Butterflies in your stomach from your first Crush on someone?
Floating and skipping through your day on a wave of Happiness?
These are all symptoms of emotions, after effects if you will.
When do you feel and experience the real, RAW emotions?
I’m talking about your body feeling as if liquid FIRE is running through your veins. Red hot tears stream uncontrollably down your face, breath short and hard. A warm flood rises from the depths of your stomach, convulses through your whole body and streams out the top of your head as you cry out with a primal wail from the center of your being.
Pain, Love, Joy, Fear, and a host of other words describe the Emotions that we experience or express in this way.
I am writing about this to commit to simple words, my OWN experience. An explanation, if you like, of what this huge emotional deluge is for – what purpose does it serve?
Our lives are a linear experience, however along the way we pass through any number of Rites of Passage. Gateways or Significant life experiences that are massively important in the foundation of the days, weeks,months and years that follow.
Stopping breast feeding, learning to walk, are some of the first. Years later comes Puberty, a first kiss, losing our virginity and a Girl’s first menstruation. For tribal societies – a first kill, the time spent becoming a man alone in the desert or jungle.
All of these seem to be a normal part of our lives, but are instrumental in our development. Each Rite of Passage is entered with Emotion, experienced with Emotion and passed through with new Emotions to take with us.
Too often our modern society expects us to push our Emotions aside, suppress them and just get on with it; forget our need to break through barriers, struggle out of our old skins. Just be like everyone else and do what you do…
So we are all going through these Rites of Passage ALL the time, sometimes we feel it and sometimes we don’t. The important thing is to realise that ANY event involving change will have a beneficial effect – even the ones that seem to be only full of pain, loneliness and despair. Rites of passage in all shapes and sizes, close a chapter in our lives and lay the foundation for us to stumble, walk or stride with pride into a new phase of our lives.
I have just passed through what may be the most extreme Rite of passage yet in my life. On the 24th of June, St Jan’s day, I became a Father.
Blood, primal singing, hands grasping as if tearing stone, heat, intense expectation, pain, exhaustion, then there he was. I will never forget the look on my girlfriend’s face in the moments after she went through the incredible, testing, and beautifully inspiring ordeal of childbirth and then held our son for the first time. I’ve said it before in another article – ‘there is only this…’
An hour or so later, however, there was more…I held the tiny, warm bundle of love that we call baby. Sitting alone whilst everyone was washing and tending to his mother, we met each other. No words were spoken, he rolled his eyes and gurgled; I stared in mute amazement at the life I have helped to create. A thousand promises and proclamations flowed through my thoughts, Love, Protection, Unconditional safety, it just went on and on.
I cried, in a way I had never known before. Total and utter satisfaction, painfully overwhelming but absolutely complete.
Why all of these emotions?
Now I am a new parent, I need strength and commitment to be able to help my son find his way through the challenging first weeks and months of his life. together we will have sleepless nights and dreamy days. It will seem like it will never end, maybe it won’t, but the impact and memory of those FIRST EMOTIONS is the fuel that carries us through. Reminds us that we have an unbreakable bond and commitment to each other.
Just a simple question –
What Emotions carry you through your Rites of Passage?
Photo credit: Jeremy Sparks