Emotions arrive out of nowhere and can feel like they come from an empty bottomless pit. It can be hard not to try to control them or judge ourselves for having certain feelings. “I should know better,” used to be a common refrain of mine. “Lizards have brains better developed than mine in this area,” I would think.
The hurt of insecurity. The pain of uncertainty. The fear of rejection and banishment. None were rational, but all would visit me at times. Along with rage and sadness. An ever-changing continuum of emotional experience that I desperately tried to keep at the positive end of the spectrum to no avail. The more I tried the worse I felt. The more I failed the clearer it seemed there was something wrong with me.
But none of us escape emotions and why would we want to avoid them when they are part of our health and healing. It helps to be open to them and to not insist on hiding or carrying the painful parts of the human experience alone.
My tears are running and Linda says to me, “I’m sorry for whatever happened to you that makes you feel this way.”
I am sitting at the kitchen table with her looking out over the water. The light is bright even though the day is grey and overcast. My eyes squint. The wooden table in the bare-bones open plan kitchen is old. Something you would find in a thrift store. There is a plastic cloth on it. Easy to wipe down. Easy to wash. Easy to clean up. Unlike the messiness of my experience. The blue mug in my hand now holds cold tea and the milk on the surface has turned into an oil slick with the slight shimmer of a rainbow. I am wearing my black Patagonia jacket inside. I can never seem to get warm in the Pacific Northwest.
I say to myself, “I don’t know why I am crying, and I can’t stop.”
Sometimes release happens that way. We don’t understand it. It pours out of us. It feels like there is no end to it. A bottomless pit of emotion with an infinite resource of liquid sadness. And then the sun reappears. Emotions shift. The well closes over and can’t be found until it spontaneously emerges again, a magical opening into another world. A portal that defies gravity. A break in the space-time continuity that jumbles memories into plastic carrier bags of recycling that return again and again. Constantly being reused and repurposed in a kaleidoscopic array of shapes and sizes.
What good is this human condition when we can’t escape the repeat cycle of emotions and memory? What use are feelings that can’t be understood? What purpose is the grit of life that stings eyeballs and leaves mouths parched?
Emotions show up uninvited and can fill my entire being. The waterworks turn on and I can’t find the off switch. I have to wait soggy and limp, for them to pass. But each time I feel deeply and stay open to my experience a bit more of my Self gets revealed. Tears help to wash away the mud of misunderstandings so I can see more clearly who I am and love more fully as a result.
Rohini Ross is co-founder of “The Rewilders.” Listen to her podcast, with her partner Angus Ross, Rewilding Love. They believe too many good relationships fall apart because couples give up thinking their relationship problems can’t be solved. In this season of the Rewilding Love Podcast, Rohini and Angus help a couple on the brink of divorce due to conflict. Angus and Rohini also co-facilitate private couples' intensives that rewild relationships back to their natural state of love. Rohini is also the author of the ebook Marriage, and she and Angus are co-founders of The 29-Day Rewilding Experience and The Rewilding Community. You can follow Rohini on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. To learn more about her work and subscribe to her blog visit: TheRewilders.org.