It’s amazing how you can be in a fairly neutral emotional state, hear a song or some other catalyst, and have waves of emotions, tears and swirling thoughts wash over you in an instant. When I step back I can see how that is a gift, a beautiful gift of being divinely feminine. To me anyway, as I have not inhabited a man’s body or mind in this lifetime.
I see it as a gift now. Feeling all of your feelings. Allowing them to flow through you like water through a sieve. Not knowing what will be left contained to look upon, but fully aware it needs to be seen.
A decade or two, maybe more really, was spent not shedding any tears. Not the healthy ones. Occasionally, I’m sure or I might have burst. Anger or upset would bring tears and then I would get frustrated with myself for feeling weak. Why in this moment when I want to use my voice, does it tremble with emotion, fear and tears?
For decades I’ve felt like a dam of emotions. Not crying, not consciously looking at myself, simply plowing ahead and surviving. All the time I would tell you I was thriving too, and the woman I was or the girl I’ve been surely was thriving, in her own ways. I’m no longer them.
I’ve learned to dance with vulnerability, get cozy with my true Self and judge myself a lot less.
I’m grateful for the years of hard-won battles my past-self fought in order to keep my mind sane, my body safe and my career on track for success. Success, at that time, defined by proving your parents wrong, giving the finger to society and it’s requirements of you and to simply pay your bills.
I define success a lot differently these days.
These are warrior skills, you know? I’ve fought a lot of battles. Death, loss, grief, failure, betrayal, abuse, divorce, sick children and more, as so many of us… it’s called life.
We each come in honing different skills, finding different tools and hopefully taking the ultimate journey into our own being and discovering who and what we are. To stand before a mirror and look into your own eyes, to sit in meditation and ask, Who am I?
To observe yourself in action and become fascinated with your responses, thoughts, reactions, deeds, hurts and joys. Asking yourself, What do I really want? Like the myriad of people in your life – parents, teachers, lovers, friends – could have asked you, may have encouraged, but they didn’t and then you are so conditioned to think asking yourself, what do I want?, is actually selfish.
Today these thoughts flow out of me like the tears that came on the car-ride to take my children to school. Partly flowing easily knowing your son was bullied, again, at school yesterday and he was fighting back his own tears and afraid to go back today. In his own way exhausted from the battles his 13yr-old-self has already faced. Partly from the months your 16yr old daughter has had issue after issue with high-school friends, grades, braces, boys, back pain from her surgery and more. Her energy creeping in on you like a fog until you feel the dense weight of it yourself.
Partly from the accomplishments I am achieving now as they swirl the winds of change, get me out of my comfort zone and challenge me to another level of growth. Partly for the lover that’s too far away in distance and possibility, neither of us truly free to be what we could be, both battling demons of destiny that neither of us fully know about each other and wondering if living in limbo is living.
Partly for the missed opportunities that may be rising again and cause confusion, wonder, hope and fear. Again, this is life, especially when you are fully aware… yet, often not knowing, aware of what?
Then it comes as no surprise, when you put on Janis Joplin and her gravely, sultry voice starts telling you that freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose, that tears spring out of your eyes and fall down your cheeks.
That out of nowhere you can see yourself taking the hand of your lover and driving from the Kentucky coal mines to the California sun and in every word, every beat that slaps time like those windshield wipers can conjure up feeling so overwhelming.
With both kids in the car you smile and say wistfully, “this song gets me every time, such love in this song” and they have no idea the life you live, the dreams come and gone, fulfilled and lost. Your daughter asks if you are ok and you smile and say… “definitely baby, I’m simply allowing myself to feel all these feelings and now here they are falling down my face.”
This generation will know it’s ok to cry, to feel, to look at it all. My legacy will be to have my kids live fully and not sweep negative under the rug and plow on. That would be like pretending the night never existed and never fully understanding the brightness of the sun.
Feel it all. This is part of finding our magic.