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When Your Heart Cannot Stop Being Tested by Big Emotions

Updated: May 30

Spam Filter For Your Brain - Episode 35

I wanted to speak to those moments when you feel like your heart can't stop being tested and that can feel really noisy and really busy and really like all of the thoughts are crowding for space. And somewhere in there you've still got to find enough time to breathe and do the washing up and turn up for work. And there's this sort of emotional ache going on that I think of. It like a little fire blanket over everything else that we do and you can't quite fathom how the rest of the world is meant to go on when you get to that state. Those like, really needing the emergency first aid kit moments, I wanted to just record a little tip finder to see if there's something that I have that might be useful for those moments.

So maybe store this one if you're not in that place right now, and if you are in that place right now, just know that I'm thinking of you when I'm recording it. This is exactly why I wanted to speak on this today.

I really notice when I feel like my heart is absolutely crammed full of feeling like life is a lot more spiky than I was made for, or I was designed for, or that I have capacity for, I feel like I'm in the middle of a crash. Of all of the things that aren't; and all of the things that shouldn't be and all of the things that are going wrong. And very loudly at the forefront of all of that is all of my inadequacies and all of the ways that I could have played my hand differently, to have a different result, or the ways that I've fallen short and should have been better, become better, created some alternate universe that doesn't exist, just so that I don't have to feel these feelings that I'm feeling right now.

And I remember really clearly when I was at my most heartbroken I've ever been in my entire life, someone told me about an old traditional French love song and it's a man on his deathbed and he is singing, "I wish I had enough life left within me to feel a broken heart"'. And I think of this really often. That these big raw emotions, the ones that feel like they're too loud or too much or like I just don't have it within me to handle them, that's what life is. And what an incredible, vibrant, flavorful adventure that I get to have that I feel all of these things, even, frankly, the fucking awful ones, the ones that are like take-your-breath-away agony, those emotions. That is what life is.

I couldn't imagine living a toned down, dulled, out version of existence. I actually do want to live life at all of its vibrancy. Because it's these incredible crashes and the thickness and the velocity and the vibrancy and the exquisite agony of feeling like you're taking your skin off again and again to these big emotions that also allow for the bigness of the love and the compassion and the heart and the hugeness of hearing someone else's story and feeling it in your gut. Of looking at someone else who is suffering and feeling like you are in their shoes, getting soaking wet in the rain with them. That you can spot the people who want an extra tiny little supportive hand on the small of their back before they have the words to vocalise that is what they need.

It is the bits of you that turn up at your friend's house, cook them dinner and fuck off without them needing to say a thing. It's those moments you don't get, if you don't feel all of the other parts of life.

So rather than being in the middle of all of this crash, reeling off all of the ways that everything has gone wrong and quite often all of the ways that we've got it wrong, is there any space in there for you to be able to just anchor onto one little thought of "this is me experiencing life" or "There is something in here that teaches me what I need to learn to be able to help, support, heal, be, therefore find the magic sentence for somebody else in my life who's going to really need it"? There is a theory in Buddhism that the reason why we go through hardships is to be able to learn the language and learn the capacity and have the right kind of vocabulary, I guess, to be able to come back and support other people who are going through the same thing. And whether you believe in that or not, frankly, I think it's a lot nicer to believe that, to really believe that we go through this hardship to be able to support others.

Because when I believe that, it takes some of this sting out of some of life's toughest moments. When I know that there's something that I'm going through right now that is going to help collective community healing, that I'm going to be able to find and phrase in a way that someone that I love or someone that I've never even met before is going to be able to find some peace, some comfort, and find some little extra lung full of oxygen because of a way that I've managed to phrase something that they really needed to hear in that moment.

So this is my gentle little paw on your lower back, this week. And just to remind you that self care is not all roses and instagram memes. Sometimes it's really fucking tough. And that's what life is. And this exquisite agony that we go through of learning and growing and stretching ourselves and rebirthing ourselves again and again. There's something in this, I really believe that means that our unique, individual, isolated, lonely, healing builds a collective groundswell for more people to feel more welcome, more safe in their bodies and their lives and in their existence.

And the more that we stretch our hearts open, the more room there is for more people to be held when they don't have the strength within them to hold themselves.


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