In my nearly 46 years on this planet, I had an experience 2 weeks ago that I had yet to ever have...
"Shock and incredulity can take our breath away, and grief and powerlessness often come for our hearts and our minds. But anguish, the combination of these experiences, not only takes away our ability to breathe, feel, and think- it comes from our bones. Anguish often causes us to physically crumple in on ourselves, literally bringing us to our knees or forcing us all the way to the ground. " - Brene Brown, Atlas of the Heart
After moving through this nearly unbearable, debilitating emotion, it got me thinking, have I never been in a place that caused this much hurt, where anguish would come knocking at my door? Or have I simply been controlling my emotions so strongly, that I just never opened the door when it knocked in the past?
This is what I can say about anguish, it is the deepest, darkest, place I have ever been.
It was extremely vulnerable.
It was exceptionally scary.
And it feels like a place of no return.
It sucks. It hurts. There is a pain inside the body that fills you and consumes you.
Takes you over.
I cried A LOT! My face looked like I had been beaten. My body was so dehydrated by legs cramped. And I am not just talking about tears here, I am talking about cry out loud sobbing and wailing. The things that TV drama is made of.
And now for the surprise of a lifetime......it felt REALLY GOOD!
Every ounce of pressure that my body had been holding onto for the past 46 years dissipated. There was no place for tension to go but out. Anything that had been stored in my body was released. I cracked open, by body opened up and I let go of it all.
Yes, it was nearly unbearable for 4 days.
Four days were grief was not even an option, I had no space for it. Anguish was needed first.
And then there was just space. And clarity. And now fond memories, conversations, compassionate sadness, relate-ability, healing and growing.
I feel new again.
I feel like I moved through something that my body had been craving for decades.
And now I wonder, maybe it wasn't that this was the first time that I needed to feel this deeply, but only the first time that I LET myself feel this deeply. And in feeling this pain, I feel human. I feel whole. I feel complete. And I see clearly how the pain and the joy all lives in the same place.
So the question becomes......
Where are you holding back? Where are you controlling your emotions? Where are you preventing yourself from feeling so deeply that it might break you and at the same time preventing yourself from feeling all the love and joy that lives right along side it.