Today is the last day of the Labour Day weekend. Ah, the feeling of having plenty of time to do all the things we promised ourselves we would do: bike riding, going out for dinner, cleaning that pantry that needs a bungie cord to stay closed, taking the time to relax and watch a movie without getting up five times because we are doing laundry and cooking a batch of spaghetti sauce at the same time. Ah, what a great feeling!
And then, the worst thing that could possibly happen happens: crap shedding. Urgh.
You know the very difficult to explain sensation when you feel like poopy-stinky-holy-shit-what-is-going-on-with-me-crap without any logical reason? When you feel like there is a cranky sleep-deprived wolverine inside of you desperately trying to get out? Or when you just feel like crawling back under the cover and pretend you are dead while hoping that the big imaginary bear that is scaring the crap out of you won’t notice you are hiding there? Yeah, THAT feeling.
For a long time, I didn’t know how to call those moments until one day, when that not-too-scientific term popped up in my head: Crap Shedding. What a perfect name for such a little devil! I even thought of trademarking it! Crap Shedding TM.
Now that we have the nomenclature right, let’s see what happens during those uncomfortable times.
Every time we suppress a feeling, avoid dealing with a situation, don’t express our thoughts by fear of being rejected, do or say something out of guilt or shame... those unexpressed feelings and unsaid words stay in our energetic field. Over the years, we continue to pack tight and bury all that stuff hoping that it will disappear. Out of sight, out of mind we think. But that’s not the case.
All those repressed emotions stay with us patiently waiting... until one day when they start bubbling up to the surface. All the crap that we thought had disappeared comes back in our life to be felt, acknowledged and then released... hence the term “crap shedding”.
When we shed layers of crap, we end up making room for more light and love in our lives. While this may sound like a good thing - and it totally is - the process can be quite uncomfortable.
Our old stories and emotions can be brought to the surface by different situations or people in our lives. They can also show up unannounced like weird relatives with no sense of personal space. Sometimes we are able to identify the feeling, and at other times, it is just a mix of too many things. In fact, it doesn’t really matter what is trying to emerge. What’s important however, is that we can be the space for those emotions without trying to numb the experience. If we want to see them leave once and for all, we need to notice them, acknowledge their presence, and when they are ready to go, release them. Easier said than done you are probably thinking. Yup! I totally agree!
Our ego mind might try to convince us otherwise by bringing up different thoughts to make us focus on other priorities... such as checking Facebook 25 times per hour, cleaning the window seals with a toothbrush or calling that friend who likes to complaint about the weather. But... it is in those moments that awareness and presence are particularly important. Using numbing agents such as alcohol, shopping, cigarettes, bitching, watching TV will just impede the process.
The reason those emotions have been buried in the first place was because we didn’t deal with them at the time. So using an external substance or behaviour to make the process more tolerable won’t work either this time around. Those emotions need to be expressed and they will keep knocking at your front door until you answer.
What we resist persists.
So over the long weekend, I had some old friends over: Mr. Fear and Ms. Not-Good-Enough showed up on Sunday afternoon along with their kids Overwhelmed and Low-Energy. What a great time we had... NOT!!! Even if I know how the process of crap shedding works (after all, I did create the term!), it doesn’t mean it is any easier! Sitting with those friends wasn’t fun nor easy but it was necessary. I listened to them while telling myself that I was not my feelings. These emotions were not who I am. They didn’t define me. I acknowledged their presence without attaching any label to them and looked at them pass like big puffy clouds in a blue summer sky.
Now that the storm has passed (well almost!), I can see more clearly. I know what part of me needs some TLC and I can breathe more easily. I didn’t have time to check all the items I had written on my to-do list, but I’m fine with it. As far as I know, no one will come in the middle of the night to steal my load of laundry or the little bunnies that run along my walls!
Growing and evolving is not always an easy process... but it is always worth it.