Life doles out events, circumstances, context in which we live our lives. In order to adapt to our surroundings, we develop patterns and habits of survival. Some of these habits are the same for all people, we eat and sleep, for instance. No matter where you are in the world, you will be doing those things. I find this comforting. If I’m visiting a new place with lots of people or a well-known place with few people, I will have to figure out where I’m going to get my food from. Will it be a restaurant, or do I need to grocery shop and prepare something to eat? We all face these questions whether we are at home or far away from home. The need to eat follows us, as does the need to sleep. I have a son that always asks upon arrival on a stay away from home, where he will sleep. He finds comfort knowing there will be a designated place for him to lay his head and do what his body needs to do.
Then there are the emotions that arrive as we live our lives eating and sleeping. Some of us aren’t necessarily aware of our emotions on a day to day basis and we may not give them a second thought. However, when big events or moments occur, we are often overtaken by emotions that are big and heavy. Two examples that come readily to mind that are on opposite sides of the emotion spectrum or wheel, is a wedding and a funeral. Often times both of these even take place in the same place, a church. Yet, the emotions that we experience are often very different.
Dark & heavy
Within the past month my family has experienced three deaths. One was our family dog and the other two were very important and dearly loved family members, my husband’s grandparents. We each experience grief differently and I have been reminded of this during this month. Not only have I been keenly aware of how it has affected me, but watching and listening to my children has been very eye opening. The vacancy left behind after a person or pet has passed is deep. Again, I can’t help but explain the emotions as heavy and big. Almost like a dark, weighted cloak were placed upon us that clouds our thoughts and behavior. This is one of the big slices on the merry-go-round of life.
Weightless & jittery
Another big slice is joy that is experienced at a wedding or welcoming a new baby into the world. Both of those experiences are equally big in emotional size, but feel weightless and jittery. Instead of a dark, weighted cloak, there is a feeling of lightness like feathers being placed upon your back and every movement is effortless, without any gravitational pull.
As I am writing this, another strong feeling came to mind. Anger. Anger is a tricky one. Anger can be felt on a mild level that is fleeting, like when my children leave a box of crackers or chips unsealed and in the pantry for the 100th time and the item has gone stale. This is just one example that I had at the ready 😉 I might be upset, but it’s not a strong feeling. I have experienced anger in life that is much more hot. For myself I experience this when there has been an injustice and someone walks away without taking responsibility for a crime they committed or a hurtful outcome they could have prevented. This can run a range of circumstances, but truly this pretty much sums up when I can recall the big hot slice of anger. An emotion that feels like fire running through our veins.
There are many diverse emotions that we wade through as we walk through our days, but hardly any seem as big as these three. I envision that merry-go-round with slivers of slices that represent embarrassment, fear, excitement, contentment, jealously, and boredom, for example, that don’t have the impact on our mind, body, and soul as the bigger slices do. I think it’s probably good that we live the majority of our life within the smaller slices, touching on the larger slices now and again, but then tip toeing off them in time. It is this that I am reminding myself of now as I ride on this merry-go-round striving for lighter days ahead.