Last night I was sitting alone on my back deck on a beautiful summer night and was a little beat down from a long week. I listened to some soft music (Natalie Merchant) and just sat there. I began thinking about my mom who died in front of me in a hospital room almost six years ago. I began feeling melancholy and somber.
INNER DIALOGUE- “Am I going to start crying?” Tears rarely come for me and I am hyper-critical of this in myself. I texted my older brother and younger sister who were with me in that hospital room that day and said, “I miss mom”. Because of my pattern of self-judgment of my emotional bandwidth I started to get excited about this possibility of tears and thought of some things I learned from my personal coach:
COACH- “when you feel something, stop talking.” My coach helped me notice a pattern that I begin talking when I start to feel my feels.”
INNER DIALOGUE – Stay silent…CHECK.
COACH – “Notice what your body does.”- He noticed on one of our sessions that I unconsciously put my hand near my neck in a moment when I started getting emotional- almost as I was unconsciously committed to stopping whatever started bubbling.
INNER DIALOGUE- “Don’t put your hand on your neck” CHECK
COACH – “Trust your body” INNER DIALOGUE- It’s on a post-it note on my bathroom mirror as a reminder. “Trust your body” … CHECK
I was ready, yet nothing was happening- after a bit of time I even started to contort my facial muscles is a way as if I were crying to “help the process along”- Nothing.
INNER DIALOGUE- “You are a fucking robot, Todd. This situation doesn’t get more perfect to emote (you are alone, you are listening to Natalie Merchant, you are physically and emotionally exhausted from a long week, you are thinking about your beautiful mother and the moment she took her last breath) yet nothing. It feels like a fucking desert from my neck down. FUCK!!!!!!
Then I focused on my breath and realized that I was not supposed to cry in this moment… simply because it wasn’t happening, and I do believe it will come if/when I need to do it. I was filled up with acceptance in a way that is rare for me. (I am harder on myself than I am on anybody else on this planet.)
Awareness, acceptance. Inhale, exhale. Awareness, acceptance…