When going through an intense emotional process like divorce, it’s good to allow ourselves to feel different emotions. Joy, for instance, offers some needed relief from sadness or anger.
The other day I was walking through the park I noticed a swing set. It seemed like the swings were calling to me. Still glancing at the swings I let the thought go and kept walking. Recalling memories of being on a swing as a young girl a smile came to my face. I remember feeling the wind in my hair and a tickle in my tummy. I walked a few more steps then I suddenly stopped and made a u-turn, almost running toward the swings! When I sat on the simple leather seat, as if by magic, all other thoughts disappeared. Then I began to pump my legs to move the swing. I leaned back further and hit longer strides with my swinging. I flew progressively higher. My tummy felt that familiar tickle, the wind was in my hair, and a giggle escaped my throat! Truly I believe that giggle bubbled up straight from my heart.
The purpose of this blog post is partly to share with you what a great time I had on the swings that day and remind you to play. But, what I realized after being on the swing is that I felt lighter in my body, mind, and spirit. While swinging and giggling, firmly held tension left my body. The tickle and the giggle helped me release sadness. Sadness left over from years of struggling with separation and divorce.
The experience of holding sadness can become a heavy weight around the heart. After a while we don’t even realize it's still there. Ghost-like remnants repressing feelings of joy and love.
During loss of any kind one sure way of moving your sadness is to move your body. All activities are fair game. I found that my body, mind, and spirit were saved by being in the mountains and hiking daily. My heart and lungs were injected with an intense breath of fresh air that helped to move the daily stagnation of grief. As you may have experienced, being separated from someone you love can be unbearable.
As time passes the sadness diminishes, leaving only a few straggling emotions hanging on. Those nasty devils can still impact our ability to express ourselves fully and enjoy life. Moments like being on a swing, hiking, or being in the beauty of nature can help move the sad energy cobwebs out.
Moving in natural, playful ways can open our hearts and lift our spirit. If the swing is not calling, what was the most playful thing you did that brought you joy? Go find it and do it! Give yourself a giggle, a break from the sadness, and reconnect with your freedom!