Sometimes, we carry painful emotions with us for so long that we forget what was wrong in the first place. It becomes an ever-present, lingering storm cloud, and it never strays too far from you. After carrying the painful storm cloud around for a long time, it turns into something else. It picks up and transforms into a raging storm: circling all around, engulfing your entire field of vision. A swirling of hot and cold energies, pushing and pulling each other, around and around - chaos and destruction and anger, fueled by pain. It isolated us from everything and everyone - even logic and rational thinking. If left unchecked, the energies of the storm can continue to increase until it’s out of control. The storm can cause damage to our world around us and hurt the people we love. When that happens, we have no choice but to intervene. Sharing our pain with others was never the goal.
The storm only stops growing in magnitude when we let ourselves feel it. When we decide to finally tune in and give ourselves time to listen to the feeling, the swirling, chaotic energies give way to the deep pain that needs to be let go of. It’s been eating at you all this time; weighing you down. You’ve been harsh to yourself and beating yourself up about the way you’ve been, but you’ve been holding on to such great pain. You have every right to feel angry about the pain that you’re feeling, but you have to learn to feel it, and let it go. It isn’t helping you to continue holding on to it, to let the storm build and rage around you. You’ve been running from this painful feeling for so long that the storm is becoming very intense. It will only get stronger and harder to vanquish as time goes on.
Prepare yourself for the storm, knowing that the way to free ourselves from our pain is to step through it. Set up in a safe, cozy place, and let the storm engulf you fully. Let the pain enter your mind and body. Do this mindfully! Feel it to its fullest. Observe the thoughts running through your mind, without judgement. Let them bring the pain forward for you to rip off the band-aid once and for all. Notice where you feel it in your body. Is it a feeling in your heart or chest? Do you feel it in your stomach? Or in your head? Find where the pain is located in your body and focus on that spot. Keep your focus on that painful spot while you take deep, calming breaths. Imagine you’re breathing in healing, life-giving energy and breathing out the chaotic, tense energy. Continue breathing deep breaths until you feel that your chest is free of all tension. Repeat the process for the rest of your body, until you return to a relaxed state.
While you’re letting the storm rush in, don’t be surprised if there are waterworks. An important part of the healing process to let yourself cry. What’s a storm without rain? Cry, feel what you’ve been running from, and remember to breathe. Let yourself sit with this deep emotion you’re feeling. The feeling isn’t bad just because it’s painful - it’s a part of you, just like happiness and peace, and it wants to be loved and accepted too. If we want to feel whole, we have to love and accept all parts of ourselves (even the ones that are painful and hard to look at). Listen to the feeling. If it were a person, what would it say? What does it need to feel better? If it were a color or a shape, what would it look like? How does it feel - hot or cold, soft or rough? Give it a name, give it a description, and really know the feeling. Ask the feeling what it has to teach you. Emotions are powerful teachers and show us how powerful we are.
After we’ve released all of the tension in our body and fully felt and understood the emotion, the storm starts to break apart in the sky. The rain stops, the wind calms, and maybe there will even be a rainbow. After the storm passes, we feel lighter. Relieved. At ease. The chaos that was raging around us has turned into a gentle breeze. We can see the world around us again and we’re grateful for what we’ve been missing. We’re able to connect with the people around us again. Our body starts to feel like a safe place to be, and things start to make sense. There is no better feeling than the sunshine on your skin after a long, dark storm. But if you’ve been waiting a long time for sunshine, maybe first you need to appreciate the rain.