I was taught to swallow my emotions, and it seems that I learned rather well. Once I was on my own, the first time I faced a really difficult situation – the death of my childhood girlfriend – instead of feeling the horror of that, I went numb with anxiety.
That’s the first time I went to therapy.
Years later, and not so wobbly anymore, in my quest to evolve into the strongest, most joyful person that I could be, I decided to stay with self-introspection. Most times, my therapist, I call her Shells, laughs at my frequent exasperation with the universe. And her putting things into perspective like that is probably the best thing she’s ever done for me.
Today, at 59 years old, it seems that I learned rather well from her too. She has taught me how to acknowledge my feelings, so that I’m hit between the eyes with anxiety whenever life brings me to my knees.
Hence the problem.
I was in yoga today, and given that I’m not so fond of the unevolved-instructor-who-thinks-she’s-the-most-evolved-person-in-the-universe, I usually slip out before she starts her guided meditation to enlightenment…because it’s usually not.
Only today it was.
I was all the way in the front of the room, and not wanting to disturb my classmates, I stayed on the floor – albeit, rolling my eyes – going through the motions. Almost to the end, she told the class to ask our heart what it was trying to say to us.
I’m sure she expected everyone to say, “OMG, I feel so much better now, and all because of you,” and given that I’ve been a happy person for a long time now, I was shocked when sadness flooded through my being instead.
And so it is that, 18 months later, it appears that I’m still grieving my sister’s passing. Perhaps more than when she first exited.
I’m gonna ask Shells for my money back.
(The photo: my birthday weekend with some of my children: natural born and stolen, which is where most of my joy comes from.)