“The heart has reasons that reason cannot know.” ~Blaise Pascal
“Do your eyes get hot and you have to cry?” James asked. He has asked me that question twice in two weeks. I guess that’s how he feels when he knows that the tears are brimming, and threatening to break through the dam of a stoic heart.
Yesterday we were hurrying to the bus stop to meet Kenny and Madeleine in the rain when I remembered the Chinese Forget-Me-Nots I’d planted 10 days earlier. There they were, sprouting all on their own, no help from me.
That’s how I experience tears from a hurting heart; sprouting from the depths, covered up with thick mulch. pushing themselves to the surface, demanding to be seen. They never need my help, and rarely remind me of their presence lurking below the surface, their source of nourishment being unfinished business and sometimes regrets and sorrows.
Problem for me is that those feelings aren’t who I am, but they end up defining me when I don’t “manage” them or when I unconsciously expect other people to manage them for me. You see, I feel things deeply and tend to over-share with people. And that can overwhelm people unnecessarily. I’m okay with vulnerability. But this is different. This is like walking around naked all the time!
Just yesterday I’d been joyfully going about, spending the morning with my mom, napping peacefully in the middle of the day, waking refreshed and ready to spend more time with her in the evening. We laughed, talked, solved problems and thoroughly enjoyed each other.
So, the sadness that poked through as I climbed the cellar stairs was not a welcome visitor this morning. Why the randomness? Why today? Memories were flooding in. I’d plug one hole and another would burst open, threatening to overflow and overtake all the good feelings that were struggling for time and space to make new memories today, tomorrow and the next day.
Pushing down the feelings as hard as I could I realized I wasn’t going to win. But I didn’t feel like crying either. Instead I did something new. And remarkably, it felt right.
I finished my ascent of the stairs and mentally took my heart out and gave it a hug.
(I know. Sounds strange. Even to me.)
I’ve been up for a few hours and have had to do a lot of “stuff” already. So far, so good, as they say. My heart is sad, but I’m not. I consider that a minor miracle! Don’t get me wrong. I love a good hug. And I’ll take one any day, for any reason. But I need to live as I’m living. Do you know what I mean? I want to experience joy…even with sadness poking through every now and again.
I’ve learned that you can’t go around denying your feelings. You can try, but they will make themselves known somehow, just like my Forget-Me-Nots, probably when you least expect it.
May as well acknowledge them when they pop up ’cause the source is easier to identify when they first sprout.
So….give your heart a hug when it needs it.
Just a thought.