The Waves Of Emotion - 6 Steps To Finding Your Way Out
I’ve been thinking a lot about emotions lately.
The way they come. They way they go.
The way they sound. The way they feel.
My body is like the shallow floor of the ocean, my emotions like the waves.
As each one arrives I feel myself being pulled, like sand, out toward the deep sea.
As the emotion passes over me I feel a slight moment of peace and then a violent pulling in the opposite direction toward the shore.
When the wave has reached its destination it slowly moves back into itself and I too, uncontrollably roll back into myself.
I then gather my things, settle back into the earth, and wait in the momentary silence until the next wave makes it’s way through, and I, once again, find myself thrown back and forth in its energy.
For a while there, (36 years of my life) I was unaware. I had no idea that I was the ocean floor. I had no idea that my emotions were the waves. I had no idea that although I am intertwined with my emotions, my emotions were not me.
Now, this doesn’t mean that I am emotionless or that my emotions aren’t real. Even as I sit here typing I feel the push and pull of the emotional waves passing over me. But rather than choosing to be identified with each emotion that comes, I have began to welcome them in, allow them the space they need to move through, and send them lovingly back into the sea.
Sounds pretty zen right?:) Sometimes it feels that way too.
I’m for sure not a pro at this, but I have found that over time, with practice, I have been able to find peace even in the midst of a passing emotional wave.
Here’s my routine.
I Watch - I look forward to my emotional visits. So much so that I wait at the door and watch for their arrival. This doesn’t mean that I sit around all day waiting for emotions, but rather I move through my day aware of how I feel inside. When I sense an emotional wave arriving, I meet it at the door.
I Welcome - I then warmly greet my emotion, I literally in my head say “It’s nice to see you, how are you today?”
I Listen - I then listen to what it has to say. I realize that some emotions come with important matters that need quick resolve and other emotions come covered in fear hoping to be comforted. It is only through this listening that we have the chance to discover why they are here and make a choice in how to best help them move along.
I Thank - After hearing what my emotions have to say, I thank them for coming here with their message. If the message they have is important and needs my attention, I thank my emotion for the reminder and I make a plan of resolve. If my emotion comes holding fear, I thank it for having the courage to speak up, I comfort and soothe it as if it were me as a child.
I Imagine - After I have comforted and soothed my emotional wave, I move it into greater vision. I begin to imagine positive outcomes rather than the fearful story it may have brought. I have found that positive “What if?” questions work really well. What if you’re safe? What if everything works out smoothly? What if you’re completely healthy?
I Affirm - Once I feel myself regain greater vision, I affirm and celebrate myself for taking the time to listen and care deeply for the hidden parts of me. “Way to go, David - You’re doing a great job!”
I watch - I welcome - I listen - I thank - I imagine - I affirm
This process has proven to be super helpful for me. I for sure still experience my emotional waves passing through, and some days I am unaware and find myself identified as the emotion. But when I am aware, instead of being overtaken by them, I am able to hear and care for them and send them on their way.
What about you? How do you deal with the push and the pull of your emotional waves? What practices have you found to bring yourself peace and comfort?
Emotions are all around us, moving through our inner landscapes like the waves of the ocean. How long will you be caught up in their wake?