On emotions



Feelings are difficult, even the ones that feel good – maybe especially those. I’m not talking about expressing emotions here. I am talking about feeling them. Many people walk around not even knowing how they feel at any given moment. I know it was that way for me growing up. When psychiatrists would ask me how I was feeling I often said, “I don’t know.” And I didn’t.

I have come to understand deeply that recognizing emotions, being able to name them, is the first step in working through them, processing them. Being able to say “I feel sad,” is the beginning of feeling happy again. (“Your joy is your sorrow unmasked”-Gibran) But for a long time, emotions sat deep within me, unknown, and unexperienced. It is a wonder that I never developed an ulcer, though, come to think of it, I did have a spastic colon for a while.

When Kimm and I reached New Mexico, I had been running on pure adrenalin. If I felt anything it was relief at finally being here where there was so much less external stress and inner turmoil. But I didn’t permit myself to really feel my feelings. I had no idea what my feelings were. There was so much to do in the way of adjusting to a new environment, that I didn’t think about it. I just went along and did what needed to be done at the moment, and learned to live in these majestic mountains.

In ending a long-term relationship – for whatever reason – there are always feelings to sort out, and they surface gradually. I was still hurt and angry, and somewhat in disbelief that the person I had been living with had hated me for so long and pretended not to. I felt like I really never knew her. It was scary. I couldn’t experience the sadness that I knew was inside me, the feeling of loss, and I couldn’t grieve. My emotions were stuffed so far down I was unaware of them. Until now.

I don’t like to cry, I never have. Even as a kid, when I felt tears coming, I would pretend to yawn so that whomever I was with would think the tears were from yawning. Tears were an embarrassment. That’s partly due to the fact that when I was very young and something would make me cry, my father always said, “Cut the dramatics!”

Anyway, this is just the long way of saying I am feeling now. All the things that I know come along with grieving are coming up. I am sad, hurt, and sorry, but no longer angry. I am really beginning to let go, say farewell, and while it’s painful on some level, I also know it’s all good. And it’s not inundating. I am not drowning in it. I still feel joy and gratitude and love for my life as it is. This is a time of deep emotional healing, and I am happy it is finally happening for me.

Emotions are no longer anathema. I accept them. They are embraced now as part of life. They are the gifts of living consciously, and I am proud to have them. It is all part of the human experience that Kimm and I talk about so often. Though, I have to confess, there are still moments – however fleeting – that I wish I were an android. šŸ˜‰