Friday, December 16, 2011

Be Like the Wind

When I read this quote from Marie Osmond, I just had to write it down:
For women, depression often means that we can no longer rise to the occasion of making it look easy, cope with the struggles, or use any of our energy for keeping peace.

It's so true isn't it, life is not easy, but before my emotional issues rose to the surface and demanded to be dealt with I could handle things.  I don't know if I made it look easy, but I do know that often these days I think about how I could get so much done before this.  I could power through my days accomplishing a huge list of things to do.  I had two small children, worked a full-time job and a part-time job, kept the house clean, the bills paid, etc.  Now, I'm lucky if I get the dishes done.

Earlier this week I was talking to someone I hadn't seen in a really long time and I ended up sharing with her some of my story of the past few years.  She said she had experience with it and understood.  It is interesting how as you first start dealing with buried emotions, anxiety and/or depression, you feel so alone, you honestly feel like no one else in the world is with you.  Your world feels so small, then as you reach out you find many who have been there or are there.

Yesterday my visiting teachers came over and we had a great conversation.  We were talking about experiencing our emotions.  As I was trying to describe how we need to feel our emotions, I ended up describing it as feeling like the wind.  We must acknowledge them and let them go through us in order for them to move on otherwise they stay stuck in our body.

As I was thinking about it this morning, the Patrick Swayze song, She's Like the Wind, kept running through my mind:

She's like the wind through my tree
She rides the night next to me
She leads me through moonlight
Only to burn me with the sun
She's taken my heart
But she doesn't know what she's done

Feel her breath on my face
Her body close to me
Can't look in her eyes
She's out of my league
Just a fool to believe
I have anything she needs
She's like the wind
I don't think it's quite what he meant, but we really do need to be the tree and let our emotions be like the wind and let them move through us.  During the summer as I was working in the yard, as a breeze would touch my skin, I would stop, close my eyes and feel it.  I would pause and thank my Heavenly Father for that cool blessing.  Sometimes our emotions can be very scary because they are intense, but if we could just pause and feel them, then like the breeze (or sometimes the wind for stronger emotions) they will move past us (just don't be like the hurricane, it leaves destruction in its path).
One of my visiting teachers was giving an example of going out into the garden to work when trying to deal with her emotions.  I asked her if she was going out and feeling the emotions as she pulled weeds, or was she just doing something to avoid feeling the emotions.  In the past, I was definitely the person who did other things to avoid feeling emotions.  How much better it would have been for me if as I did things I expressed how I was feeling instead of blocking them.

Taking control of my life has required me to stop trying to control my emotions.  It is true that we may need to let our emotions out in a controlled way to make sure that we don't hurt ourselves or others, but that is very different from trying to control them completely.  I love this quote by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf:

It isn't until you come to a spiritual understanding of who you are that you can begin to take control of yourself, you will get control of your life.  If you want to move the world, you first have to move yourself.

I have learned that controlling myself means acknowledging me, my wants, needs and feelings.  It means allowing myself to be human and that means good moments and bad moments.  It means making mistakes and learning from them.  I was stuck and I didn't even see it, but now I feel the wind on my face and I pause and I really feel it and it feels amazing!

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