Storm Comin' - Wailin' JennysI don't know if this is a traditional blues song, or a new-oldie, but it feels and sounds like a classic. I really like it, its meaning, the whole package. (Lyrics listed at the end, after my essay).~~GH
So many fear sorrow, avoid it, hide from it. Some run screaming in panic from sorrow. What are we afraid of? That it will destroy us? That we will go down into that cellar and never climb out again? We all know somebody who did, right? Or do we just think they went down in the cellar and never came out again?
Does that happen with joy? Does joy grab us, lift us into the air, and never set us down again? Hardly. Naturally, we enjoy joy more than sorrow, so we allow joy to wash over us and have her way with us. We wistfully watch her back as she leaves - always too soon.
I'm thinking sorrow works that way too, if we allow it to. If we just let it wash over us or whatever it does that we deem so frightening, it would return to the sea the same way joy does.
Instead of giving in and experiencing our sadness, of fully being in the moment, we hide part of ourselves thinking to "save" that one little piece from pain. Maybe, just maybe, there is a rule (for lack of a better term) that sadness has to wash into every part, every cell, every aspect before it can move on. Maybe it has a directive from the Universe to cleanse the whole Being before it can leave.
So we defeat its purpose when we avoid feeling it. When we paste a smile on our faces. When we wall off our hearts. When we refuse to cry. And sadness taps its foot, hangs around, angling to get to that reserve. Then the Catch-22 ensues: We withhold; sadness pushes; we withdraw; sadness advances.
We sense it chasing us, and our fear increases. We run faster; sadness picks up its pace to keep up.
I spent a huge portion of my life in the cellar. I variously walled off my emotions, numbed them with alcohol or other substances, found numerous ways to avoid feeling sorrow. None of them worked. Much like an earthworm who's been buried with a shovelful of dirt, eventually those feelings wriggled free and resurfaced. "Hi, honey; I'm home!"
Look, this is not medical advice. I'm not suggesting this is some great universal truth (well, maybe I am suggesting that, but I'm not telling you it is -- just asking you to consider it and use your own judgment). But what if -- what if we let ourselves experience the pain, relinquished our control, yielded to the sorrow, surrendered to the sadness, let it rush in and fill us, saturate us. What choice would it then have but to dissipate? It could get no denser. It could only become less intense then.
The universe abhors a vacuum and all that. Maybe, just maybe the sadness would then move out. I believe that's what happened in my own life. Pain does not kill us. I can personally attest to that. I have seen (and experienced) unimaginable levels of pain. You might bleed to death, or your heart give out, but pain will not kill you. It will make you wish to die, beg to die even -- but it will not take your life.
My friends who have committed suicide decided they could or would not tolerate the level of pain they were experiencing. Nearly every woman in childbirth reaches that tipping point where she gives up -- "I can't do it, I can't go on" -- which is when the baby delivers.
There is balance to the world. If we can survive being filled to bursting with joy, we can survive being filled to splitting with sorrow. It lasts but for an instant. Like with everything else, someone is going to read this essay and take it wrong, apply it in a half-hearted way and have a negative outcome and blame me.
I don't think you can prove you totally opened up and allowed sorrow to fill you completely, so don't say I'm wrong. This isn't like standing on the edge of the high diving board and plunging in where the whole world can unequivocally agree that you did indeed make the commitment.
But prayerfully or whatever consideration process you entrust consider the truth of what I suggest, and if it seems wise to you -- if it feels right for you -- if it is a good fit for you, let that storm come in and wash those troubles clean to make way for all the good yet to come to you.~~GH