I worked extremely hard the past nine years to understand that emotions and feelings come and go. I learned not to run from them, or try and cleave them off as if they were not happening. I know that feelings and emotions are like waves on the ocean. Some of them are gentle ripples, and some feel as intense as a tsunami. The waves come and the waves go, each breaking on the shore and all are time-limited.
So much emotion! I feel thankful, happy, I feel stunned. I feel tired, confused, scared and sometimes terrified. I feel a sense of peace, and connectedness to the world around me. I feel hope, and calm. I’m full of anxiety, sadness, doubt, and restlessness. I am up, I am down. I am content.
I have learned to sit with the emotion. I understand that even the most intense feelings will ebb even though it sometimes feels like they take up all the space in my body, mind, and soul.
I have found that I became an expert in riding the waves of emotion. In an almost automatic way, I can now say, “Yep, I’m feeling right now, I know it will pass, just sit with it, and it will be okay. I’m okay.” This is a hugely important skill that I had to develop for my health.
Admittedly, there are still times that when I feel the intense emotions begin to rise, I sometimes try for control. I want to balance perfectly and surf to the shore with ease. That’s not life, even the most eloquent and prophetic surfer wipes out. It’s okay, another set of emotional waves will come soon enough. Sometimes gentle, sometimes stormy, sometimes hardly noticing the fleeting feelings. That’s normal, natural, human nature.
But what happens between the waves?
That place where the waters are calm and it presents the option to rest. To Just Be. The place where it’s okay to think, (just think), to let myself be open to opportunities instead of actively seeking them out. To try and not focus on filling time; thinking that if I’m not working on something, or towards something, that I am lazy, or irrelevant.
I’m beginning to learn to intentionally focus on the rest times and give myself a break. To let the wisdom of noticing, understanding impermanence, and to mindfully acknowledge the teachers who walk through my open doors, whatever their form.
Yesterday a friend was reading an article to me. She came to a line that had an incredibly profound effect on me. The line in the article read: When our heads are filled up with too much, too soon, there is no way to just be. This exactly summed up my struggle with trying to conceptualize the concept of resting between the waves.
With a sense of calm, honoring the lull, with the wind creating a gentle breeze, I can say that at this moment…I feel grateful.
Thank you for reading my books: If I Could Tell You How It Feels, and Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph