You and I live in an intolerant world. A world where feeling too much makes others uncomfortable. Children don’t get to cry anymore (That’s enough!). Men never got to. Women cry and they’re being hormonal and irrational (don’t put them in charge). We’ve created a world full of people who are terrified to feel anything. Then when something lovely happens (and it does) we feel flat. Nada. We smile demurely and say, “I’m in control of my emotions everyone – have no fear.”
Have you ever heard the words, “You’re too sensitive”?
Twas the story of my life. Growing up, my family called me, “Spaz!” Seemed I was a tad sensitive and they didn’t like it. Hey, I didn’t like it either. Who wants to feel like a dope for bursting into tears all the time?
Have you noticed how sensitive children go through an awkward, Ugly Duckling phase? Take heart. With a little time, polished feelers become intuitive swans. If you’ve been labeled overly sensitive – I’ve got great news. You’re at the threshold of evolutionary advancement. Headed where? Straight for joy, my friend.
Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world. We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy.
~ Joseph Campbell
Thinkers and Feelers
Thinking too much is a distraction from Joy. Feeling too much can be plain distracting.
Yet people who feel are miles ahead of those who can’t or won’t. When you feel, you’re closer to joy. When you think sans feeling, you might be very smart (Commander Spock) – but smart is certainly not joy. If you don’t believe me try to think yourself into joy right now.
How’d that go for you?
Now try this: Sit in a comfy chair preferably with a high back. Take a deep breath in through your nose. As the air comes in, have it open the back of your throat. It should feel delicious. You can make the sound of the ocean if you like. Continue breathing this way. Think of nothing. Place your hand on your heart as you breathe. Now smile. Taste the feeling of joy.
Feel encouraged to feel? Just in case you’re still on the fence – I’ve got a story on what can happen when we hold in our feelings. When we don’t let go.
Letting Go by Roller Coaster
A few years ago I talked lover-man into going to Disneyland for a few days. No kids, just us. When we got there we played the Disneyland game. See who can spot a piece of garbage (winner gets a kiss). This can go on for hours before you see any action. Later we moseyed over to the California Adventure Park and found the gate to the roller coaster. The California Screamer. I do love speedy rides but we don’t have any on the Island. The beginning countdown and roar through the water was exhilarating. We did the first and biggest climb. Rat-ta-ta-ta. Here we go!
What happened next was completely out of my control. I want you to really get that. I was, of course, rolling along the track, screaming like the others (maybe a tad louder than most) and laughing. I was screaming and laughing for over 20 seconds. Then, my body suddenly took over. The release of screaming and laughing intensified beyond what I could contain. I had lost control. I was appearing hysterical to myself and I could do nothing about it. The tears flowed as I scream-laughed with maniacal abandon.
When the ride ended I had no composure. Lover-man looked at me and with bemused silence, stepped out of the car. He held out his hand. I may as well have peed my pants. The emotional release was so intense, my legs were weak and wobbly. We walked in silence toward the exit where they post photos captured at an especially delicate part of the ride. I didn’t recognize myself. The woman sitting next to lover-man appeared completely insane. “That freak doesn’t have a Hopper pass – she has a “day pass,” I thought.
Then we walked directly to the one place guests can go to recover from the Screamer – The California Estate Wines. I downed 2 small but potent, plastic glasses of some California red. We sat in the hot sun and people watched. Then through an exit to the Disney Grand Lodge where I plunked myself in an extra-large chair. While staring up at the mezzanine watching lover-man touring around, I fell asleep. He only returned when a couple security guards were spotted, closing in. Still asleep and half slid out of the chair – I’d assumed the recovery position of intense letting go by roller coaster. “She’s with me,” he told the guards and they stepped back – but just a little.
Overly sensitive folks like you and me are not freaks. We’re pioneers on the pathway to joy. We are courageously letting go. So what if our path includes a few roller coasters along the way?
Here’s to laughing and screaming and letting go.
Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls
~ Mother Teresa