- Nancy Ogilvie
Tsunami of Emotions
Updated: Jan 20, 2021
Principle: Feelings are my friends; they are simply energy moving in my body. They give me information on my inner state.
Practice/Prayer: Breathe deeply into
strong feelings, remembering that the breath is God/dess' presence in you.
The anxiety – overwhelming anxiety – I’ve been feeling the last couple of days is somewhat lessened today. I woke up to several moments of feeling fully embodied and present and vulnerable, and it was magnificent! And I’m sensing an impending tsunami of both rage and grief on the horizon. No wonder I feel anxious – and I can remember:
· My feelings are my friends. They give me valuable information about my experience.
· I can process them in small chunks, be present to what’s so in each moment. I don’t have to wait for them to amass into an overwhelming tsunami.
· I can look at feeling overwhelmed by emotion as simply energy moving in my body temple. It’s not necessary to tell a story about what it means, and it certainly does not make me a failure for “not controlling myself.” I can let that story go!
· Good girls have intense, tumultuous feelings as well. Having intense, tumultuous feelings does not make me a “bad girl.”
· I can ask for help/ask a friend to listen as I express and process intense emotions. I do not have to be alone with them or keep them secret. It is safe to share them with others I trust.
· I can release the story that emotions are necessarily overwhelming, and that an overwhelming tsunami is on its way. I can apply the strategy of baby steps to experiencing and expressing my feelings.
· I am an adult woman with adult capacities and skills. When I was a child, powerful emotions could overwhelm my nervous system. I didn’t have the capacity or skills to process them. As an adult, my emotions can move through me without becoming overwhelming.
· As a child, emotions often compelled me to action. When I was angry, I might hit someone. As an adult, I can experience and express my emotions without acting them out.
· As a child, I was afraid of my emotions because they often led to acting out behavior that got me in big trouble. As an adult, I have learned (with rare exception) to express my emotions clearly without acting them out. They are no longer dangerous to me.
· The more I deny or suppress my feelings, the more they “leak out” in ways I don’t like or want. The more open and aware I am, the more I can exercise choice over when and how I express them.
· As a child, my feelings ruled me; I was subject to their every movement. In a sense, they controlled me. As an adult, I have choice about my feelings in ways I didn’t as a child – not choice about whether or what feelings I have, but choice about whether, when and how I express them. I’ve learned to respond skillfully to the emotional currents in my life. Like white-water rafting, I’ve learned to ride the flow of emotion through my body instead of trying to control whether and what emotions I have
-I can calm myself by breathing deeply into intense emotions. The breath is the point of union between God/dess and me, so it reminds me of Her presence with me.
Whew – I didn’t know all that was coming! And I feel less anxious – I was bracing for the tsunami to hit and didn’t recognize I was. I feel more present now, softer, more open and available to the waves of emotion. Blessed be.