How many times have we experienced trauma or an unexpected event that came from left field that temporarily knocked us down? In my life, there have indeed been many times, and some of those have stretched me to my limits, but I’m grateful I nurtured my way through them. Or did I?
It had been a dark day.
One could say I experienced the ‘dark night of the soul’. An experience that left me feeling helpless, fearful and without direction. I didn’t have the energy to move or push or nurture myself through anything. So, what did I do? I put all that emotion into a metaphysical box, labelled it TOO HARD and shoved it on a shelf. I mean, after all, I had to get on with living.
How many times have we done that to ourselves or even others, packaged up our emotions, denied them and put them away?
Life has a way of showing us and making us show up.
Let’s acquaint it to nature, imagine those emotions frozen and packaged. When the season changes and it will, in time the snow will melt, and the suns rays will expose and reawaken those feelings hidden in that metaphysical box.
What if you’ve been doing this for a very, very, long time and that shelf had become so full there was no room left. Eventually, and I have to share on a personal level, the eventual will happen.
It can feel overwhelming as if a tsunami had suddenly hit dry land.
You find yourself suffocating unable to catch your breath, debris is hitting you from all directions and your drowning, and this time, there is nowhere to go but to surrender and allow the unexpressed tears to release. Every sob empties your vessel of packaged emotions. The body begins to breathe with ease and relief is felt, for each droplet is an outpouring that must express itself. After all, there’s no stopping them, and the mind has a way of ensuring your survival and won’t let you drown.
We have an innate primal instinct to survive and when overwhelm hits the brain will freeze unable to reboot, listless and in a fog until we surrender, accept and express that emotion and set ourselves free.
There is no shame in anyone who has been to that point in their life.
It’s very much our culture and the belief of our ancestors to suck it up and keep moving, and of course, the fight and flight primal instinct support this. But, what if we slowed down, admitted to ourselves, yep I’ve been through some tough stuff, and now it’s time to clear the cupboard and make room to create from a healed and loving state.
I know, I’ve been through it and even though I’m a therapist I too am human and run the race that we’re all in together called life. It’s the time to love ourselves more, acknowledge the feelings, allow ourselves to be an island ONLY for a short time, and then it’s time to call in our community and support network.
If you find yourself stuck and frozen or in overwhelm, please don’t let it quench the life from your very existence. Move your body, call a friend, speak to a professional, have faith, and most of all don’t look at the enormity of it all.
Take one healing step at a time.
We can do it, and maybe that lesson, as it was mine, will support a healthier and more conscious approach to the wave of uncomfortable emotions that come up now and then.
Let’s face it, most of the time we are surfing the wave, and occasionally we find ourselves dumped into the turbulence trying to fight our way to the surface. For our health and wellbeing, once we resurface, it’s vital to float for a while and process what had just happened.