My sweet cat-housemate, Tunafish, who was weeping from the balcony, thinking herself stuck, forgetting completely about the easier way down and out through the house.
But today, I texted the person I’ve been dating who’s in a faraway state and meekly asked, “Can you talk? I need to break a pattern.”
It was actually a few patterns: always being the helper (not the helped), always having a solution (rather than just a feeling), and when neither of those normal roles are possible, simply shutting down.
When we got on the phone the talking was more like snot-cry-yodeling, which is my real expression when I’m feeling vulnerable and honest. Through small weeps, I confessed how hard it is for me to soften into my feelings when I can’t fix them. When I don’t really like them. When they’re not what I want. “I’ve got this pattern of just toughening up,” I told her, “turning on my in-it-alone mode that I’ve gotten so used to, and moving on. But I don’t really want to do that any more, you know? I want to lean in…”
And then she said something really wonderful that I wanted to share with you here, in case you’re also having a feeling that has no rational solution at the time.
She said, “It’s like the world is set up for us to be rational, and rationally speaking, it makes sense to just go do something different, stuff the feeling down, move on, because you can’t really get what you need, so why dwell? But that’s not really what your feelings need. Your feelings need to feel.”
My feelings need to feel. Our feelings need to feel. It’s so obvious, and yet, so unpracticed.
“Right,” I said… “I could’ve walked these bottled up feelings to a museum, carried them with me on my hike… but then they’re like a poison I’m lugging around with me wherever I go.”
“Yeah. Or you could just cry now and let ‘em free.”
It’s been a journey for me out here in New Mexico. I’ve worked with some seriously incredible healers who’ve helped unearth parts of me that have been locked up for far too long. I’m breaking lifelong patterns and it’s not comfortable, takes so much courage and breathing and vulnerable requests for love and care as I go through this process.
But really listening to my feelings, asking them what I can do to let them come forward, is softening me, actually making this deep process lighter. I can feel that basic, humble love that lives at the bottom. And I’m starting to trust that it’s okay, sane, wise to listen deeply and follow earnestly my wild flow of emotion.
Today, I want to know, what's that feeling for you that you think "unfixable" or "irrational"... that you stuff down and don't let yourself have? Be brave and leave it in the comments. You can leave just one word, one phrase. But doing so is the beginning to letting your inner self know that you acknowledge it, that you won't ignore it forever, that something alive in you wants all of you to be free.
I want that for you, too. For all of us. For all of us to feel freely.
All my love,