When all else fails, try this.
Have you ever experienced days when no matter how hard you try, or how many tools you have in your proverbial emotional toolkit, or how much you know in that clever thinking mind of yours, you just want to stay curled up in the fetal position in a dark corner of some hidden room and simply cry?
The feelings of despair and powerlessness take on tsunami strength leaving you weak, weary, and barely breathing.
I had one of those days recently. It was awful.
My dominant Enneagram type is four, the Individualist. We’re known to have a pretty vibrant (read: intense bordering on dramatic) interior emotional landscape. We’re also known to access the spectrum of that intensity at the drop of a hat. That being said, I’ve been known to indulge my emotions, feasting on them like a marathon runner carb-loading before race day.
Despite your Enneagram type, the goal is to grow in self-awareness with regards to those limiting adaptive personality programs (like my aforementioned emotionalism) that run the show and keep us stuck in our type structure so that we can evolve past these behaviors and fully thrive.
In Enneagram circles, (or basically every coffee shop in Nashville), we hear the phrase, “become your true self” tossed around quite a bit. I love this idea. Enneagram fours are also known to have this mad concept crush on authenticity, depth, and meaning. So the idea of “becoming your true self” is truly intoxicating.
Back to that awful day. (And I’m going to land this plane quickly. Too many words will throw us off course here.)
What if, in the truest, deepest part of you, there’s this growling need to simply surrender to the primal force of what you’re feeling? To be “all in” so to speak? To not try and fix, figure it out, numb, or run like hell?
What if, in order to fully and consciously show up each day, we hold a margin of space for the brokenness inside to be just that…broken? Our feelings will not kill us. They may feel impossible at times, but like a storm at sea, they eventually calm.
After all, on this journey of growth and integration, change is inevitable. With every change, “good” and “bad,” we incur a loss. Loss must be grieved. Period. It must be acknowledged, felt, and witnessed by someone safe. Eventually, we’re able to release it and receive something new.
Rilke said, “no feeling is final.” Yet to be human is to feel.
Emotion is the language of the heart and body and to live in silence is to ultimately die.
And so, Dear One, know that when all else fails and the bleakness of winter doesn’t show visible signs of spring, cling to this truth from Julian of Norwich,
“All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.”
Speak this out when nothing else makes sense. Hold it close, even if you don’t believe it. I’ve been in that space, clung to those words, and can believe it for you.
The darkest night sets the stage for a breaking dawn. Even the longest winter must give way to the rights of spring.
Your birthright is to Bloom.
Love & Gratitude,