Every year I get braver and braver in meeting my emotions and it seems the more resilience I develop the more challenging the emotional messengers I'm sent become.
Sometimes I long for the blissful ignorance of the addicted, distracted days but then I remember where that led.
I recently read an incredible book that cracked me open but it also let in a lot of pain and some hard memories. The kind that most women I know just want to lock up and throw away forever and certainly not see reflected back in the cold light of day.
The next two days were spent feeling terrified, edgy and waking up panicking in the night. I knew I needed to get safe but I also knew I needed to face my inner world in order to liberate myself from the grip of this experience. Avoiding and distracting only delays and intensifies the inevitable.
It's easy to feel as though we're regressing when things get hard again but I was reminded that we only get given the hardest emotions to process when we're ready. It means we're getting stronger.
So I closed my eyes and got quiet and still. First everything, then nothing. I felt abandoned, alone, afraid, empty.
Emotions are our allies and not our enemies so I just kept trying to feel it all. I just kept asking: What is it that you need? What do you want? What action are you asking me to take?
Still nothing but fear and my mind playing a loop: hopelessness, worry, wanting to give up.
And then 20 minutes later it came as it always eventually does: hope, faith, perseverance
Fear is here to remind us that we are alive and that we are holding something so precious in our hands. Our one precious life. And so I let the fear flood in filling every cell reminding me of my aliveness. And then came the peace. The peace of an emotion that has finally been faced, felt, engaged with and therefore emancipated.
Emotions are our allies not our enemies but when we treat them as such and defend against them we miss out on our opportunity for healing.
Emotions arise not to disrupt but to get our attention and the stronger we become, the more we can handle. Our hardest emotions often come when we’re feeling our most resilient but if we’re strong enough to let it in in the first place then we’re certainly strong enough to let it out.
To distract avoid and numb is to engage in an inner battle that keeps our emotional allies trapped and fighting for their freedom and the less willing we are to listen to more loudly they grab at our attention: anxiety, panic, fear, stress, illness, pain, exhaustion.
Our emancipation is waiting for us when we are willing to surrender to the fact that it is entirely human, normal and necessary to experience fluctuating states of emotions and moods and that there is no set duration, timeframe or way for us to move through them. Each and every one of us has our very own emotional journey to ride and pathway to freedom find.
May we trust the process, meet the messengers and form a relationship with our emotional landscape based on faith rather than fear.
The cycles of nature hold a mirror to our experience. Our emotions, sensations and experiences move in cycles like the seasons and waves like the tides; rising, stabilising, dissipating and disappearing.
At this deep winter point we are at the threshold. The darkness has been all pervading but the light is ahead. May we hold tight to the thread of faith and perseverance as we ride the waves towards spring.