For most of my life I have felt like such a weirdo, because I am very self-aware about my constant… growth.
Every few months I reach a point where I’m going through a transitional phase and feel raw, scattered, vulnerable and confused.
These feelings are common responses to the growing pains of… growth. They often feel so damn uncomfortable, but are necessary, if you are devoted like I am, to the ongoing learning and understanding of what it means to be human, to be oneself, and how that works in relation to others, our planet and the Universe.
In the past I have tried everything to control and diminish those uncomfortable feelings. I would eat to quell what I felt, or I would control my eating to push away what I felt. I would fill my time with never-ending tasks so I wouldn’t have to deal with what I was feeling. I would try to “help” other people in an effort to ignore what I was going through. I would work too much; I would drink too much; I would shop too much. But none of those things actually worked.
What I was trying to do, was to get away from what was making me feel uncomfortable. In a way, I was trying to get away from me.
One day, I decided to sit still with all of my feelings — all the raw, scattered, vulnerable and confused feelings — and ask for guidance from my trusted confidant, my intuition.
She told me this:
“If you sit with your uncomfortable feelings, and don’t try to run and hide from them, they will dissolve.”
I didn’t want to, but I had not other options left.
So I sat with them, and I felt them. The heart-breaking ugly rawness of the human experience. The weird scattered currents of thoughts racing through my mind. The confusion that seemed to be touching every part of my life. I felt how much it all doesn’t make sense, and yet all works together symbiotically. I felt how much I love and how much I am replied by many of the same things. I felt all the contrast and contradictions and paradoxes. And when I finished feeling all the feelings, they were gone.
What replaced those uncomfortable feelings was a new definition and understanding that had been culminating underneath this phase of transition all along, waiting for me to shed the old skin.
This lesson has stuck with me since.
I still, often, feel all those feelings. But instead of resisting them and wanting to get away from them, I now embrace them, with the understanding that they need to be felt, as part of the transition and growth.
Photography by Michelle Jensen