I’m writing this week’s musing a little late as I’ve been waiting for inspiration.
I toyed with not sending one this week and just letting it go until I had a conversation which sparked my fires. So, here I am, writing, praying this brings a little light into your heart.
There is so much going on right now. Globally we have an illness challenging daily life, functions and economy. Nationally we are gearing up for a political storm with an unknown outcome. Locally we are each dealing with the restrictions placed upon us and how to navigate our own uncertainty, fears and frustrations.
When I talk to friends and family, no two situations are alike. Some people are struggling to find employment, others hoping to keep what they have. Some are blessed to have a steady job working from home and yet struggle with balancing their job and kids. Many people are dealing with the uncertainty of school at home or sending the kids to school. While some are able to absorb home learning others lack the resources to do so and lean heavily on school so they can stay employed.
The what if game comes into play. What if I got sick? Would it really be that bad? If it was bad, how bad is bad? What if I had health issues for the rest of my life? What if I died? And death brings in end-of-life planning. Have you prepared? Will the people you leave behind be able to wade through your life and gain peace and clarity easily? Or will they be left grasping at straws to settle your affairs while mourning the loss of your love and presence?
It feels like a never ending “Alice In Wonderland” type rabbit hole which leaves me anxious, unsettled and a myriad of other unnamed expressions.
So, I come back to here.
A smile on my face as I listen to the wind in the trees. The whirligigs are spinning and mesmerizing, the cats laze in the sun and nap around the patio and my wind chimes just started singing.
I smile again in gratitude for the moment.
And then I think about the emotions.
What do I feel right now?
Throughout our days we experience several emotions. There’s a conversation with a friend, puts you on cloud nine. A conversation with someone else brings you joy and peace as you connect on a deeper level. Another talk leaves you angry and introspective or an encounter leaves you brooding and frustrated.
How do you express these feelings?
Where do they manifest in you?
Close your eyes and think of something or someone you love. Where do you feel it? Observe how the feeling manifests. If you could describe it what words would you use? Color? Smell? Shape? Perhaps this person or thing is no longer around or near enough to hug/hold. Can you take this expression in your body and imagine sending it out to them? And while you do that, can you feel them a little closer due to the connection you just made. If this person or thing is near, how do you actively express your love? How do you let it out?
In uncertain times we experience more challenging emotions. Fear comes to mind. Have you ever just sat with fear? Observed it? How does it feel/look/smell/taste? Where does it manifest in your body and soul? Do you have the ability to step outside of the emotion and just acknowledge it? Can you close your eyes, knowing you are in a safe space, and invite the emotion to come and sit with you?
Try to be a witness as it expresses and manifests while acknowledging it is not you yet something you experience. See how it moves and reacts in the space. And when it is done revealing itself in its entirety, appreciate the gift it is and the benefit it brings to your life.
Getting to know your emotions on a more individual and intimate level lets you more fully convey where you are at and identify what you are going through at any given time.
It also means you are able to move through them completely. When you know anger you know how it moves in you and where it settles in. You also know how to help it move from that space into a healthier space of healing.
A long time ago I learned I need to move with anger. I need action, physical expression. I may clean the house, punch a pillow, release a primal scream; anything to get it out. And then I’m able to look at the emotion from a softer space to understand what is beneath. I’ve found there’s always an emotion hiding beneath my anger. Perhaps I’m afraid or feeling misunderstood or vulnerable. Moving helps me find my truth and reality.
Contrast that with joy. I love to be creative. Sometimes my ideas are bigger than others and yet 90% of the time when I finish I stand back and just giggle, belly laugh, and let my excitement and relief out. There are times when someone witnesses my outburst of joy and may be a little concerned for my mental health. The reality is I just can’t keep it in anymore and deeply need to release the pent-up energy.
In both scenarios, I need to release.
Let it out.
If you’re feeling childlike and want to throw a tantrum… go for it.
Angry and need to yell or go for a run or just physically move…have at it.
Happy and want to belly laugh until your sides hurt and you’re pleading for a respite…AMEN.
Loving and desire to be expressed and understood… embrace it.
And while you encounter each new emotion I pray you take a minute to get to know it on a deeper level. As a part of you yet not all of you.
Your emotions do not define you.
Turn life on its head.
For example; instead of being an angry man, he becomes a man with a lot of anger. Asking yourself “why” helps find sympathy. Or just seeing it can help you avoid taking the anger as aimed at you.
The negative woman becomes a woman experiencing negativity. Again, why? And is it something you need to take on or fix? No, just be a momentary witness to her challenge.
I see bumper stickers, magnets, note pads, email signatures, all saying their own version of “Everyone is going through their own challenges.” This is a call for more compassion and understanding.
I propose we give ourselves the same gentle tolerance as we do to those around us. Why am I experiencing anger? Why am I elated? Why am I feeling disgruntled or any of the other vast emotional responses.
This is your one vessel to go through life. Emotions are a beautiful part of the adventure. Every feeling, sensation and reaction are good and have the power to make life sweeter.
Share gratitude for it.
And express it completely and fully.
Celebrate in laughter and joy as the opportunity arises.
And allow the tears to fall as they need to be released.
Get to know your tender companions on an intimate level so the next time you come across one you struggle to name, you have tools and understanding of what it is not.
These two movie clips hang in my head. The one is from “Hook” with Robin Williams. I love the awe in the boy’s eyes as he voices the sentiment of everyone present. He embraces the adventure and peace of the experience.
The other is from “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” with Gene Wilder. He has been through a disappointing day and with exhaustion dismisses Charlie and his Grandfather.
What strikes me most of the second clip is this: Charlie did not know Gene would be yelling at him. Gene was asked to keep it secret so they could capture the genuine reaction. This truly bothered Gene. He agonized over the pain he was afraid to cause. He and Charlie had created a very close friendship and this was a heart-breaking scene. You can feel the upset emanating from Gene and the hurt and fear from Charlie.
This whole scene was fabricated. It’s a movie. And yet it illustrates many of my points beautifully. In past emails, I’ve talked about being over a 3 and understanding ourselves so we can understand those around us. We are human beings having a very emotional experience. How we connect with our own directly correlates to how we relate to others.
In “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” Gene knew the outcome of his required outburst. He felt it viscerally, personally. He also knew he would need to work to repair the damage done. He caused pain to someone he loved and would need to work to rebuild trust and friendship.
I work with people to help them take ownership of their lives. This includes their emotions and expressions. If we all get in touch with who we are and how we exist we are able to work with our emotions and turn the table so they no longer control us. We can live in harmony with them to feel expressed and whole.
Allowing our emotions to control us and “be” us is what leads to our own pain and hardship along with causing hurt for those around us.
As I talked about last week, “The only constant in life is change.” So are emotions.
The pain is temporary.
The anger will melt away.
The fear will dissipate.
Loved ones will pass on and the sadness will ebb and flow.
Yet Joy comes and brightens our moods.
Happiness has a contagious spread.
Love is embracing and we seek to share it and prolong the positive energy within.
Whatever you are going through right now, I pray you know it will end. Feel the emotion, embrace and honor the moment and let go. Find peace and heal. Know you are not alone. Everyone is fighting a battle. Let’s fight together.
This musing was a long one.
If you made it this far, thank you for reading.
Thank you for sharing this moment with me.
Thank you for letting me into a part of your life.