Sometimes things happen that spin us into an emotional space faster than we can blink. I call it “Universal shoves into an emotional rabbit hole. ” It’s a place where the emotions that bubble up seems to be disproportionately intense to the event occurring. I’ve learned enough through my life journey to realize it means that something ready for deeper healing has been triggered and I have a choice before me. Will I navigate the warren-like tunnels in this emotional rabbit hole to gain more clarity, more healing, and more peace or will I barrel my way out of the hold as fast as I can, stuffing all of my emotions into food, silly shows, alcohol, or other avoidance crutches?
Here’s the very quick version of the background event that left me in my current emotional rabbit hole. Last night, while out getting a Christmas tree with my youngest, Demetri, our truck stopped working. We had a wonderfully kind gentleman come over and help us jumpstart it so I thought “Great, I will just go get a new battery right now and we will be good to go.” We made it about 100 yards before the entire thing shut down, just short of a very busy street. Called the tow service and settled in to wait for the hour eta of a tow truck. Several people stopped, including the police. I reassured them we were good despite the cold. I was struggling not to cry and go into overwhelm mode as Demetri rocked staying positive and supportive. Our hour-long wait extended farther and farther out, with the police checking in every 30 minutes. Finally, at 2 hours and 15 minutes of waiting with very little word about when someone was actually coming, I said yes to the police officer’s questioning if I wanted them to call someone. At this point, I felt cold, tired, a little near panicking, and struggling to remember that things ALWAYS work out for me. All three of my kids and several friends who kept checking in kept reminding me of this. But that freaked-out voice in my head wanted to scream and scream and scream. 20 minutes after the police called a tow service the awesome driver arrived! He had us hooked up and home within 30 minutes. He was nice, very competent, understanding, and a pure ninja getting the truck backed into our tricky driveway. Demetri and I put up our tree. I took a very hot, long bubble bath. We had dinner watching Elf at midnight. I went to bed knowing I couldn’t begin to deal with the emotions that had bubbled up right then.
This morning I woke up exhausted and feeling like there was lead in my body. I knew with intense clarity that I needed to journal and move my emotional energy. The biggest thing that had popped up last night, making me want to smash things and scream, was being pissed at Russell for dying and therefore not being here to help me. I rarely feel angry at him for dying, but last night I really did. I felt angry and I felt abandoned and I felt very vulnerable. Oh, I felt grateful for many things too but gratitude is simply the light that shines into the dark places of my emotional rabbit holes, offering me hope that I will be able to move my way back out again. I knew this morning I HAD to allow myself to feel the feelings and put some action to them.
So, I decided to smash some glasses with my sledgehammer. I found several glass jars, put them into doubled-up trash bags, and proceeded to smash away yelling all of the things I’d been thinking last night but didn’t want to open the door to speak in an enclosed space. I let all of my pissy, scared, angry, frustrated, sad feelings and thoughts come out as I smashed away.
As I opened up the bag to take a peek at the smashed glass the thought came to me “It’s not enough. I need to smash more. It’s not enough.” That thought quickly raced towards the next ones, which hit me like a bolt of lightning right to the gut “I’m not enough. I can’t do enough. I can’t figure things out enough. I’m not enough for my kids alone. I’M NOT ENOUGH.” This just about knocked me over as the tears came crashing in harder and I had to sit down. I let the tears flow, put my hand on my heart, focused on my breath (all the tools I invite my clients to do), and allowed the pain to ease as I trusted that feeling my feelings, I mean really feeling them, wouldn’t leave me stuck in this rabbit hole. I added some more glasses and smashed some more, pouring my feelings into each pounding of my sledgehammer on the glass.
This, “I am not enough” is at the heart of my fears and I believe the fears of most of us. It’s that deep, niggling, insidious thought that “I am not enough” that trips me up over and over and over again. I don’t mean in my daily actions as much as in me growing deeply and truly loving myself exactly as I am. I mean in trusting that no matter what life throws at me I can choose to keep believing in my worth and my value to the world because my worth and my value are NOT tied to what I am producing or what I have or what I do or what I don’t do or any of those things that I seem to want to tie it to. Clearly, everything that bubbled up with my truck breaking down is a sign that I am ready for deeper healing and deeper embracing of who I am.
Feeling my feelings and allowing those feelings to be expressed with intentional action has freed my body, my mind, and my heart up today. It feels like I cleaned up a deeper layer of wounds that needed attention. I find myself sitting here feeling clearer than I have in weeks. I find myself stepping out of this rabbit hole with gratitude that I took the journey in. I find myself believing on a deeper level the truth that things can work out in ways we never could have imagined on our own. I find myself accepting my worth and my value just a little bit deeper and a little bit broader today. I find myself at least considering being wildly open to receive gifts from others. I find myself very grateful that I have the tools I need to feel my feelings and listen to the messages they have to share with me. I find myself taking a deep breath as I say “thank you for all that has happened and is happening.”
I am enough simply because I AM! You are enough simply because you ARE!