This was a real shock to me as growing up she never showed emotions, particularly towards me.
Something must have happened.
It was several years before that she lost her mother and they were very close. It seemed to me that all the emotions that she had hidden away had been backing up and finally the dam had broken.
So why am I telling this story? Here is why.
Today as I write this I have done many years of soul searching and self guidance and therapy, and I am far more in touch with my emotional side, my feelings and my thoughts than I have ever been in my life. Why? Chronic illness has changed me irrevocably. It has changed who I am and how I express myself.
I no longer hide my pain, my tears, my emotions, my thoughts, my love, my feelings, my frustrations, my joy, my relief etc I can’t afford the energy it takes to hold it all back and bottle it up, as I need each bit of strength I had to manage every day. It’s desperately important that I don’t waste a moment.
It has been freeing. It has been helpful. It has been a release.
Living this way means that I am working through everything as it happens and not bottling it up. It means I am working. It means I am not stalling.
It also means that the things that might have bothered me once barely registers on my emotional radar now. A lost item. A financial bump. A cancelled trip. A bad day. Etc.
While there might have once been a time that my mother was the blue print for how I felt we should all feel and react, I have come to realize that I do not need permission to feel or need someone to give me my emotional cues. I no longer seek permission from anyone to express myself.
Pain can be freeing in that there is nowhere to hide from it. It is confronting. It takes you to the edge every day.
I recall an interview with Tom Cruise where he confessed he needs constant thrills and adrenaline to fulfill him and make him feel alive. I thought to myself that pain can do that instantly… No need for all the other added cost and expense.
Perhaps if Tom, or someone like him, had the daily challenge of pain and many other symptoms and hurdles, they would not be so obsessed with thrill seeking.
Pain is a leveler. It brings out many aspects of ourselves that we didn’t know about ourselves and it is us at our most honest.
Today I no longer feel embarrassed or uncomfortable about my tears or any other emotions I might be having. By living through them I am visiting with the many different aspects of me that I am. Taking care of all the different emotional needs I may have; and I have a right to them.
I deserve comforting when I am sad. Reassuring when I am scared. Love when I feel low. Validation when I feel weak!
I am human, and that’s what our humanity has bestowed upon us. Our emotions have an evolutionary role in helping to keep us together and maintain functioning.
And so I let it flow…