This beautiful bathroom graffiti reminded me of a poem I wrote last year. The poem is a reflection on a child’s tantrum and on my own experiences of emotional turmoil. I feel lucky that I grew up in a family that endorsed therapy and the biomedical tools that were available when I experienced acute periods of depression over the years. I have also been on a path that has led me to recognize and accept the storms and rainbows as part of the ebb and flow of life. Through my exploration, I’ve developed an array of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual practices, tools, and support. Over time, my practices have lifted me from being consumed by the feelings, and allowed me to gently be in each situation without judgment (mostly) and with unconditional love for myself.
Sometimes the Feelings Are So Big
Sometimes she is like a wild animal.
A tangled mane of brown-black locks
Coiling down to her waist,
Plastered by tears to the sides of her face,
Eyes violent with rage.
One day I asked her if it’s like the feelings are so big that her body can’t hold them.
There were times I hit myself so hard that I thought I might split in two.
Or maybe I hoped I would.
I imagined my skull cracked open,
Releasing a pressure accumulated
Over so much time,
Releasing the pieces of me
I had stuffed inside.
I hated the rage more than I hated the cause of the rage,
Or what I thought was its reason.
I hated myself for the feeling
That now I see reflected in this being,
This child I accept completely
In a way that I was unwilling to accept myself.
Her tempest passes quickly.
They always do.
And today she moves on to make a list
Of popsicle flavors for a pool party.
Clouds linger around me a bit longer,
Oscillating between grief and anger,
Two sides of the same coin.
Could it be the same with awe and despair?
Lying in bed,
Each of us spent,
Our foreheads gently rest together
As we say three things we are thankful for.
“Catharsis,” I think, though I don’t say it.
Tears stain my cheeks, invisible as
The scars on my heart.
“I almost told you I was sorry for crying in front of you,
But I’m not sorry.”
Some times the feelings are just so big
That my body can’t hold them.
Once in a while, we need to update our internal operating systems. Here are a three women whose work I respect deeply and whose wisdom has changed my life.
Christine Arylo is a Feminine Wisdom Leadership Advisor and Wisdom Teacher and the Founder of the Path of Self Love School. I can’t say enough about the goodness Christine has to offer and the breadth of perspectives she brings to all of her work. Check out these websites to explore her offerings: https://pathofselflove.org, www.femininepowerpodcast.com, and christinearylo.com.
Carrie Contey, Ph.D. is a parenting and personhood coach. I participated in Carrie's Evolve program years ago and it fundamentally changed the way I approached parenting and life. She has a new model for sharing her wisdom that I LOVE. https://www.carriecontey.com
Katherine Torrini is a creative catalyst and visual magician. Working with Katherine helped me re-kindle my own creative spark and the personal transformation that came with it. https://creativecatalyst.com/
***And if you live in Austin, I would love to see you at my lunchtime workshop at The Seton Cove on Tuesday, June 19. “Solstice Reflections” will use poetry as a lens for personal reflection on what has unfolded so far this year and for setting intentions on what is yet to come.***