What happens when the wave hits?
As I continue my journey of discovering my neurodiverse nature, I’ve been reading lots and lots of books about the topic, from such a wide variety of wonderful autistic women. :-)
One of my favorites is “What I Mean When I Say Im Autistic” by Annie Kotowitz. Her writing about sensory stuff is sooooo useful for all of us, no matter what our neurotype. She writes,
“Trying to stop an emotion – in yourself or someone you love – is like trying to stop a wave.
I speak from experience as someone who has tried to stop a wave, for fun, just to see what would happen.
You dig your toes into the shifting sand, eyeing the rising crest, bracing for the impact. It crashes on your abdomen and splits into a thousand pieces, spraying all around you, then lands into restless swirls of white foam.
It's much more dramatic and destructive than letting the wave lift you, waggling your feet at the sudden loss of solid ground, and trusting that it'll set you back down again soon.
When I feel overwhelmed, or wronged, or otherwise emotionally wounded, it's easy to assume that's a problem. If so, then I should find reasons not to feel that way, and twist my emotions to match those reasons.
But what if it's not a problem?
What if the most healing and cathartic way through an emotion is to feel it fully, tearfully voice my complaints, and be met (or meet myself) with soothing acceptance?
Not acceptance of the problem that caused my distress, but acceptance of the distress itself.
Not forever, but until it passes.
Because it will.”
How about for you? What happens when you allow the wave of emotion to flow through you freely, and accept your distress? It really does pass - often sooner than you think. And it’s even better if you can share it with a compassionate friend or coach. As Mr. Rogers once said, “Everything mentionable is manageable.”
I wish for you that all your experiences are mentionable. You are welcome here, just the way you are right now.
With great love,