Dear ones, THIS is the message I am getting from the Universe lately. Over and over again, it keeps showing up and I can sense the need for this truth to settle deep into my bones.
“I gave myself permission to feel and experience all of my emotions. In order to do that, I had to stop being afraid to feel. In order to do that, I taught myself to believe that no matter what I felt or what happened when I felt it, I would be okay.”
– Iyanla Vanzant
I grew up harnessing my emotions like they were a deadly tornado that would kill me and everyone I loved if felt. Then I went through a period (shortly after I got married) in which I couldn’t reign in my emotions no matter how hard I tried. All those years of them simmering below the surface resulted in a volcano of activity, the effects of which were extraordinarily painful. I literally cut open my skin to help let the pain out. Through medication and the desire to save my marriage (and have a decent life), I found a spot somewhere between those two places mentioned above, right in the middle of refusing to feel and feeling everything. Most people would be happy here. Most people ARE happy here, but this is Spirit Momma we’re talking about so I started searching. I got curious. I stayed curious. More and more I began to witness what I was feeling, notice the patterns my feelings led to, and question my beliefs behind the feelings. I wasn’t satisfied constantly needing a band-aid, and I knew this was no way to live life (one band-aid after another), so I began a quest for my roots. Somehow I knew my answers were there.
I’ve come such a long way on this journey. I know my roots better than ever. But still the winds and rains of life are ever rustling my limbs to and fro. But you know what I’ve learned? That’s OKAY. It really is okay.
It’s OKAY to feel. You can feel and still be safe. You can feel and still make a conscious choice about the actions (or reactions) that stem from those feelings. About what you do with those feelings. I trust myself now. Dear ones, I’ve needed to trust myself for a long time. I trust myself to feel without wallowing, or turning into the sad and lonely lunatic who had to cut herself in order to be okay. I think learning to FEEL our feelings may be the one Olympic size goal all adults should strive for. And my God, is it ever so important to teach our children.
My little one is so good at expressing herself. So, so, so good. Her beautiful array of up and down emotions often wreak havoc on that live wire of DO NOT FEEL still inside me. That’s why she’s so good for me. It’s one of the many things (if not the most important) that she’s here to teach me. I’m trying to embrace her emotional volatility and simply ALLOW herself to BE. It may make me look like a bad parent and her an unruly child, but I’d much rather give her space to figure out her own live wires now, when she’s still so freshly connected to the wisdom of all things, than later when she’s so many more years layered up. This takes great practice. It does not come easy for me. I suppressed my emotions to try and keep everyone happy as a child and thus my natural instinct is to try and control her into doing the same. Shouldn’t she want me to be happy? The way I wanted my dad to be? Doesn’t she know that “negative” emotions evoke “negative” emotions in others? Doesn’t she know that it’s cray cray to be UP one minute and DOWN the next? No, she doesn’t. And she shouldn’t. She’s a pro at riding the waves of her feelings. Of living in the present. Of feeling what she’s feeling NOW and letting it pass through her so she’s ready for the next thing. She’s not holding onto it, saving it for a rainy day. One day she’ll be a little better at expressing them (no more throwing herself on the floor) but I hope she maintains the ability to be unequivocally herself. And that includes feeling what she’s feeling when she’s feeling it. God help me. Help me not to “teach” this out of her. I surrender myself to her as my Guru. I sincerely do. May we teach each other great things 🙂
So that’s the skinny dear ones. We have to feel our shit and then we have to let it go. We have to give ourselves permission. It’s uncomfortable. It won’t always come natural. It takes practice. But we can do hard things. As always, I believe in us <3
P.S. I wrote this draft yesterday morning and then went on to have an emotional, nerve-wracking day. At some point during the day I noticed that I was holding onto my emotions. Literally. My teeth were clenched, my heart was clenched, and my upper arms were squeezing into the sides of my chest. I took a deep breath. I reminded myself to feel what I was feeling, I gave myself permission to do so, and when I did, I felt the release all throughout my body. By holding on, I was piling one emotion atop another, but when I felt what needed to be felt, it left me and I was instantly more relaxed. One step, one day at a time. Who cares about the destination, when the journey feels this damn good 🙂