Musings on Emotional Storms

abstract drawing of a labyrinthThose challenging, never-ending emotional storms…

I was recently reminded of my divorce. It took place in 1998. I remember the next four years; I was swimming in the dark waters of pain and suffering, replaying every conversation and scene endlessly. I could not stop or find my way out. In an effort to purge and heal, I told my story repeatedly to whomever would listen.

One friend joined me at lunch after months of listening to me talk the usual thought-emotion loop full of pain. She offered up a heavy sigh as I started in again. She was hoping to have a different and more interesting conversation with me, and she said so as she settled into being my good friend and allowing me to go through it all one more time.

Over the years, I have observed that it’s very hard to move out of the painful-story loop. I keep hoping that enough emotional mastery will result in the ability to move through the big stuff faster and more completely. My observations in my own life and the lives of my friends is that this isn’t the case.

I wish the heart-bombs would result in a trampoline-like experience; I jump into an experience and jump up and out when I figure out that a given situation is just not that healthy for me.

Emotional bodies don’t seem to work that way. I wish they did. I wish for a broom that will sweep away the wreckage of bad choices and poor behavior and leave my soul clean and whole.

BTW, I am not currently suffering. Rather, I am thinking about the nature of emotional resilience and wondering if the passage of time is the only healer. I find that when old, painful feelings resurface I am mostly tired of them and the story that emerges with those feelings. After all, I have spent whole years stuck in them. And yet, even with the passage of time, some of those emotional memories deliver a punch as if it happened yesterday.

Final thought; I strive to stand in a place of compassion for myself and others. The heart needs what it needs and no amount of urgency will make healing go any faster. For all the friends who have listened to my painful stories over the years, thank you for your grace and compassion. Thanks for being my friend when the going got tough.

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