Last week I was having a serious case of emotional constipation. I'm pretty sure we've all been there. For me, what was happening was that I knew in my head that I was feeling loss, grief, overwhelm, and tenderness. But those feelings weren't moving. I felt stagnant, the world and my life just felt kind of dull, and I wasn't able to be productive. I just felt...heavy. Stuck. And resistant. Yuck. I wouldn't have named my experience as emotional constipation at the time, because for me, one of the hallmarks of it is a lack of clarity. What I could articulate though was that I felt like I needed support. Contact with other people. So, I did what felt like the simplest thing. I reached out on facebook. I wrote, "Ouch. I could use a little love today, friends. :( Help me out?" In response, over 30 comments and a bunch more private messages rolled in.
And THEN I realized what it was I'd been needing. TEARS! Seeing and feeling people respond to my request for help with such love cracked through whatever hardness was keeping me from fully feeling my grief. And finally, oh finally, I surrendered to the wave of emotion pulsing through me. My body got soft and something from deep inside finally got expression and moved through my whole body and out. I sobbed. And I could feel again!I felt the textures and nuances of the grief as it came alive inside me---sadness, loss, jealousy, anger. Each emotion its own wave and unique feeling. And with them, clarity!
And it felt good. The emotions themselves were uncomfortable, but I finally felt myself again. Unstuck. The world was in color again and what had felt hard, brittle, and dried up felt lush, aerated, vibrant, and alive. There is just nothing as sweet as this feeling of self intimacy, even when I arrive there through uncomfortable emotions. It was beautiful. And the whole experience lasted around a half hour. After that, I got to go on about my day, feeling my heart, feeling tender, and feeling my love for the world and the people I met that day. When I imagine going through that day feeling stuck and dull...well, I'd prefer not to.
You've probably heard, "The only way out is through." I believe it. And the more experiences I have like this one, the more I trust myself in those fires, the closer I feel to myself, and the more vibrant the world becomes to me. Let it come. Invite it to dinner. And please, leave a comment to let me know how it's going.