My heart-felt wide open and filled with joy and love at the wedding I attended. Weddings are great opportunities to feel openheartedness and practice feeling joy. Having an open heart also makes it easier to welcome uncomfortable emotions. I had some fear just before the wedding because I was notified by cell phone that my 16 year-old son’s flights home from the mid-west were delayed several hours. I was trying to forward the latest message to his cell phone just as the ceremony was to begin. Then I bumped my eye and my contact lens popped out. This wasn’t how I wanted to feel this happy day! I could have easily focused the on negative and got sucked in by my fear and discomfort. This would have resulted in tense muscles followed by pelvic pain and other physical discomfort.
Deciding How to Feel
I’m usually pretty calm, but at that moment I was rattled as well as excited to see the wedding. I felt ungrounded and remembered to feel into my body, which is always in present time. My daughter helped me to calm down and look for the contact lens which I quickly spotted and put back in my eye. I checked the time and decided that what was most important to me right then was to enjoy the wedding ceremony. I had plenty of time to get the message about the delayed flight to my son. I successfully turned my attention to the wedding ceremony and fully engaged in the experience. I called my son after the ceremony to relay the information. Then I was able to enjoy the rest of the party and feel the joy and abundance of flowing love.
The Let Down
After the wedding I said good-bye to my husband who had come in his own car from work. My keys weren’t where they should have been and I remembered giving them to him earlier to put something in my car. I hurried to catch him but he was already gone. This left my daughter, her friend and I stranded at the hall in the rain in a rural community with nowhere else to go. My husband doesn’t keep his cell phone on and we had to wait at least 30 minutes until he got home to get him to come back with my keys.
It was upsetting to be left without access to my car and fear of abandonment is one of my emotional triggers. I felt like crying, but adults don’t cry in these situations, so I held it back. I let myself feel the heaviness and a bit of a let down from the high emotions of the wedding party. Fifty minutes went by and I still hadn’t talked to my husband although I had called home multiple times and they were about to close the hall. My voice cracked as I asked the few remaining people if we could get a ride at least part way home. I could have done with a good cry right then! I was angry that this was happening to me, that my husband didn’t notice my keys in his pocket and that he chooses to keep his cell phone off. I was tired and just wanted to be home. Shortly after our ride left the hall my husband called, now an hour after he left, wondering where I was. He had stopped for a video the way home. We started getting into an argument but I stopped myself. Later I told him I would have appreciated some sympathy.
Skillfully Navigating Emotions
Just before bed I talked with my son who was in the San Francisco airport. There was a problem with his boarding pass and he missed the last flight home that night. My 16-year old son was stranded and alone in an airport 300 miles from home. I felt helpless and scared. It was after midnight by the time he got booked onto the first flight home in the morning. I wished him well in finding a safe place to sleep in the airport. I went to bed and finally let myself have a good cry. Then I challenged my thoughts about my little boy stranded and alone. I reminded myself that he is 6’3”, an experienced backpacker, he’s strong and smart, and that camping in the airport isn’t really much different from camping in the woods and then I was able to sleep. My son arrived safely home early the next morning.
Although I was tired the next day I was feeling fine in my body. I didn’t have any extra aches and pains from resisting feeling emotions. Being able to feel the good feeling emotions helped me to also welcome and feel the uncomfortable ones. I could have easily let the damper on the latter part of the day ruin the whole day for me, and I could have stayed angry with my husband but I chose not to. I was able to honor the fun and openheartedness I experienced at the wedding without letting the difficulties of the rest of the day pale the memory.