In my last post, Days of Darkness Within, I wrote about a stretch of sadness, loneliness and disorder I recently encountered. It happens whenever I’m blindsided by incidents that question my value and self-respect. My coach suggested I observe this feeling and see what messages might arise. Now that the end of the world is not coming after all, I’d like to share the insight I received.
I’ve learned that I can counteract the affect of my Judge saboteur by listening to the voice of my inner Sage, and those accompanying it. My Sage is the voice of wisdom, comfort, understanding, appreciation, curiosity, self-management, learning, intuition, and listening. So when I went to the gym yesterday, I made it a point to speak to listen to the wisdom of my Sage and suspend the influence of my Judge saboteur.
My Sage chose to speak through a voice I call Merlin. Merlin is my resident alchemist. Just as an alchemist in mythology can turn mud into gold, so my Merlin can transform my saboteur emotions into new insights for growth. Merlin is always willing to work for me provided I get out of his way! This means I have to let go of my analysis loop, trying hard to “figure out” what’s going on in my emotional life. This letting go is a way of making an intention and then letting play out in the universe.
So while I was huffing and puffing on the cross-trainer, Merlin gave me an insight. I began to think again about the little children of Newtown, Ct., and how profoundly their tragic deaths have touched me. I almost started to cry, but stopped out of embarrassment. My empathy is so strong that I feel others’ pain as if it were happening to me.
Sometimes I get tired of being so empathic. My pressure in my chest and my tears sometimes interfere with daily routines. But one thing I’ve learned (that I often forget) is that once I’ve been touched by tragedy or pain, it’s got to run its emotional course in my heart. It knew I had to give some additional space to mourning these children.
I’ve discovered that weeping “reboots” my emotional state when my empathy is overwrought. If I don’t take time to cry, I develop an invisible block in my gut. I get triggered by incidents such as I described in my previous blog post. It’s as if my body is telling me that I have unfinished business.
So today during a rather silly 1958 film about the dangers of the nuclear age, I had my opportunity. Scenes in the film triggered my empathy and grief. I let my tears flow for the children, and they continue to well up even as I write this post.
I now feel a lot better. The emotional block is clearing. The “buzz” in my gut is dissipating. I can be with my broken heart.
American men usually don’t talk about or write about this stuff and it really upsets me. I’m finding my own voice because I believe there are a lot of men, gay and straight, who have been made to feel foolish or who have not given themselves permission to feel deeply and express it freely. I want them to claim their place emotionally in the human race!
I have met and spoken with some of these men who have been seriously damaged emotionally as children. They continue the pattern of anger and depression rooted in grief. It infects their partners and children, and is often at the root of their obesity, violent tendencies, and other addictions.
Show this post to your male friends and colleagues and ask them what they think. I invite you to share your thoughts here and help others to understand the power of empathy and the freedom and healing in expressing emotion.
Contact the Man’s Coach at firstname.lastname@example.org