These days, I wear my heart on my sleeve. It wasn't always that way. I used to hide my emotions from the world because I didn't feel safe sharing them. Being vulnerable made me want to crawl out of my skin. One of the hallmark symptoms of trauma is emotional numbing. It's a survival mechanism that allows us to stay alive when the flames are threatening to consume us whole.
It works in the moment, but it's not a long-term solution. You can't selectively dampen pain without also stamping out joy.
I no longer run from my emotions. I sit with them, ask them why they are here, and how long they'd like to stay. I don't allow them to overstay their welcome, but I never force them out before they've said their piece.
Exactly one month ago, I stood in front of a packed room of yogis and rather than leading them through my usual upbeat class, I broke down into tears. For 75 minutes, I cried. Though my voice cracked and at moments, I was so choked up I could barely speak, somehow I made it through. And miraculously, somehow, they all stayed.
Usually I'm the one holding space for others, but that day they all held space for me.
Today, I cried again in front of a room full of people. But I wasn't afraid to let the tears fall. I welcomed them with open arms because the ability to feel is the gift that allows us to heal.