Momma always accused me of “telling tall tales” and that always hurt me a little because for me, I wasn’t trying to be bigger than life, but rather telling the truth exactly as I saw it and experienced it. I have a higher tolerance for physical pain than many people, but as I’ve matured, I’ve come to understand that on the flip side, I have a lower tolerance for heart / soul pain than many others.
Momma also used to tell me not to “wear [my] emotions on [my] sleeves”, but through therapy, I came to understand that my way to overcome negative emotions was a process: observe, contemplate, evaluate, and finally discern the value and meaning of the components of the difficult conflict / “assault” (that word “assault” is in quotation marks because a conflict may feel like an assault even if it isn’t really an aggressive attack). Only then, through this process, could I make sense of things, release the pain, and begin to heal. That process takes time and sometimes, others may witness it. Whenever Momma saw the process, she told me not to wear my emotions on my sleeves.
If my emotions are on my sleeves, then that’s just where they are; I can’t move them. But from Momma’s words, I learned to try to hide them, and to do that, I learned to go inward. My inward journey taught me to embrace my beautiful, sensitive little introvert, and in the embracing, I’ve adopted strategies to hide, or take the emotions off my sleeves, so to speak.
All the strategies involve isolation: withdraw from social media, group settings, intimate conversations with loved ones. I go inside myself; I hide. I work the process through writing, sleeping; and I “putz”. (Momma also told me not to putz.)
Apparently not everyone needs to process experiences to such an extent; but I do. Without the process, I form erroneous theories (judgments) and hold fast to them for way too long. I do not want that in my life, so I accept this process and embrace the introvert and do so with conscious self-love because I want to understand the world as authentically as I possibly can.
Wounded soul was written immediately after I entered my apartment that day (only posted many weeks later). It was simply an observation. I had noticed my appearance in the mirrors; and I noticed the contrast between that image and the happy-go-lucky, free-spirited me that people usually see and are attracted to. The observation was both hollow and insightful. The look in my eyes made me understand that I’d spent the day in extrovert mode and that my introvert was dying. She, the introvert, needed to be nurtured; my process needed to be activated.
I decided to post my observation because I know that everyone feels that way sometimes. Haven’t you also had days when you came home from work feeling completely empty? Maybe even defeated? Haven’t you also felt the “spunk” drain from your soul? I think we all do from time to time, and I think that stress and fatigue are expressed in the condition of the soul.
I believe we must address the condition of our souls, even when that condition is not so pretty, if we are to live happy, healthy lives. We cannot avoid heart-pain, but we mustn’t try to ignore it because of any sort of fear. We must face it!
For me, seeing and describing is a way of claiming. Only by owning the truth of my condition can I begin to address needs and readjust; and in the re-adjustment is the beginning of healing; and in healing I can seek new energy. In the seeking, there is finding.
Seek and ye shall find. (Matthew 7:7)
And when I find renewal, I can claim that, too.
Momma loved Springtime because of the renewal of the earth, and as she worked the gardens, she taught me to believe in renewal, too.