shared joy and the importance of feeling
The search for knowledge ends when the self is no longer afraid to feel. ~Matt Kahn
Today, my daughter Gigi brought this perfectly ripe strawberry to me from the garden. She had taken a bite of it and came to share it with me. She said, “Mom! You have to taste this. It’s the most perfectly ripe strawberry ever!”
I stopped for a moment and just drank in the surging tears of gratitude and tenderness that came into me. Before I took the bite I asked if I could hug her and just feel grateful for her desire to share something perfect with me.
I did hold her and I cried “happy tears” then took that perfectly ripe bite.
I was reminded of two important things today:
Joy is best when shared and love wants to share joy.
I was also reminded how important it is to just let myself deeply feel a moment.
I’m so glad I didn’t rush that experience. Some people might live their whole lives without being given that kind of grace but I am given it on a daily basis and I am truly grateful.
I know sometimes I avoid feeling because it’s either too painful or even too beautiful to bear. I read a wonderful article about The Defensive Ego today that was recommended by my friend. In it the author asserts, “When we notice that we are about to feel hurt, we may get tense, which makes us not feel it. In fact, when we are not feeling relaxed, we are usually avoiding some kind of unpleasant feeling, or several feelings.” I thought about this for a long time. I thought about how often I was told to stop crying or being so sensitive. I thought of all the times people have tried to talk me out of my feelings. I thought of the “bad touch” memories that are still locked in my body and how I can be tense and not allow feeling to come.
The work I’ve done with Matt Kahn and the work I do meditating and relaxing helps so much. Just sitting doing nothing but breathing into my belly and noticing what is stuck helps tremendously with allowing myself to feel and release. I have the “fight or flight” response far less often than I used to and feel much more peaceful as a result. I can carry those feelings of peace and clarity with me in various situations and go back to the soft belly, soft heart place much easier as a result of this practice.
The bonus is that I also allow myself to feel when good things happen like making love or eating a strawberry. Feeling is a very good thing.
I am looking forward to more strawberries, more feeling, more tears, more sharing and more joy.