Coming in the other morning I noticed how much deadheading needed to be done in my container garden and how much leaf litter the wind the day before had blown all over the patio around the pots. The nine hummingbirds feeders hanging on the cottage eaves, all empty or almost empty, clearly needed washing and refilling.
Once in the cottage door, it was obvious my kitties had had a rambunctious night: tufts of cat hair were everywhere the eye could see. A vase on one of my altars had been knocked over. Though it hadn’t broken, there was water, along with rose petals and fern droppings, on the bookcase and floor.
Since I’d slept in later than usual, the kitties were all over me complaining loudly, winding around my feet and almost tripping me as I headed to the counter to get their bowls. I had a fit! (They no longer scatter to hiding when I start raging: over our six years together, they’ve gotten used to my periodic and loud meltdowns.)
I stomped around, “f_ _k, f _ _king!” (Curse words are sooo relieving when I feel crazed and overwhelmed.) Yelling: “I hate this!” and “This is too much!” and “I need a clone!” and “I can’t stand this!” and “I want a mommy!” Furious and in tears at the very same time, I felt completely beside my self. As always, the ranting and crying are intense for a time and then, like a switch getting thrown, the eruption is over.
Nothing’s changed, all of the everything-needing-to-be-done is still there, but I’m in a different place. I begin to tackle the tasks one by one. Not thinking another thought about all there is to do, not reciting/rehashing the list in my head. I simply start moving and doing: staying in the thinnest slice of now, focusing only on whatever chore I’m addressing in just that moment, breathing deeply and feeling calm
Along the way of my journey toward taking really good and loving care of my self, I’ve learned that it’s not only okay but incredibly helpful to rant and rave (by my self, in safe space) when I feel put upon or overwhelmed. It never goes on for very long; I’m sure that’s because I have my own full permission (without any judgment) to go for it when it surges up in me. I no longer even think of berating my beleaguered self with “why are you wasting energy, you know you’re just going have to do all it anyway!” Or, with “What’s the point, it’s not going to change anything!’ The truth is, making room to feel the feelings changes everything.
What experience has taught me is that these ranting, tearful meltdowns release the energy of the overwhelm. Once the energy is released, we can come to calmness and surrender into whatever it is we have to deal with. When we don’t allow for the releasing, we have to spend other energy suppressing the rage, energy we could better use, post-meltdown, for coping with what needs doing. This seems like a time of year when it would be particularly good to remember this!