Saturday, June 12, 2010

Living In The Waves

Emotions are like the waves of the ocean, some high tide and some low tide, some I let run over me and from some I run away. Happiness is easy, I want it to shower me and I want to stay in the water as long as I can. Even the memory of a joyful moment in my life can bring back a smile like a wave comes back to the sand. You know that time you were driving in your car, thinking about all the things you have to do in a day and your favorite song from your school days comes on the radio - first recognition, then memory, and BAM, a stream of memories come flooding back, the friends you had, the smells of the restaurants and soon you are smiling and singing!

How about anger?! This is a tricky one because I find that sometimes when the big wave of anger goes away, little drops remain like when I get out of the water and I dry off with the big soft towel, but my hair is still wet. I can help dry my hair faster or let it dry on its own, it is my decision. Anger feels the same to me. Even after a discussion and apologies have been made, there is always that lingering feeling that stays until it goes away. And most of the time, I am patient, once I say or hear, "I am sorry," the wave of anger begins to leave and there is room for good feelings.

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about sadness. A therapist once told me that it takes more energy to push an emotion away then to simply feel it. That statement made to me seven years ago still profoundly effects on me and I have repeated many times over. It was most useful when my dad died. In the past seven months, I have tried to move through the waves of sadness with them rather than against them. Of course, this means I have to be sad. What I have found is that after a very intense trauma or grieving process, my life seems lighter, brighter, and it has greater clarity. And even though, like the song that brings happiness and the words that might bring anger, sadness can also be triggered by a song, words from a friend, or a commercial on television. So I might cry more and I might feel things more intensely, but it is all worth it because the most important thing is that I do feel it. Happy, Anger, Sadness - these and more are all part of life and I say, bring it on and in the end, my life will be more truthful and much sweeter.