Not Holding Back - Gratitude Journal #11

posted on: February 18, 2013

The woman sitting next to me in the pew had so much joy in her heart that laughter easily bubbled up out of her body whenever a phrase fancied her.  When deep words were spoken, she gave an audible amen.  When the singing got going, she was swaying like a summer wind.  I wanted to be her- not really to express as she was expressing- but to FEEL as she was feeling.  Somewhere in my attempt to become so calm and peaceful, my emotions leveled out.  I no longer feel intense anxiety or pain but I also don't seem to feel intense joy or pleasure much either.  I thought having this much control over the emotional self was such a great thing, until I remembered how beautiful it was to be in the presence of someone expressing so much joy.  She made me smile and I felt the freedom of her joy.

Soaking in some Vitamin D while I wait. Finding opportunity and happiness in the face of difficulty.

Then it hit me- a flood of tears.  I could barely keep from holding it together.  A big part of me wanted to slip out the back door, but I stayed.  I stayed and cried while everyone around me finished singing.  I didn't know if I was crying out of sadness, out of happiness, or for some completely unknown reason- I just let it all out and didn't hold back.  I was definitely FEELING an emotional intensity of some kind- even if I didn't understand what it was or why I was feeling it.  I just let the feeling move through me and come out as it needed to- no suppression.

As a photographer who specializes in capturing emotional moments, I really rely on people not holding back their feelings.  I need them to feel deeply and to express those feelings it in a way that I can capture and preserve.  The woman in the pew next to me reminded me of how important it is, when we feel something deeply, to allow our bodies to express that emotion.  Especially when it's joy and happiness, but also when it's hurt or sadness.  We need not judge ourselves for the way we feel- we can simply feel and let that feeling move through us.

{If you appreciated this post, please join me in my journey to have a greater positive impact on the world by writing your own gratitude journal and sharing it or a link to it in the comments below. I would love to read your moments of gratitude and share them with others!}

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