Feeling feelings. Who’d’a thunk?

I woke up today with overwhelming heartsickness incredibly reminiscent of mornings back in 2003. In high school, I always had a crush on someone, but never the nerve to tell any of them. Typical, I suppose.

One of those precious objects of my affection later became a good friend… and later stopped speaking to me cold turkey for a reason that continues to elude me. And I dreamt of him last night.

I don’t know, I guess it’s fine. I tell myself that sometimes people need life upgrades and occasionally it means shedding friendships that aren’t working for them anymore. I’ve done it myself, and I’m okay with it. Except that, despite knowing better, it vaguely leaves me feeling like I’m the place from which, and not TO which, people upgrade. Also, I miss him. I don’t usually notice, but today I have the emotional field of a 14-year-old, and I do.

I’m doing my life coaching certification course right now, and I’ve also been studying a lot of spiritual stuff. I know that any sadness or fear I feel is the result of a mind construct and does not actually reflect anything “bad” happening outside of me. And that awareness is good.

But I think I’ve been coaching myself too harshly. I feel the awfulness and I immediately get to work finding better feeling thoughts. It works, but only temporarily; it doesn’t take long before I find myself crashing back down to where I started. I’ve been afraid of my fear and depression, and by running away I reinforce the idea that something in those depths is true, that something there can destroy me… and it can’t.

The holidays have been tough for me, as they are for so many others. I have the intellectual awareness that there is much to appreciate, but sometimes my feelings don’t come along for that ride. So, along with daily yoga and meditation, I’ve been experimenting with feeling my dark feelings, even if it means retreating to my room and crying for a few minutes to release them.

I know. This can be difficult to do while, say, the family is opening presents or having dinner. You don’t want to be noticed, you don’t want to be consoled.

During the holidays, the good cheer either lassos you right into it, or makes you hyper aware of how far you are from happiness. The world polarizes at this time of year.

The truth is, though, we never are that far from happiness. It really is a choice, and even though that can seem heavy and unfair, I accept the challenge. Today is a great illustration of the effect of focus: I focused on someone who isn’t normally part of my thoughts, and here I am feeling like a teenager again.

Though I’m still not sure what I will find by steeping in it, I really feel like my work now is to stop being afraid of sadness, to stop trying to move out of it prematurely. To feel it, honour it, release it, and then to have a piece of chocolate cake.

Merry Christmas, friends. xox

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