I was sailing along down the road two mornings ago. Had just dropped off one of my kids at school. I was listening to a book. And thinking about...a TV show. Yep. Nothing deep. Owning that. Suddenly there was a school bus in front of me that I was about to T-bone. I screeched the brakes, pulled to the right, and came to a stop at the curb of the intersection that the bus just galumphed through, unhesitatingly. I don’t think the driver saw me. Or maybe they are trained not to veer because they are the biggest, and a little car like mine would just be squashed.
I pulled into the parking lot on the corner to catch my breath.
I had almost run a stop sign. Into a school bus.
I have been learning for the last while about how you can store emotions in your body, and that they can make you sick, and have been spending considerable focus releasing trapped emotions in an effort to regain my health. I didn’t want these intense negative emotions that I was currently feeling to stick around, so instead of stuffing them down inside, or pushing them away, or numbing out with food or Netflix, I decided to feel them, and let them go.
I breathed deeply. What was I feeling? My heart was pounding with that ‘almost got into a wreck’ feeling. So much Shame, Guilt, Embarrassment. I mean, it was a school bus! I was feeling Anger. At me. Feeling Gratitude. That I didn’t actually hit it. And that my kids weren’t in the car to see their mom do something so stupid. Ah. Hiding. I wanted to hide this and never tell anyone about it.
Hiding is one of my Things. Hiding when the kitchen’s a mess, hiding that I don’t have the energy to do my makeup and hair some days. But, one of the purposes of this blog is to help me stop hiding. Hiding my lack of perfectness. Hiding my insights into behavior and healing. Hiding who I really am. To stop me from slipping away. Into nothingness. So I will at least write this post, even if I never post it.
I let the emotions come up, wash over and through me. I imagined a great hole in my middle that this river of emotions whooshed through. I let myself just sit and feel them. It was uncomfortable. And it was ok that it was uncomfortable. I let myself feel the discomfort. And breathed through it.
I connected with the light. And in my meditation prayed for the emotions to be released. Used my tools of releasing emotions. Sat there for probably 20 minutes. Breathing deeply through all of this. Until I felt a shift in my heart where I had felt such heaviness. So I think I let it go.
I’m feeling a little more heaviness now as I write, so I think I’ll check in with myself again to see if there is more for me to release.
This is exactly the opposite of how I have handled emotions for most of my adult life. I didn’t really have any tools for expressing emotions other than yelling, and I didn’t want to yell at people, so I mostly just stuffed all of my negative emotions down inside my body instead of releasing them, or talking through them. Until they became a great smoldering crockpot of yuck, simmering up on a high shelf I never looked at. I breathed shallowly so that I wouldn’t smell it.
At some point in my life, the shelf broke, and the crockpot came crashing down with all it’s blistering poison. And I finally had to start sorting through the things that were making my body sick. I know what it’s like to have a toxic crockpot.
A little at a time, I’m trying to build new patterns. And be gentle with myself when I revert to the old ones. Sometimes healing comes one step, one almost wreck, at a time.