The problem with our culture, or society in general, is that people want you to smile. So, everyday, we paint our faces with pleasantry and take a hike into our cities, pueblos, communities, or even groups of friends, hiding our true emotions. It’s a rough game to play, since on one hand, we can’t upset the neighborhood with our sadness, frustration, anger, guilt, agony, repent, or the current whirlwind of an emotional ballgame we’re experiencing. On the other hand, the opportunity to be real and vulnerable with others is a huge release, and might end up helping breakdown the facade others are experiencing. As someone put it, ‘when you show up fully, it allows me to show up’.
If a group of people are hanging out watching a band but no one’s dancing, and it’s clear people kind of want to dance, one person getting up and freely expressing themselves usually opens the portal for anyone whose antsy to move to join them! This is a common thing in our lives, known as Birds of a Feather. It’s a group mentality, when people do what they actually suppress their longings in order to cooperate with an unspoken decision a crowd has determined to fit in and be ‘like-minded’. But truly, there’s much more freedom and joy when people express authentically!
I am a pretty gosh darn pleasant person to be around most of the time, so when I’m going through an intense period of life that basically makes me feel like I’m losing all identity, all sturcture and routine, and crumbling into nothing, I want to be allowed to do it. Usually, I keep to myself during these epochs, knowing that life is a constant cycle of death and rebirth, and whatever it is (which is often undefinable) is just part of letting go of the aspects of myself I cling to which made me feel safe. However, the past two ‘breakdowns’ I’ve had, which were highly warranted if i told you all about what led up to them, I’ve been around people.
Anyone who’s worked with people on an emotional level, be it a psychological or spiritual level, knows that if someone’s crying or having a moment, it’s important to let them have it…it’s a beautiful opportunity to release much of the emotion we’ve held in our bodies for however long, and eventually, the tears will flow into softness. And, really, it’s kind of a gift to be in that space where we can just let it out. Some people can cry when the affected situation torments them, but usually, we’re in a public sphere, where it feels inappropriate to cry or react, so we swallow those emotions and keep them inside. This builds and builds, and will eventually explode through an external situation, or release through a sort of body-mind modality – or a good party. But the worst, is when someone cuts into your experience by telling you to shut it off.
Don’t cry. Man up. Smile. Everything’s going to be okay, you’ll see. Don’t do this to yourself. Step up!
….You know, I really am NOT in a space that feels that way.
I feel like my world is falling apart. I feel like I’m crumbling into no one. I don’t know what’s happening. I don’t even know if it’s about me….
So P L E A S E, JUST LET ME HAVE MY BREAKDOWN!
A friend of my refers to this as a ‘shamanic death’, an interesting way to say it which i really understand. It’s like a forest fire burning the land to make room for new growth. In its path may be houses, may be people, may be animals, and there is suffering that relentlessy shakes the life which burns. Indubitable loss, but after all that, life. If you are able to see that what feels like a complete breakdown is an opportunity to deeply surrender into what is waiting to grow within you, then you can full on ride the wave down to the bottom – with little effort to curtail its trajectory. I know that after many of these cycles, a newness and renewal awakens, which is actually better than the me I knew before.
I know we want to support our friends or people we meet, and the tendency to comfort them or lessen their sufffering comes naturally. But truly, personal relief comes most simply from another’s presence. This term we know in the spiritual terrain as ‘holding space’. Literally, the listener connects with heartspace, or offers their ear empathically, without interrupting or giving advice or in any way curtailing an experience the person is relieving – up to a certain point. Another person can definitely honor a space, but also recognize the member in crisis is cycling into a memory or emotion so hard like it’s an unstoppable thing that isn’t being helped with their vanity. But, by asking or noticing if the person is triggered or having a particular experience that in the moment, just letting it happen lends vital aid to a ‘healing crisis’. It’s valuable to recognize that doing ‘nothing’ is the most profound support we can offer. Cutting our friends off insinuates that it’s not okay to be vulnerable in their peers’ presence. When we hold it in, we know that a serious crisis is a possibility in the long-run. Just be there.
For those of you experiencing this breakdown right now, know we are together in it. There are things that affect global consciousness that are very painful, and which most of us actually experience whether or not we know. Speaking up about what you’re going through may help alleviate someone else’s suffering as well, and opens the door for a conversation where we can come together to work through the current ocean of mixed madness. Be kind to yourself, and honor where you are, without trying to surpress your emotions. This way, you’ll move through it more quickly! Maybe find a friend and spend time together, go into nature, and be creative. Dance, write, paint, cut wood, or do listen to music. Just love yourself in the ways you best know how, without trying to escape your own experience. There’s a lesson for you in there. This too will pass if you let it without guilt or shame. 💘🌻⭐️
“So let go
And jump in
Oh well whatcha waiting for
‘Cause there’s beauty in the breakdown
(So let go) yeah let go
And just get in
Oh it’s so amazing here
It’s all right
‘Cause there’s beauty in the breakdown”