Sometimes I find myself wondering why I have to feel things so much. It’s exhausting.
Whether it’s my own life’s situations that cause me to break down, or the energy of a complete stranger whose heaviness begins to weigh in on my heart, I find myself becoming very tired, because everything is so damn intense. And that tends to lead me into wishing I could become numb sometimes.
I feel like there are people who can just skate on by with surface-level emotion and (seemingly) remain unscathed by the world around them (and within them), and that life seems kinda lit after ugly-crying for no apparent reason some days.
But, I know there’s a reason that I’ve been given this heart of mine. This sensitive-yet-strong-and-always-expanding-and-expressive heart of mine. And I was reminded of the beauty that comes with allowing yourself to feel everything so deeply the other night.
As I’ve mentioned before in prior posts, some of my greatest epiphanies or revelations happen either when I’m driving or just as I’m falling asleep. In this instance, I was in bed tip-toeing into LaLa Land, when a very interesting (and imaginary) conversation began to play out in my mind.
A friend of mine has mentioned a homeless man that he often talks to near his house, and praises the conversations they have together. I’ve never met this man, but somehow he intercepted my thoughts.
In my dream, the three of us were sitting outside a local coffee shop, talking about life, and the topic of me feeling everything so deeply was brought into discussion. He simply asked me, “Well, if you could have the chance to not feel anything as intensely again, would you take it?”
I said no, and when he asked why, the explanation I came up with really intrigued me, and in true Bruna style, it was in the form of an unusual analogy.
I told him, “It’s as if I was given a pair of jeans. They’re restrictive and tight, but I felt like I had to wear them, because they cover me up and that’s what everyone else is wearing, even though they’re uncomfortable. So I put them on.”
I continued, “Now, I told you I feel everything deeply, both sorrow and joy. When I laugh, I laugh until I cry and can’t breath. And when I cry, I cry until I can’t breath. It’s the extreme of both sides of the spectrum. So when I think of myself reaching those levels of intensity, I imagine myself busting a seam in these jeans…
“Every intense emotion that I allow myself to fully experience rips these jeans apart, until I bust the whole damn thing off of me, and I’m left there naked. Once I’m standing there naked, that’s when I’m finally free. So, no, I wouldn’t give it up, because I want to be free.”
I remember he just smiled at me, and the conversation continued into even heavier topics that led me into deep cries in reality. I literally had to wake myself up and go blow my nose, because I couldn’t breathe. Talk about feeling too much (even unconsciously).
But that analogy was very interesting to me. Where did that come from?
My interpretation of that discussion is this–the jeans were a symbol for society. We become conditioned, whether it be by outside forces or those closest to you, to believe that emotions should be bottled up, or in this case, covered up and restricted in the form of an uncomfortable pair of jeans. And why are they uncomfortable? Because they don’t fit, and they were never meant to. The concept of repressing emotion is unnatural.
Therefore, suppressing yourself will only make you feel suffocated, which will eventually create internal conflict.
Since the jeans were so damn tight, each emotion, because of its intensity, busted a seam–or in other words, helped me break free–little by little, which ultimately brought me closer to the essence of who I am (naked, bare and vulnerable). These emotions, whether it was despair or happiness, freed me, until I was back to where I started before society placed their limitations on me.
So, do I curse feeling so deeply? At times, yes. But then I remind myself that it is a part of who I am, and it has played a major role in shaping myself as a compassionate and understanding human being. My spiritual, mental and emotional capacity continues to evolve not just because I read some interesting books and watch documentaries, but because I allow myself to fully surrender to the emotions that I experience, in hopes of learning something from them and better understanding myself.
It’s scary stuff to go through, and it’s no wonder most people would feel more comfortable brushing these emotions under the rug, but then how do you grow?
The road to personal freedom isn’t always a pretty one, but it’s a journey worth taking.
Let yourself bust out of those seams. Return to who you are, not who everyone expects you to be, and once you do, I promise you’ll never want to leave.