This crazy thing called Feeling
We all get to decide what has meaning ... & what doesn't.
Having moved away from alcohol, ....I've been walking through life more fully aware for the past 6 years or so. Learning to feel my emotions, one by one. & Slowly. Sorrow, Joy, ...Pain, ...Love, Frustration, Risk...Exposure, ..Ego, ...Humility, Exuberance... What I awaken to, at the close of feeling any of it, is that, .... the only way to the other side of the emotion is THROUGH it.. One second at a time. Which can be fleeting, ...or easy, ..or hard. or excrutiating actually.
Generally, I manage to feel better if I am able to find some compassion for myself and if I share even the smallest amount of my burden. Sometimes, simply finding the courage to admit that I don't feel good - without actually sharing why - is help enough to take some of the weight off my shoulders. It took me approximately 30 years to understand I didn't have to pretend. But there are days where that doesn't help at all. The other day I just wanted to close my proverbial door, curl up & tuck into fetal position. True. This is not a typical "me" response to the happenings of ANY day, and certainly isn't an option for a wife and working mother with a household, family, laundry & pets to tend to. I was raw, and fragile, and weary, and needed nurturing and was just so, so low about quite a bit, -all things manageable ultimately, and ever changing. I knew the shitty feeling would pass, but I had no valve of release. Just nowhere to go with it. So, I asked my husband to watch the house for 20 minutes (he was soon on his way to work) & I went for a run, ...because the road & sound of gravel and earth under my feet brings me solace most days, ... but the sweat, and strength I felt did none of that this day.
Despite,...I still felt hollow, and powerless. The love of my children, ...didn't help. My dogs, ... didn't help. My rose bushes,...nope. I had to move through, moment by moment. Piece by piece and it was a tough slog.
This feeling powerless. Past behavior would have found me cracking a beer or pouring a glass of red wine, or having a Lillet on the rocks. Past behavior would have found me pushing my feelings down, and away .... all while thinking I was feeling "better". Past behavior would have found me, pre-children, playing dj late into the night, smoking my fair share of Marlboro Lights long after the buzz of them elevated me further, sitting on the fire escape in the city, under the stars,...exhaling. In my late 20's it would have found me practicing Bikram in my living room while listening to Madonna's Ray of Light cd really really loud. Those years may have found me going for a run through the city, David Gray & Buckley streaming into my ears. .... Those days would have found me doing ANYTHING, ... EXCEPT feeling my emotion,..yes, even joyful emotion,... I was simply unable to be unaided while feeling. A new day would have followed after, .... just like today dawned anew, .... but that past tomorrow would have found me feeling like shit, ....and also would have found me tired, & weary & broken and often hungover. Those tomorrows often found me regretful. Those tomorrows always found me young, and beautiful, but ultimately broken. How was it I felt so alone in the midst of having the world at my fingertips. Friends, and beauty, success & youth... Now, I find if I have the courage to share, ..(even if I share silently with Holy Spirit through writing), I tend towards better. Somehow,...speaking it,.. writing it, ...validates it. Validates the emotion I am within. And,.... validation represents I am SOMEWHERE amid the stream of it. Speaking it means my feet are at least on the bottom. The water may be rushing around me,....but at least I am connected to the ground and the other side is more than likely in sight. Validating it means I am not alone, ...means it is real, and I am going to be ok. Even when I feel I can't possibly be.
I am awakening. Awakening to understand we are never, ever, alone, in our struggle. Almost always, sharing validates,.. that someone somewhere else, too,... they are working through their own unbearable moment. Or sometimes they simply listen. But always, my opening up the authentic me, opens up their authentic them,....and WE get to share, and I get to listen, .... and we get to help one another. Loving one another through our burden and oftentimes through our joy.
We get to come away understanding what has truest, deepest meaning, ..... and what doesn't. Some emotion is fleeting, some of it is the karmic and soul altering "I get it",.... some of it surface, some of it depth. One thing for sure however is we are ALL gifted with moments of getting and being overwhelmed, or excrutiatingly sad, or phenomenally happy. I understand now,.. that ALL feeling is a beautiful gift. I don't have the answer as to why I wrestle so profoundly with feeling. It seems I resonate emotion to the 29millionth power, ... it overwhelms me from time to time. Drinking was a way to expression of joy, & sorrow, loss, & happiness, friendship & love. Drinking was a turnkey.
...what is most important in my personal process is, that,.. feeling,....EVERYTHING, ...is ok even though complete understanding of why it can be so uncomfortable, ,...may never come. Alcohol lit my brain up delightfully from the very first moments it crossed my lips. It just was that way, ...which doesn't have to mean anything anymore, besides just that. Moving away from it has been very freeing and my world has become quite beautiful. Put down whatever it is that self-medicates you, ...dare to feel You. It opens everything up so beautifully.