About two months ago I went to the doctor I sat across from her tears running down my face, my hands shaking : ” I feel like a ball of yarn that was tightly woven but as each day goes by , I can feel the yarn start to unravel from the ball, drifting away from me. I try to grab it and roll it back up, but it’s fruitless, once it starts I can’t stop it, I am unraveling….. I need something, something to take the edge off, something to help me sleep- something to stop the way I am feeling.”
She turned her gaze from the computer screen, swiveled her chair around and looked me in the eye and said ” All this stuff going on in your life right now, it doesn’t feel good does it?
Her: It’s not supposed to.
For a moment that comment stung like she had just reached across the room and slapped me across the face, and maybe she had because it’s been stinging ever since.
When did we all start seeking refuge from our emotions? When did we decide that when the bad things happen in our lives we need to numb them, swallow another pill, stuff another feeling?
I reflect for a moment on my Mother who was raised in a generation where they didn’t talk about their emotions, they kept everything inside- and look at her now- broken, it’s like throwing all your clothes in a closet and never cleaning it out- you just keep adding to the pile and hip chucking the door to get it closed again, but sooner or later the door won’t latch and gives way from the weight of what is hiding behind it, and your left ,suffocated under a pile of clothes.
Just recently I had someone tell me to ” keep the happy thoughts, and throw the rest out the window because the other shit is poison.”
But is it? Isn’t the poison in keeping too much of one emotion and ridding ourselves of the other, doesn’t each emotion balance us to keep us stable?
I used to keep all my emotions bottled up, for long periods of time I would allow myself to show nothing but happy, stuff the other feelings, don’t let them surface-but they always did, and when they did they boiled over, they became tsunami’s of emotion that I had to clean up after. I learned that I spent far much more time cleaning up after the storm than had I just let it gently rain while I was moving through the emotions.
I try now to look at my emotions as ” seasons in my soul.”
Winter is my season of sorrow and sadness, a time to be still , a time to learn to maneuver through the darkness. I learn how to warm my cold feet and hands with blankets, to soothe my insides with hot chocolate and bubble baths, whatever will help to take the chill off. I rest up for the better times to come and I know eventually the sun will shine again, I just need to get through this period where it stays dark for most of the day.
Spring is my season of re-birth. Darkness gives way to light, Everything I buried in the winter starts to peek through the snow, sprout from the frozen ground , come alive again. Darkness gives way to light, the earth becomes fragrant blooms of possibilities.
Summer is my season of happiness, I live with pure abandonment, let the wind carry my troubles away. The sun explodes and fills my world with everything lush and full of life. I wish I could stay here forever, wake up early, stay up late, not miss a minute of the light .
Fall is my reflective season. I take everything I have been through for the past three seasons and I reflect, I work through it, I process it. I feel a little bit of everything, but nothing in an intense state of mind or emotion. I am stable.
I believe the season’s of our soul were all meant to be experienced and felt , walked through with patience and care, we must take time to replenish when we are sad, allow ourselves to open back up again when the pain starts to fade away, embrace the joy when it is given to us, reflect on all of it, process and learn from it.
I have to remind myself it’s alright to not feel good all the time, I’m not supposed to , I am supposed to feel it all, go through all the seasons again and again, to remember that with repetition and practice I learn how to prepare better for the next winter. Remember to clean out my closets at the end of each season so that my closet door doesn’t burst wide open and leave everything laying on the floor.
Perhaps that is why after so many years of living in Minnesota I am really starting to enjoy the seasons and appreciate each one for what it has to offer.
Well Hello Fall, I think I will sit back and enjoy you before Winter creeps in.