Limbic Girl, episode 1: Emotional Yeast
Guten Morgan, meine freundin (freunde if you identify as traditional male.) What a great morning.
Happy Brunch Sunday from Florida. Let's grab our mimosas or mugs and clink a cheers to a bit of connection between work, notices and ads in your inbox. Written in My Voice.
Yes, it's still a Sunday Brunch blog, but Limbic Girl is all about rising to new heights,
where each day is NEW.
Like bread, or rolls.
Or a cake.
Like crane babies shaking off their feathers, or blooms.
We rise, reach for better, for more. We shake off the water from the night and bask in the sun of a new day.
Lots of criss-crossing analogies happening.
My words of late have been swimming in a little sadness,
playing with self-pity
and mourning some losses.
BUT LOOK AT THE GAINS.
The beautiful thing about feeling the Sad, is this:
when it's all used up and felt--
Like my house plants when I give them water, they perk right up, more able to reach for the light.
You might be asking: But how?
How do we...rise? How do we leave these sad feelings behind us and move forward?
Seriously, I just FELT them, like deep, down, dirty.
Swam in their muck.
Though, it's still a beautiful process. Muck is, perhaps, a strong word.
When I allowed that...to sit in it, and get all my parts dirty,
and completely felt it in my body without resisting,
it hurt, it felt SAD,
and it left.
A word: buffering.
When we resist a feeling by using our own actions, like eating and drinking,
or fighting, arguing, ignoring, and avoiding,
(basically every unhealthy distraction on Facebook)
We are asking the sadness to stay.
We are asking the sadness to stay.
"Come on in, sit with me, don't ever leave."
The popular Thought Work that is so Everything right now,
(see Byron Katie, Brooke Castillo and Corinne Crabtree,)
focuses on changing our thoughts to change our feelings.
I do love it. It has changed my life.
Noticing my fearful thoughts, and choosing to not believe them, has changed my life.
Worry for the future = anxiety.
Keeping the past alive by thinking about every painful event = depression.
The past happened and is over.
There is only today, and how do we want to show up?
Any catastrophe or pain was Then. It makes for a great story, but
it does not help us now or tomorrow to entertain any of that pain for one more minute.
With the proviso that we need to actually feel it to let is pass.
Drinking or smoking will not help the Sad or Mad to pass faster.
It will invite it to stay.
Eating chocolate or ice cream for emotional reasons will not make pain dissipate.
Buffering is like guard rails in the bowling alley, keeping it inside the system,
cycling back and back and back.
Anger is like a pin ball machine, hitting it, hitting it, watching it dart and drop--
entertaining your mind with the same damn story.
So: deep breath,
lower the rails and feel it all.
Let the ball drop and stop giving it quarters.
A perceived barrier to letting this happen and evaporate may be a reluctance to talk about real things with other people, even Your Own People.
This is where a memory of high school comes to me:
"People don't want to hear it."
Thanks limbic brain.
Is this actually true? Or is this something an adolescent said, out of fear?
I say: Risk It.
Do you, Boo.
Be real, and watch Your People have their own reactions.
You can't control what they do or say in response to you being real.
You can't control anyone's thoughts or feelings or reactions.
They get to do all of that without your input.
My Bio Grandma's Overeater's Anonymous plaque stated :
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can and
the wisdom to know the difference.
Is there a risk? Sure, they may ask you to never share your deeper words with them.
If they do, that's completely okay.
We're all just trying each other out anyway.
But they probably won't say that.
(What's the percentage of callous and unemotional psychopaths in the human population?)
Most of us have the capacity for deeper connection, some just more limited than others.
I'm a Cancer. I have a big capacity for connection.
I notice that I am drawn to people who have less of this capacity, so I can use some of mine to bridge the gaps. (Ding-ding-ding!)
I'm emotional, nurturing and highly intuitive.
But I am also sensitive, and at times, insecure.
Cancers win the award for Most Emotionally Needy. I don't know if that's true.
I think I'm just very aware of my emotions, because they're so Big.
Emotion is the biggest piece of furniture in my brain.
Today's Deep Breath: here's a practical juju nugget, a collective Next Best Decision.
I've seen the Anon quote everywhere since childhood.
The Serenity Prayer was written by American political commentator and Christian Realist, Reinhold Neibuhr, also a Religion Professor. I like parts of his Christian Realism, which birthed the Civil Rights Movement, among other things.
Serenity: the state of being calm, peaceful and untroubled.
I want to be serene. Great daily goal.
"...serenity, to accept the things I cannot change..."
Yes, I want that.
Courage to change what I can.
Yes, yes, yes.
This requires a belief that I CAN change things.
I can change my thoughts, feelings and actions,
thereby breaking destructive generational cycles.
THIS HAPPENS IN THE MINUTES OF OUR LIVES, IN REAL TIME.
After I journal, and write all the willy-nilly thoughts that my errant, limbic brain throws up,
I feel amazing courage to walk through my day and challenge my reality.
I dust it off most every day.
And: Wisdom to know the difference.
We don't want to change everything.
We don't want to be happy every day.
But we don't NEED to re-live the emotions of the past, because
TODAY has all that we need.
Today, I will feel new emotions for new situations that arise.
And that is enough to focus on. Ample.
We may need to take a minute and feel the things from our past,
deep enough to let them go.
Then we can start each day with a clean slate.
We don't have to carry all of the past with us anymore.
It's just not relevant.