Archives for posts with tag: feeling the feelings

Peculiar morning. I woke from a sound sleep to the message from my Traveling Partner letting me know he is safely home. I felt okay when I woke… not “merry” or overly enthused, but calm and content, certainly. My emotions have shifted and boiled up since then, mixing, shifting, seeming detached from any specific circumstances. Moments of deep love, poignant moments of almost-grief, a lingering vague sadness, a certain tinge of disappointed bitterness with edges gilded in cynicism – variety, this morning, a sampler of feelings lacking in context. No point to be made. No knowledge to be gained. Random emotions in the hours after waking, only.

Last year a morning like this would drive me to my meditation cushion, seeking solace and self-soothing. Two years ago, maybe three, I’d have been feeling low over it, pensive and moody, wondering “what it all means”, but diligently avoiding becoming fused with the emotions, and putting a lot of effort into being present in the moment. 5 years ago, a morning like this one would have found me weeping quietly behind a closed door, frightened of shadows, certain there was no emotionally safe place to turn, filled with despair, and enraged that “it’s all happening again and I can’t make it stop!!” – and not sure what exactly I meant by any of that.

This morning I am a calm observer of my emotions as they ebb and flow, passing through me, sweeping over me, arriving, and then also departing. “This too shall pass” is pretty much approximately always a true statement, whatever the circumstances, if only I can allow it to be so. I open windows to let in the breezes. I enjoy my coffee as day begins to break. I watch dawn arrive from the deck, bare feet on wood, the hair on my arms raised in the pre-dawn chill. I meditate. I have my oatmeal for breakfast. I do my physical therapy stuff. I water the patio garden as the sky begins to lighten from pale to more obviously blue. This is my life, emotions and all. I am okay with that, and with them.

It’s a strangely emotional morning, though. No obvious cause and effect – that’s hard for me, because as human primates are often inclined to do, I really want my emotions to “make sense”, even though “making sense” and being “reasonable” are not their role. I am human, very, and both emotion and reason are part of that experience. I find that some of the power of emotional experiences is lost if I force some kind of rationalized context on them, instead of simply feeling my feelings. So this morning I am feeling things. I wasn’t expecting such a morning, or planning on it, and I don’t know where it may lead or what the day looks like if filled with such experiences.

“Emotion and Reason” 18″ x 24″ acrylic w/ceramic and glow details

I hear vehicles passing by. Some slow down near the cross-street nearest my driveway. My heart jumps each time – is it him? Each time, I feel that it could be my Traveling Partner. My emotions reach my consciousness first. Reason politely points out that although it is physically within the realm of possibilities that he could indeed have immediately gone from his RV to the SUV and headed this way, arriving here sometime around now-ish, it’s really not likely – he just finished driving hundreds of miles through the night, arrived home safely – and tired – and more probably is now soundly asleep. That’s “reasonable”. Reason gets to the party a little later than emotion does. How much fucking drama does that timing cause humanity day-to-day? I smile and sip my coffee. It’s nice to have the practical example in the moment.

Here. Now.

Pink clouds against a blue sky as the sun begins to edge over the unseen horizon. I know the sun is there, though I can’t see it. Peering at my life through my emotions is a little like that, this morning; I have reason, waiting in the background like that unseen sunrise, but for now what I see are those pink clouds of emotion, reflecting facets of what is, all colored up and altered, changing with the light as the sun does rise. Eventually, day light. Eventually, emotion and reason in balance, awake, and aware.

Strange morning. I have time for another cup of coffee. I have time to begin again.

It’s still odd getting used to working Sundays. I’ve got the car for this one, and that’s actually pretty nice. I slept badly; it takes time to get used to new work days or hours. I woke a couple times, and struggled with anxiety coming and going, of a fairly garden-variety “will I remember to go to work?” sort. I know that will pass.

I also woke feeling discontent, which may or may  not have anything to do with the fact that it was acid reflux that woke me, about 15 minutes ahead of my alarm. Unpleasant. The result of my discontent, which was with me before I fully woke up, is a bit of snarling at myself in the background over tedious this and that, which could easily be handled with consideration and kindness. I figure I’ll get past it, once I’m awake, have had some coffee, some time to meditate, and time for the antacid I finally thought to take to have its effect. Rather than also snarl at myself over snarling at myself, I make a point of not taking my morning irritability at all personally; it’s very human.

My coffee is terrible this morning. Yes, I am drinking it anyway. lol As with life itself, sometimes I take a few swallows of a bitter brew before I realize I could choose differently. đŸ˜‰

The sky is gray as the dawn comes. The forecast says it will be a hot day. The breeze filling the apartment with the cooler morning air feels a bit muggy. Tomorrow the forecast is for hotter weather still, but the temperature appears to drop again, after that. I hear a rare rumbling of thunder in the distance. I try to get my head right for the work day. How does the weekend feel like it has been both so very long and also so very short? How am I so tired?

I think back over the weekend – it was much less productive than I meant it to be, one possible source of my irritability and discontent this morning. I fuss over the feelings for a moment, before realizing the likely shortcut to being over it is to go ahead and feel it, acknowledge the feelings, and make choices that result in a different experience. lol So practical.

I am definitely having my own experience. I would prefer it be a different one. My results vary, and I have so many choices… being human, it can be so hard to go ahead and choose… There are verbs involved. Looks like I need to begin again… đŸ˜‰

 

I spent a restless night, dreaming strange dreams, waking, returning to sleep and repeating the cycle without any stress or agita. It was a restless night nonetheless. I had to take a break from some medication I’d been taking, due to other health concerns, and over days wound up standing on the threshold of Hormone Hell once again. Annoying. Now…now I get to adjust to the hormones all over again, and that’s a few restless nights and strange dreams. It’s not so bad – I think I am getting some better at this. đŸ™‚

In other areas of my experience, the endless practicing of practices, compassionately applying fail sauce when needed, and dusting myself off to practice some more is paying off; every day more small details play out in a way that feels, from my perspective, as though it is my experience, indeed, and that I am generally enjoying much of it – and what is not enjoyable, still tends to be reasonable, understandable, and an opportunity to grow. Perspective matters. Good communication basics matter. The will to let things go, and refrain from making someone else’s experience personal to my own – yeah, those things matter a lot. Is life ‘perfect’? Is it ever, for anyone? Listen to some of the peculiarly specific Bitching of the Rich and Shopping sometime, at a place like Whole Foods – even the privileged and the mighty find things to be discontent about. (Can you imagine a mom barely making ends meet on minimum wage complaining in the grocery store about the packaging at the meat counter being a potential choking hazard for her dog – and how her dog will only eat prime rib, but the cook won’t feed the dog, and is she really expected to open the package, herself? I doubt you’ll ever hear such a thing from a woman on minimum wage or assistance. Whole Foods is great place to listen in on privileged foolishness.) There is a lot of perspective to be had in the world, quietly observing fellow human primates in their natural environment – be careful even around the domesticated ones; human primates are quite dangerous, and easily provoked to verbal or physical violence. (They just aren’t as tame as they look.)

Perspective is a very big deal for me. I sometimes move too quickly through my experience, before I give myself the opportunity to reason, and to choose well. This is an effect of disinhibition – I feel, I react –  I have the thought, I say the words; sometimes it is embarrassing and quite public, sometimes it is frustrating and quite lonely. It is a part of my experience, and I am learning practices to help me manage it. The most critical one is probably meditation. The time I have spent so far really embracing stillness, practicing meditation as though it meets the most basic of biological needs – like sleep, like eating, like breathing, like sex – has taken me a very different direction that I had been headed. One that is vastly more positive, compassionate, agreeable, engaging – supportive of the needs of others, without under-cutting my own. One that refuses to abdicate my decision-making, sense of self, or joy, and refuses to over-compromise when it comes to meeting my basic needs as a human being. “Life-changing” is a fair observation. Perspective matters so much that it not only helped me get this far – it helps beat back the not-as-uncommon-as-I’d-like despair that sometimes hits me when I come face to face with having to put myself first among my priorities, and face rejection, resentment, anger, or the defense forces of the status quo; change is not always a comfortable fit for everyone facing it. My changes impact the experience of others who interact with me. The limitations of my injury sometimes leave me unprepared that what I want and need and will be good for me may face opposition, or be in conflict with the needs of others. There’s perspective, standing by for me in the those moments, reminding me to be kind, compassionate, and remain focused on what matters most – to me.

Like awaiting the inevitable first rose of spring, it is important to trust the process, and know that mindful living, good self-care, and putting my oxygen mask on first will take the journey in a positive direction.  "Baby Love" in the garden, the most loved rose in my garden opens first this year.

Like awaiting the inevitable first rose of spring, it is important to trust the process.
“Baby Love”, the most loved rose in my garden opens first this year.

Sometimes I have a peculiar feeling that I ‘don’t know who I am’; it always passes when I realize what I am feeling is really the chasm between who I am, in my own experience, and how different that is than who I sense I have been defined as external to my own experience, by others. Lucky me, this one’s easy; I am the sole and exclusive subject matter expert on my experience, on how I feel – on who I am. There is no ‘second opinion’, only other perspectives not my own. Better still? I choose. I decide. I create my experience. No, those things are not ‘selfish’ in any inappropriate or cruel sense; they are a natural statement of personal power and autonomy, utterly necessary for self-love, self-compassion, self-assurance, and a comfortable sense of self. The Art of Being would seem to require that I go right ahead and be; it’s a verb, and the verb is to choose. đŸ™‚

Today is a good day for choices, for changes, and for love. Today is a good day to be at the top of my own agenda. Today is a good day to embrace what I love about who I am. Today is a good day to enjoy my experience.