In the past I perceived myself as not very emotional, mostly because crying doesn’t come easy and I can be very analytical and logical. I know other women who are moved to tears in an instant. That’s not me. I can stand by and witness other people’s emotions and feel fine in myself. So it’s with surprise I realize and accept that I’m a deep feeler. I’m seeing the possibility that I may experience my emotions in a much more profound and physical way than other people do. When I resist deeply feeling my emotions chronic pelvic pain symptoms can be triggered. Instead of trying to feel like I think I should be feeling, I’m coming to expect, welcome and make room for feeling my emotions deeply, especially during major life transitions.
Now that I’ve healed much of the heavy protection I once carried in my body and around my soul and heart, I’m experiencing emotions in a more immediate and physical way. When I know what it is and how to feel it, it’s not so scary and I don’t get lost in it. I know how to take care of myself while I’m moving through this somatic and visceral experience.
Wearing the Emotions
In my latest experience with deep feeling emotions I actually felt like I was wearing the emotions in my body. My son recently left home to start his freshman year of college. He is the youngest of my two children and the last to leave home. I felt a surge of sadness and tears as I hugged him goodbye in his dorm room. Then my husband and I spent a few hours in his college town before we left to go back to my mother’s house an hour away over a mountain pass. It wasn’t until we got over the hill and a song came on the radio that I felt a visceral sense of separation and was able to let the tears flow. For the first week my son was gone the tears were at the surface and I felt as if I was wearing the grief. It was very heavy and made me really tired. I made space and time in private to let myself cry. Very gradually it stopped feeling so heavy and by the following weekend the grief had moved to the back ground.
Recognizing the Symptoms
If I didn’t know that feeling emotions can make me feel tired, heavy, create gassiness in my stomach and intestines, nausea, and body aches, I would think I was sick. But I know the symptoms well now. The good news is that when I don’t resist (consciously or unconsciously) what I’m feeling, I don’t end up in chronic pain. So I’m doing my best to witness, allow and be with my emotions on a moment to moment basis. When I do have annoying physical symptoms I accept that this is my body’s way of processing change and I bring love, acceptance and patience to my process, knowing I will come back into balance.
Ritual is Important
A healthy way to mark major life transitions, such as an empty nest, is to create a ritual. Some mothers I have talked to have given their child a photo album documenting their childhood. What I’ve been drawn to do is to clear out and thoroughly clean my son’s room. He left lots of old clothes and things behind that he doesn’t want. I’m keeping things I think he might want, but the old clothes are going along with soccer balls, Legos, bats, balls, and old shoes. When I’m done with his room I have plans to go through the rest of the house and clear out the old stuff to make room for the new energy of the next phase of my life.
Give Yourself a Break
Next time you have a major life transition make room to feel any emotions that want to be felt. Start by giving yourself a break. Tell people what’s going on. Don’t compare yourself to other people. Set your boundaries with yourself, co-workers and family and friends around what you agree to and what you don’t agree to when you are moving through strong emotions. Make more time to just be with what you’re feeling. Take some sick days from work. If you’re self-employed, adjust your schedule so you have more time to rest. Don’t resist what you’re feeling, don’t over analyze it, just be with it and trust the process. Mark with it a ritual or some significant acknowledgment of what has happened. Let your body, emotions and soul lead to you what you feel most inspired to do, if anything.
Recognize and Accept Your Unique Process
Now that I fully understand that I’m a deep feeler and that I feel emotions in a very physical way, I can stop comparing myself to other people. I can stop resisting how I feel. I can make space for taking the time to allow my mind-body to feel deeply. I can support myself by accepting and recognizing what’s happening and trusting my process. I can take the time for deep rest honoring my process. I can let go of fear around it. It makes for a much more easeful experience. I’m practicing patience and trust with my process knowing that it’s a vital part of readying me for the adventure of life beyond raising children. As I experience profound change, my higher self stands by offering support and guidance, acting as a midwife while my whole being births into who I am becoming.
Photo credit: winnond freedigitalphotos.net.