Sometimes I spend an entire week thinking about what I would like to write about in this blog. Other times, something is so obvious and in my face that I have to drop everything and just write.
This is one of those drop-everything moments.
Because today I feel like an utter mess. In the last 24 hours, I have visited the far ends of the emotional spectrum. I have been at a 2 and an 8 on the scale from 1 to 10. I’ve felt joy and inspiration as well as anxiety and frustration. I’ve felt worry and hope, love and disdain, happiness and sadness. All of it, just today. It’s been so dynamic I feel slightly embarrassed and even laugh at myself a little.
So now I am sitting at my kitchen counter wondering if this is “normal”. Do other people do this? I ask because when I look around the world, everyone else looks terribly stable. If I were to guess, I’d guess that most of the people range between a 4 and a 6 throughout the day. Just 2 points of variability - pretty stable with slight mood variations. Sometimes this looks nice and I envy the stable ones. Life seems more predictable.
I used to live with a slightly narrower set of emotions myself - I can’t claim to have ever been of the stoic variety, but I was usually “fine” or “good” most of the time. But that all changed when I came out. I started listening to my Self in a new way and started honoring my actual emotional experiences. I found a deep well of information and wisdom now that I could actually acknowledge the reality of my experience. I began to see and notice things that had escaped my attention before. I solved my problems faster. This process was beautiful in many ways, but it was also more uncomfortable. I always felt a little bit of a mess.
Sometimes I questioned this new vulnerable way of living. I wondered if I was being melodramatic or out of control, especially when I looked at my male counterparts who seemed to havethe uncanny ability to maintain a 5/10 for years (or even a lifetime). I wondered if I should just grow up and chill out. I wondered if I should share less about what I was actually experiencing and be more guarded like everyone else seemed to be. I really did consider that for a bit.
But I knew that if I gave up the mess to return to something more socially acceptable, or even something more comfortable and predictable, that I would lose all of the beauty and wisdom that comes with feeling it all. I knew that I would be trading alive and wild, for numb and safe. And having felt truly alive for the first time in my life, I knew there was no going back.
So it’s the mess for me, but I have to tell you - I have learned to rock the messy look. I have been practicing this emotional agility for long enough that I have the flexibility and freedom to travel between emotional states with relative ease and fluidity. I’m not saying I don’t get stuck somewhere for a bit, and I’m not saying that every day is emotional whiplash, but I now know that I can sit with everything that I’m feeling, whether it’s grief and loss, or joy and euphoria - I’m not afraid of any of it anymore, and it’s all welcome here. That, my friends, is freedom.