I knew it was coming. The emotional storm would happen someday this week. I could feel the swelling in my heart on Monday, like a spring run-off full river pressing against an earthen dam built long ago, weakened by years of storm cycles.
Sometimes it is the actual date, other times the day of the week engages my lingering emotions. Thirty-two years ago, I donated my right kidney to my father with great hope mixed with youthful bravado and certainty. The Friday of Memorial Day weekend, May 26, 1989 to be exact.
Now on Monday, I also knew we were heading into a full lunar eclipse overnight Tuesday into Wednesday. (Lunar eclipses release old emotions to help us understand, process and free ourselves from our old patterns.) So, I wasn’t surprised in the least to find myself in a heightened emotional state Monday morning. Or Tuesday evening. Or Thursday morning when that dam gave way and I sobbed for an hour. Wow did it feel good to let it out even as my heart literally hurt as it heaved out a volcano of emotion.
For about ten years after my father died in November of 1989, I collapsed the act my donation and the great results my father got immediately, with the you-can’t-make-up-that-kind-of-s*** trauma that ensued a mere three weeks after the transplant. Those ten years were filled with loads of feeling like a failure, no matter what successes I achieved. I coined my experience the underachieving overachiever syndrome. (So many of us have this syndrome, y’all.) I pushed myself so hard during those years, I hit the burnout wall going 100 mph several times.
One of the coaches along my journey asked me, as another memorialized anniversary approached, “What is there to celebrate?
That question cracked me wide open. As I looked inside, I realized I’d allowed myself to feel the grief, the sadness, the disappointment, and yes, feelings of failure. But not once, up to that point, had I thought of what there was to celebrate. Cracking the door open to celebration allowed me to separate the chain of events. I found my way to celebrating the great hope my family, especially my father and I, had going into the transplant. In fact, I have been able to honor my kidney gift for many years now. In writing my book, The Ovarian Chronicles, I came to so much peace and greater understanding around it all.
And on Thursday, with that peace and understanding as I sobbed for an hour, I had a great conversation with my father. We celebrated the love, optimism, and beauty in my kidney donation and that we gave it our best.
So, if you are feeling emotion’s river beating at your own internal dam, here are three things to keep in mind:
- The eclipse earlier this week is working with us to purge old emotions and patterns. Whether you feel like crying, stomping your foot, cowering under the covers, or hiding, my best advice is to allow yourself to do those things for a while. With one caveat – don’t dump your anger, sadness, or fear onto someone else. That will just create more drama you get to clean up later.
- You are not your circumstances. Meaning, don’t collapse a failed goal or plan into thinking you are a failure. A goal failing to reach its vision does not mean you are a failure. It simply means something did not work out the way you wanted it to (even if you desperately wanted it to work out).
- Share your emotional experiences with others. When we do, we give permission for everyone to have their emotional experiences. In the releasing, in the sharing, in the permission to be human, we rise above the drama of our emotions, building new capacity for both the pain and the joy.
- Bonus tip here – ask for help, get support, allow yourself to be held gently and lovingly.
And now – can I get an “oh, yeah,” if you are feeling the emotional surges ready for release?
#Eclipse #Emotions #MemorialDay #Grief