Feeling what I feel, knowing what I feel ~ giving myself permission to experience my own emotions

Feeling what I feel, knowing what I feel ~ giving myself permission to experience my own emotions

Sounds odd, doesn’t it? There’s surely nothing more personal than one’s own feelings. But sometimes it gets too hard to even allow them to rise to the surface long enough to be identified.

A great cauldron of seething emotions bubbling away, a gumbo of pain, with things bobbing to the surface briefly in a haze of steam, I stir frantically to make those weird shaped blobs vanish, homogenise the broth, make it acceptable, make it like every other soup poured from a can. Make it what people expect and want from soup. Whenever something surfaces, I don’t want to look them squarely in the eye, because it hurts. That vat of soup is me, and what went into it is me, and what bobs up, unappetising and decidedly gruesome is me. Those ugly lumps are me. I don’t like it. Pop it in the blender, whizzle it up and serve it with a splash of cream and a twist of black pepper. Can’t serve peasant stew at a dinner table, people might choke on the bits. They might chew on the gristle and leave it shamingly on their side plate. They might even question the integrity of the chef.

A large dark shape erupts from the simmering, shimmering surface of the broth: FEAR. It’s dark and ill-defined. I can’t see the edges properly, or what it’s made of but I can see a thousand wild, dead eyes gazing blankly at me, and teeth. It looks like a teratoma , a monster from the medical text books. Flesh of my flesh, bone of my bone. It’s part of me, but you could never dress this up with baby bonnets and shawls. I stir, my spoon a weapon and I thrust the mass of strangeness down and hope no one saw it. If they know that’s what’s in my soup, no one will ever want to taste it.

The steam clears again and another shape rises to the surface, glistening with oil but fiery red. ANGER. It looks like the world’s hottest chilli pepper, lethal with heat and ready to burn your tongue and whole digestive tract. No, no, no. I don’t want people to know this is an ingredient. It’s vicious. It burns everything it touches. Down it goes, holding it down with the spoon hoping the heat of the cooking with destroy it. How did I ever think to let such a thing in?

A sad blob like a dead octopus washed up on a winter beach heaves into view: LONELINESS. Stringy and slimy, with tentacles that sucker onto anything even if the damn thing is dead, this is far from tasty fare and hideous to look at. Down it goes; I hit it with the spoon and feel the rubbery surface more resilient than I thought. It won’t break up even when I bash at it, so I stir rapidly to keep it submerged.

In the centre of the soup, all my stirring has created a whirlpool and I can see a great empty void where the ingredients swirl way. It’s SADNESS and it’s creating a horrible vacuum that pulls everything into it. I stop stirring and watch with relief as the surface settles to a rolling boil.

I stand and I watch, letting the spoon fall from my hands and I salt the stew with my own tears, letting each acid drop fall into the mix.

I wish I could say it worked magic. But it does season the brew. It might taste good if you ever had the courage to try it. Just don’t look at what it’s made of. You’d never be able to swallow if you did.

(just for reference, I’ve been using a meditation cd from http://www.flowerspirit.co.uk/ for emotional healing. Jackie has a wonderful voice that makes me feel calm and safe. Check her out.)

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10 thoughts on “Feeling what I feel, knowing what I feel ~ giving myself permission to experience my own emotions

  1. This post tunes in exactly with what I’ve been thinking this morning. I was thinking of negative emotions – and the extent to which it is helpful to talk about them, or not. There are some circumstances in which it’s appropriate to share those feelings – and others in which it is not. Sometimes, verbalising all your negative thoughts, hearing your voice saying them aloud, can be destructive; sometimes it can lead you on to healing. Sometimes it’s good to share them with a counsellor; at other times, with a close friend. Perhaps I’ll end by saying Viv, I recognise your soup. And many of us probably are cooking that same soup, and pushing down those unpleasant ingredients just as you so lucidly describe.

  2. Quite some soup!

    I’ve just bought the CD you recommended and downloaded it to my phone and the PDF to my Kindle. Planning on going to sleep listening to one of the tracks tonight. New man tomorrow?

    • Might take a little longer but it’s been helping me to allow myself to FEEL what I am feeling, even though that made me cry.
      Hope it helps.
      xx

  3. I cooked up a mean vat of stew at my son’s college orientation the last two days.
    I am very thankful for my family.
    Thanks Viv!

  4. Wonderful metaphor Viv. Many of us learn to resist or repress our emotions, when in fact they are the language of the soul, and we need tolearn to listen to them. And then they pass.

  5. To be human is to live in states of extremes interrupted by bouts of almost numbness to our own selves. But, as, oh, who was it now? Plato, Socrates? Whoever, they said, ‘The life unexamined is not worth living.’… it may have been Seneca.

    For all the pain, it reminds you of one thing: you are very much alive, vital, even if inside it feels like liquid hell passing through your viens.

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