May we all live brightly
love passionately and hold nothing back
And when the moment is over, when our work is done
May we step back
and let go
As far back as I can remember, I’ve been emotional.
I was a dramatic child. My mom tells me she took me to a psychiatrist when I was three because I was so bossy. When I would fall and scrape my knee and my Dad couldn’t calm me down because I was crying so hard, he’d tell me to “hit the ground.” I think this was done to channel my sadness into anger and to allow me to get it out. Well played, Dad.
When I am sad enough, my heart physically hurts. This has helped me in certain ways- I’ve been able to channel my emotions and become a better writer. I certainly am a compassionate person thanks to my emotions. I feel for people I know and people I don’t know.
A lot of the times, though, my emotions feel like they get in the way. Many a time I’ve been told I’m too emotional; that I shouldn’t let things get to me the way I do.
People tell me to ‘get over it.’ They think I’m weak.
I’m here to tell you that is far from the truth.
Last night I found out my grandfather is going into hospice and I wept. My heart hurts- for my own loss, for my dad’s loss, for my grandmother’s loss. And also for my Grandpa Bell- the strong, handsome father of my father. A man who fought for our country and who has been through more than I could imagine.
My grandparents have been married for 64 years. My grandmother has been sick for a long time; my grandfather, who has been the healthy one, recently got diagnosed with leukemia. Two weeks later and he’s being moved into hospice. It’s a shock that he’s the one that will likely pass first. It’s also a love story- they are both worried about the other over themselves.
Any way you look at it though, death and loss are sad. When I was crying last night, I was thinking I should tone it down; that I shouldn’t be this sad. Grandparents die. It’s a part of the life cycle. I don’t want people at the office to look at the bags under my eyes and wonder what’s wrong, or to think that there’s always something wrong.
I woke up at 2 am and thought: Fuck that.
Just like when I was little my sadness channeled into anger (this time without punishing the ground- you’re spared this time, my friend). I’m writing it down and getting it out.
What’s so wrong with being emotional? I experience life. I’m compassionate. I’ve probably helped other people through things because I feel their hurt. I’m not the kind of person who thinks, she shouldn’t be that sad. I feel your sadness and I hurt for you. I don’t typically dwell on it, but there is a level of humanness and connectedness when I feel your pain or sadness.
I have had the highest of highs and some pretty low lows, and have felt both greatly. Isn’t that the point of living? For me it is.
I’m generally a happy person, but for those times when my heart hurts, I’m done being ashamed.
I’m done worrying about what other people will think when they see bags under my eyes from crying the night before. You know what that’s from? Feeling things. Experiencing my life. If you don’t like it, too bad. That’s one thing I’m not wasting any more energy on.
In her book Daring Greatly, Brene Brown sums it up nicely:
“To feel is to be vulnerable. To believe vulnerability is weakness is to believe feeling is a weakness.”
You may call it too emotional. You know what I call it? Compassionate. Vulnerable. Alive.
I’d like to call Bullshit on myself. The last post I wrote was all airy fairy, and I talked about how I was ready to loosen my grip and move forward.
That’s nice and all, but what’s really happening is a tad bit different. Maaaybe more than a tad bit.
For the past few days, I’ve been getting hot and cold. I don’t have a fever, but it feels like I do. I’ve been welling up with tears over leaving the people I so dearly love and remenicsing on my growth during the past six years. I’ve felt a combination of excitement and anxiety that is hard to explain.
There are so many good things going on in my life right now. There is a synchronicity that I attribute to the work I’ve been doing personally and spiritually. That’s not to say that I don’t have down days or stress- I do (ask my trainer, who has me rolling out my tight shoulders daily)-but I generally feel a sense of “I get it.” A peaceful acceptance I didn’t have before.
So why do I keep waking up at 4 a.m. riddled with anxiety?
This time is what Gabrielle Bernstein, motivational speaker, author, and spiritual gangster, calls the magic hour. “This is the hour when the spiritual veil is lifted,” she says. As a big fan of sleep, I’m not sure I ‘d give it such a positive name, but I can see there might be a higher reason for these wake up calls.
This morning when I woke up, after about an hour of trying to go back to sleep, I decided to write. I wrote about what was on my mind, and it just came out. It came out a little messy since it was, after all, 5 a.m., but what I wrote helped to get out what has been bubbling under the surface of my calm(er) state of mind: fear of change.