We humans experience such a wide range of emotions. I prefer the cheerful end, but I’ve also had my fair share of the sad end. It’s the range of my emotions that add up to my experience. I think the only way I can expand my being is by feeling more and by widening my spectrum of emotional experience.
Some people say we need the lows in order to appreciate the highs. Although it’s a good point, for me it’s different. I’m sure I’d still love chocolate even if I’d never tasted liver (I really don’t like liver). For me it’s not about the opposites, it is about the variety. That means the highs, the lows and everything in between. And it’s in the everything-in-between that life is mostly lived.
It is important to me to not be afraid of emotion, even in the hard times. I try to live as fully in grief and despair as I do in joy and happiness, and I can feel my being, my self, expanding and growing. I remember once when a relationship ended and there was betrayal and deceit. I was hurt and humiliated and didn’t know what to do next. Suddenly I was all alone, lost and confused and vulnerable. All the love I had given was shredded, trampled on and scattered on the wind. So I sat there in my hurt and humiliation and really felt it all. Eventually those feelings passed and I gained valuable experiences along the way.
So what had I learned? I was better able to understand and empathise with others going through bad relationship endings. I also realised that I didn’t like feeling hurt and humiliated, but I liked feeling bitter and hateful even less. So I stopped. At the very moment I realised that those emotions weren’t good for me, I let them go and was liberated. From this awful experience of my world collapsing like a house of cards, I had learned that although I can’t control my emotions, I can control how I respond to them.
Feeling bitter, vengeful or spiteful isn’t bad in itself. These are human emotions that we all experience in some way or other. It’s the way we respond to them that matter.
In my case, I realised that if I want to preach love and forgiveness, I must practice it too. Also, it requires an enormous amount of energy to stay bitter and cruel, these are energy-depleting emotions. I prefer emotions that fill us up instead. By accepting my negative emotions I can look at them and let them go. Then I can seek out positive and fulfilling emotions through talking with friends or connecting with nature.
During my menses I often sit reflecting on what I want to let go of and what I want to take with me. It’s a good time for evaluating and letting go of things. As my blood flows, it purifies me. Using the full range of my emotional experiences and learning from these is a great feeling. It gives me a sense of peace and achievement knowing that I am becoming the best person I know how to be.
Keeping a period journal is a great tool for dealing with prolonged negative emotions. It helps you to focus on what you want to change as well as evaluate it.
Finding the community of Cycle Harmony has made a huge difference to me. I am delighted to be writing to you from the Red Tent and hope to share thoughts and experiences you recognise, or find useful to ponder upon. I look forward to working with you all in exploring what it is to be women, and hope to hear from you. ~ Vild