Yesterday, for the second time in less than a month, something I read made me cry, another reminder of deeply cherished dreams I never fulfilled, and now never will in that form.
I’m talking big round tears rolling down my face. This shouldn’t feel unusual, given changes I’ve made, walking away from huge chunks of my life. I keep expecting that I’ll arrive any day now, and yet in life we never arrive, not in the sense I once understood. I’m on this pilgrimage now until the day I die. I don’t have to suffer. But feelings aren’t optional.
This is a fresh approach to dealing with shit that comes up.
You have to remember my heritage: WASP crossed with Scandinavian Lutheran and academic to boot. We don’t believe we’re supposed to feel freely. We bottle it up and put on a good face. We double down and work harder, which explains my occasional migraines. We don’t say bad words except when we’ve earned them.
There’s a correlation here with Minnesota Nice, which if you’ve never experienced it—well, it’s weirdly disconcerting. We have hearts of gold—albeit conflicted. Emotions? They tend to sneak out sideways.
Eventually something’s got to give. I’ve come to understand that I get to take care of myself. Ongoing. On days when I feel good. And also when I don’t. In the past I would have hidden or explained away my tears. Tried to fix things. That’s called emotional bypass. I honor the fluid nature of feelings these days.
Yesterday was not a gasping, labored act, but a simple allowing. Acknowledgement of where it was hitting me. Not regretting what’s been. Accepting. I reached out to people I trust, taking responsibility for the fact that my pain was mine. I asked for perspective.
Well. I received love through quiet connections. Breathe, my people told me. I hear you. Trust yourself and drink plenty of water. Take smaller steps. And go walk in nature.
It felt not too judge-y but wise.
Funny. Those are the things I do when I’m feeling really good. They’re the advice I offer coaching clients. Still when I’m the one feeling sad, I tend to stay home and suffer more guilt over sadness. As if nature cares.
Or maybe nature does. She greeted me with countless buds and a symphony yesterday.
Emptying out is necessary to be refilled. Nobody disputes this when I say so. How about this? Refilling is also a part of that process. Not indulgent, not selfish. Essential. Because—when I’m feeling excellent, that’s when others feel excellent around me.
Let’s take care of ourselves.
Dear Creative Spirit,
How can you replenish, no matter what?
I mean it. Name one way.