On Rain Clouds
It was a typical March afternoon earlier this week. There was a sense of greyness about the day which was being made worse by the gathering of gloomy clouds. Ananya, (aged 8) and I briskly walked home trying to avoid the rain showers, which I felt were imminent.
‘Look at those clouds gathering over our head’ I said to Ananya. ‘Don’t they look angry or possibly even sad?’
Ananya gazed at the clouds above, and there was silence for a couple of minutes although the look on her face said that she was mulling over something in her inquisitive mind.
‘I think they’re about to pour out all their emotion,’ she said. I smiled. Amazed by her personification of the rain. I decided to take this conversation a little further, intrigued at what she may say.
‘So how do you think they will feel once they have poured out all their emotion Ananya?’
‘Lighter!’ she said confidently.
I have played this conversation in my mind a couple of times since then, the overriding thought for me, is that there is something about the ‘pouring’ of emotion (safely) that allows for the feeling of ‘lightness'. I have sat with a number of clients who have deeply expressed their emotions during a session, and have returned the following week saying that whilst expressing emotion in the moment felt distressing, they had felt like a weight had been lifted from their shoulders.
When I talk about the purging of emotions I don’t think that it allows for an end to distress -if anything it often feels a little worse before it feels better. It does allow for an awareness/acceptance of the emotion, allowing you to move forward in the direction that you want to go. What I have realised is that sticking plasters over a wound will provide temporary relief but to heal the wound thoroughly it needs to be exposed.
So why is it that we hold on to emotions that don’t serve us well?
Why do we allow for the heavy clouds of anger, pain, fear, sadness, shame to loom over us?
What do you do to pour out your emotion?