Gibbs and I have been cat sitting recently, staying at a house on a lake. The lake side of the house is all windows, floor to ceiling, and so the view has been stunning. I’ve loved watching the bald eagles soaring and fishing, the trumpeter swans gliding by, the last few stubborn geese flying overhead. But what has caught my attention the most is the water. The weather here has been strange: frigid coldness followed by beautiful days where it’s above freezing. Snow has fallen, snow on snow and shovel has shoveled, shovel on shovel! And with so many grey days, when the sun breaks through the clouds it’s a total delight! The lake water has moved from having waves, to being still and mirror like, from being flowing to being frozen and back again, as it works with nature to move through all these states of being.
As I’ve been observing it I am struck by the way it changes so easily. One night when I went to bed the waves were lapping at the shore, the next morning it was crusted over with ice, broken only where a large bird had landed and swum through, and now the waves are lapping once more.
While I’ve been there, I’ve felt my emotions doing this too. Tears have been close to the surface, as they often are when I am on retreat. Not sad tears or tears with a discernable feeling attached, just tears. And there is no story, no memory or emotion or sensation, other than the tears themselves. For me it’s a sign that the Spirit is close. I’ve let them flow when they have appeared, and stop when they have finished, and I’ve sat in silence listening to see if there is a message behind them.
I remember back to the times when it was so hard to cry or to feel, thinking that if I cried I would never be able to stop, the grief so deep and bottled up, or the anger so filled with rage that it would explode. But doing healing work, in spiritual direction and therapy, I came to realize that this was just not so. The tears could be overwhelming for a while, but they would not last, and the freedom at their release was immense. Likewise, expressions of anger, in a safe place and not directed at anyone, would soon move through. Just as this lake freezes and thaws, the waves lap then still, so our emotions move through us, if we let feel safe enough to let them. They don’t get stuck or continue forever. They just are and then they change.
So the tears flow, and it’s ok. They stop, and it’s ok. The Spirit is there with me, witnessing it all, and it’s more than ok.
Where do you feel safe enough to allow your feelings to be? Who is there with you? Where do they feel stuck or overwhelming? Find a safe person or place (or both!!) and see what happens when you just let your feelings be.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.