I, hands down, just experienced one of the most emotional weeks of my life to date. Perhaps triggered heavily by the culmination of Aunt Flo’s monthly visit, Father’s Day and Mercury in retrograde, there were definitely specifics that influenced the intensity of these emotions. Single acts, be it a statement, an unspoken glance, the hardships of an acquaintance – all came along with the ability to bring me to tears, to my knees, to a complete sob fest. Analogically, I feel like an exposed live wire, an electrical current of mega-wattage walking around on two feet – extremely sensitive and emotionally charged.
I was born with an exceptionally compassionate, empathetic heart. This has proven to be both a blessing and a curse in that I am effortlessly affected by the energies, moods and emotions of others, even those whom I am not even particularly close to. This equates even more powerfully when it comes to those whom I am particularly close to, those with whom I have shared an intimate moment with be it of a physical nature or purely platonic.
Since an early age, I was taught like so many by various scenarios and experiences, that crying in public, the visible display of any type of perceivably “negative” emotion was a sign of weakness. Self-control and composure properly trumped being emotional, raw – being real.
I can recall the threatening tone of my dad’s voice at the tender ages of four, five and six, “Stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about.” On more than one ill-fated occasion, I discovered what that “something” consisted of and I lived the next twenty-four hours, post crying, with the imprinted reminder upon my ass. I quickly “learned” that crying greatly disturbed others, made them uncomfortable – it was wrong. And when that show of emotion couldn’t be controlled then unfortunate consequences ensued. Several years later, my husband would “teach” me that crying was a manipulative act that could be avoided and was once again, wrong.
Today, I am confronted with the inner conflict of my rational, secure self actively attempting to “unlearn” that crying in front of others, showing extreme emotion on either side of the spectrum is “wrong” – That it is, in fact, a sign of a big heart, of strength. As many of you are aware, unlearning something that has been engraved in your heart and mind for many, many impressionable years is, perhaps, one of the most difficult feats one can endeavor to take on. I’ve been reminded of this several times in the past seven days and I’m certain this is only the beginning…