably seem like the model of stability to you (ehhh ehmmm), but living with my own self is exhausting. Even a therapist i saw last fall said “you seem like you’re pretty annoyed with yourself…” and she was right. I could never gauge what was happening. I felt split in half. Completely divided. 2 different people contained in one. Like their was a conjoined twin who developed inside of me, fetus in fetu, who had just as much control over my emotional state as i did. Up, down, sideways. But i maintained a calm, cool exterior so very few people really understood the war that was raging inside.
And then last year I had a friend present to me an idea that would sort of change my life. It went something like this “What if you just took note of your emotion? Instead of acting on them or judging them, what if you just noticed and acknowledged them? You’re emotions are not who you are and they don’t have to define you”
There was resistance.
There was crying.
There was protest.
There were can’ts and won’ts and “This is just who i am, DAMMIT!”
And then there was considering
And then there was a testing of the waters.
And then there’s was life changing magic that happened.
Feelings are funny little things. They come, they go. They’re up, they’re down. They ebb, and they flow. Sometimes they make complete sense: You loose a parent to cancer and you’re overcome with sadness—that seems right. But what about when you loose a parent to cancer and you’re consumed with fiery rage at everyone around you and it doesn’t seem like it quite fits? When we can’t pinpoint what our feelings are relating to, it can make us feel unstable and question who we are at our core.
There is not an exact science to letting your feelings be.
It takes practice.
It takes time.
It takes kind, gentle grace.
Sweet words to yourself, about yourself.
It takes silence.
It takes stillness.
Sometimes we have to wrap our arms around ourselves and hold tight with the gentle reminder: “You’re going to be okay, love. You’re going to be okay.”
Your feelings do not define you.
Your feelings do not necessarily need immediate action.
So next time a strong emotion comes coursing through you body, try this:
Breathe in, deep.
Say “ahhh it seems like i’m feeling incredibly ______ right now. That’s interesting.” “Hello Anger.” “Hello Sadness.” “Hello Rage.” “Oh so it seems like i’m feeling like i want to burn down villages and leave my entire family behind while i travel to a tropical location to live alone in the jungle with the spider monkeys and the jaguars. HMMM…”
Ask yourself good questions: Is this a feeling that keeps showing up for me? Is it related to a certain circumstance? When was the last time i ate? Am i hungry or dehydrated? Is there a big event coming up, or one that has passed, that is stirring the water?
Address your emotions.
Emotions are not your enemy. They’re clues left by the body.
What are you emotional clues telling you?
Do you ever let your emotions get the best of you?
I would love to hear your thoughts and FEELINGS
Much love to you, love
Ps. This post does not address how to address those sticky emotions. I HIGHLY suggest a finding qualified therapist that’s a good fit for you. They can help you work miracles inside yourself.