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  • Amabel Narvaez

The Inner Struggle

It's been an especially emotional week for me. I hate to admit being so shaken. I am tearful more than usual. I doubt myself more than usual. I ask myself why I choose to do things that are so challenging. And I know the answer is because I must.

Yet, just knowing I have a community of support helps me to know I am not alone. Even though I feel so lonely.

It's almost a disgrace to type those words, given what many of you know about my family. We are mad close!

So how do I still feel this sense of hollowness and isolation?

I wish I could tell you.

The sorrow never really goes away. It gets swept to the corner, stacked against my piles of old journals.

The cycle continues. Find bliss where I can. Be productive. Be of service. Be of use. Be efficient.

Something can set me off: a blow to my ego or feeling overlooked or excluded. Then goes the spiral.

I let the water works pour out and my soul sheds what it needs to leave behind.

Today I was working on my business name and I felt a wave sweep over me. It was relief. It was making a breakthrough. It was progress.

I had been putting it off because of other things that needed tending to, but I finally made a big step forward.

It may have been pride, or tears of celebration. But then it was mixed with tears of sadness because there wasn't anyone around to hug or high-five.

I'm thinking of my brothers and sisters out in the world who don't have anyone to hug or high five on the regular. These humans are languishing. We must do something about it.

We all need a sense of touch. It is intrinsically a necessity for us mammals.

For those of us who experienced Childhood Emotional Neglect, it is especially helpful to be in touch with our feelings and know what works for us.

For me, that means a LOT of touching. Hugs, pats on the shoulder, kisses, mini-hugs, side hugs. This pandemic-induced air hug shit took a major toll. I'm learning about myself every day. I'm constantly surprised by my findings and observations. My anthropological studies do not cease to puzzle or alarm me. And so I take each day as best as I can. I am forgiving of my need to be constantly moving and doing. I recognize that some days I'm more energetic and higher functioning. My mindfulness practice reminds me to love myself as I am. When these tears come, I do not panic. I don't ask "What's wrong with me?" I just let them flow. I greet them with joy, even if they're coupled with sadness because I know at the end of the drops there is clarity and relief. I used to have to hide my tears. Now I don't give a shit. I'll cry on planes, buses, grocery stores. If laughter can be displayed in public, why not pain? It's just as valuable. Maybe I'm making up for those years I felt I needed to stuff the crying down to be strong or to mask my true feelings. Crying doesn't make one weak. It makes one human.

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