Saturday, April 12, 2008

feel your feelings

“The fastest way to freedom is to feel your feelings” -- Gita Bellen

There is a post bubbling around in here, but my aching neck demands attention. Some would say I must immediately go to a doctor and that might be true. Others would recommend I take an aspirin and rest. Personally, I can most easily justify it by knowing that I slept scrunched up last night, had a glass of wine and popcorn for dinner and spent yesterday dusting, vacuuming and cleaning dog fur from my house (a very good thing ☺). The feelings I refer to today, however, are not the aches and pains in my body, but the ones that held me in the emotional dump this week. It was amazing how once I wrote those feelings down—articulated them—really sat in them awhile---that I was able to release them…or at least begin to feel some freedom from their hold on me.

The heaviness began to lift even though circumstances had not really changed. It was like lining them up to look at, placing them on a boat and watching them float out to sea. The “problems” where not gone, they were now simply seen from a different viewpoint. In other words, I still have the same amount of work facing me. My house still needed cleaning. My children are still teenagers, etc. etc. One thing that has changed is the skies are not so gray--both literally and figuratively. (I also realize this is the place where some of you may be quick to diagnose me with seasonal affective disorder, but that is not the point here and it kind of is ☺.)

I think about the complexities of life and all of the choices we can make to help us feel better. We can pop a pill, numb ourselves, put on a happy face, and hurry to fix things. I am not saying that action does not need to happen, but I am suggesting that we not overlook the power of actually doing as Bellen says and “feeling our feelings” rather than stuffing them down, looking for the quick fix or anesthetizing them away. Because, guess what? Feelings don’t really go away.

Believe me, I have all sorts of little tricks to get myself out of the blues. I know deep in my heart that my nature is one of light and joy rather than darkness and gloom. But both are part of me. Sometimes to get back to wholeness, I just need to sit in whatever feelings are coming my way—irrational, justified or uncomfortable as they may be. It is all so paradoxical. For example, I know that my daughter does not really hate me and, of course, at some level she does. After all, she’s 15 and that’s part of her job to differentiate from Mom. My son is 36 days sober today which is wonderful AND it terrifies me that the number could go back to zero at any moment. I have checked things off my list AND the list continues to grow. There is much to manage and experience and this post could go on forever. And in reality, that is what this blog is about. It is about my experiences and feelings. It is about where I am today…right now…this very moment. It is about my feelings and thoughts as long as I allow myself to let them flow.

So, today, the sun is shining. My heart is filled with gratitude. My gentle readers rose to the occasion and allowed me to “feel my feelings.” Thank you. We’ll see what happens next.

So, how will you feel your feelings today? Boldly? Gently? Wisely? Not at all? Or maybe today, you will simply choose to feel the sun on your skin or the crunch of the snow under your feet or watch the rain through your window? I’d love to know.

photos by lucy --yelapa, mexico


Karen said...

Feeling my feelings is something I'm working on every single day (and it's not always intense feelings, either--do you find it difficult, too, to sit through the feeling of boredom?).

I find it sometimes helps to picture myself at the ocean, watching the water ebb and flow, seeing myself as the sand, the water as my emotions/feelings. Coming and going, coming and going.

Dianna Woolley said...

Lucy, great post. You captured in words what so many of us feel from time to time. Life is moment to moment changing and the surprises that come can be depressing, frightening, uplifting, happy. Again, you really captured it so well.

My day today is planned as full of life, love, invigoration through my worship in a different congregation this a.m., blue skies and sunshine for some work in the yard, and an evening with new friends. That's the PLAN.....we'll see how it goes.
May God continue to bless your life with the gift of articulation and elucidation that you bring to us readers:)


love the photos, boats adrift, blue sky

Anonymous said...

You captured my feelings exactly.

Anonymous said...

lucy, I couldn't agree with you more. I fully believe that the depth of sorrow we are able to feel is mirrored by the capacity for joy we have. If we don't allow the painful feelings their place, we also won't have the full exquisiteness of delight for ourselves either. love you, C

Sue said...

Darling, I so agree that facing the feelings, looking into the eye of them, is the first step to dispelling them. I looked into some particularly ugly ones yesterday of self-hatred ... oooh, what a bad day I had. Bad day! *slaps bad day*

But it does feel like there is some sort of weird dispelling that goes on when they're faced down. So many of them are paper tigers ... or they're parts of us that are screaming to be heard, like 3 year old children. I have many 3 year olds living in me (how wonderful for us both that 3 year olds love being creative :)

Hugs to you, Lucy Blue

(the grey sky thing I can totally relate to - totally. Could be candida related too if you'r really affected by it (especially if you are getting fatigued too when the sky is clouded over)