Have you ever wondered just what manual people are reading that culturally mandates how we are supposed to feel about certain things? Child’s birthday – happy. Death – sad. A move you chose – excited.
That last one is what I’ve been dealing with. We are moving. We’ll still be living in Austin, yet we’ll be closer in to the funky downtown area and are downsizing slightly with the empty nest era just under a year away. Everyone keeps asking me if I’m excited, as if it’s beholden on me to spread the enthusiastic move energy around like a wand full of glitter. Come into my orbit, they want me to say, and you too can live vicariously through this move.
I get it. Only problem is, I’m having a hard time actually locating said feelings. First there are a host of other feelings waiting to be felt. They are hiding behind my fears about if this was the right move, the right time, the right house? Will there be lots of West Nile Virus mosquitoes there just waiting to pounce? Would this move have made more sense after our youngest daughter left for college, rather than before?
I felt this way when my mother died, too. People kept looking at me with sorrow on the day of her death, yet all I could feel was inexplicable joy. Waves of it. In time the grief would come, over and over again, but it wasn’t there in the moment people expected it to be. Instead, it appeared out of nowhere as I drank my coffee and poured in half a cup of milk just like she did. Or when I heard a song that reminded me of her. But on the morning of her death, it was transcendent joy.
As writers and creatives, we become more human when we feel what is really there, at any given moment, rather than falling into a role of what we should be feeling. It may not always feel good, but it does feel more alive. And when we do this, we touch into the core of who we are, regardless of circumstance.
Already I can feel the shift as numbness melts like ice floes and everything from elation to boredom float up to be felt.
Recently, a friend asked me if the new house would make me happy. I said that no, it wouldn’t – that I planned to be happy anyway. Ultimately, the house, the death – none is going to deprive me of happiness or the right to embrace whatever I happen to feel. I may look weird dancing at a wake or being cranky at my birthday party, but it’s all good. It’s the pulse of life. And if I’m moving, that’s the direction I want to go.
You may reprint the featured article, in its entirety, by including a byline and a link to Carolyn’s website. www.backyardpearls.com
As founder of Backyard Pearls, LLC, Carolyn Scarborough helps people tap into their inner wisdom and express it in the world through writing, entrepreneurial creativity or simply being a creator in living your life.
To subscribe to Backyard Pearls Newsletter, visit the site here.
Request your complimentary “Tapping into your Inner Wisdom” session here.
You may reprint the featured article, in its entirety, by including a byline and a link to her website. You can get a free audio on overcoming writers block by clicking HERE.
I’d love to hear your comments on the article, what pearls you notice when you begin reflecting. Please share your thoughts below in the Reply box …