Okay, I finally feel like I’m in a good place emotionally to be able to post about this. I experienced pregnancy loss recently (mid-January). My first miscarriage had occurred over eight years ago, and the two experiences were totally different for me. While that first experience came as a complete and utter shock, this time around, I knew, without really knowing, what had happened. Or maybe I should say, my subconscious mind knew exactly what had happened, probably for several weeks, although my conscious mind could not have known until the doctor gave me the facts. Of all the things I learned from this sad experience, I found this fact to be the most intriguing. Our subconscious minds are plugged into a huge database of information. If we can learn how to access it, we can know everything we need to know in order to live healthy, full lives: physically, emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually. More on that later. Back to the story.
Over Christmas and New Years, being 8-9 weeks pregnant, I had fully expected to feel completely nauseated at the sight, smell, or even mention of food. I was looking forward to that sickness, because for me, it’s the sign of a healthy pregnancy. There were times when I felt slight nausea, but I really think it was only because I had wanted to feel that way. But this wasn’t the only tell that something was wrong. I recall feeling apprehension, unease, and doubt even earlier than this, but it was so vague I didn’t think about it. I just never really got excited about this pregnancy, like I had with my others, and I didn’t get lost in thoughts of wondering and dreaming about new baby.
On January 1, I posted this on Facebook: “Learned two important lessons for the new year: 1. Always, always lock your car. The one time you forget, someone will exploit you. 2. Don’t be attached to things and stuff. You just might wake up one morning to find it gone. (But don’t tell me this while I’m mourning the loss of my Garmin, my entire stash of gift cards and store credit, my classic rock CD collection, and my Vera Bradley tote full of my kids’ toys and books. Let me have my cry.)”
After we found out that the van had been broken into, I had cried for almost an hour, and my eyes were sore the entire day. Since I’m somewhat allergic to my own tears, it’s just not worth it to cry to such an extent! Thanks to an insightful comment from my daughter, I soon came to realize that all that was just stuff, most of which could be replaced, and some of which didn’t matter anyway. So why the huge outburst of sorrow? My husband and I both blamed it on the pregnancy, and we were right, although not in the way we had thought at the time.
Then, on January 13, I posted this to Facebook: “I’m completely sick over having thrown away a large bag of my kids’ winter gear last week. I had thought it was Christmas trash. All the snow-pants, hats, gloves, scarves, boots…gone. Even my own never-worn gloves I got for Christmas. And we’re going tubing on Monday.” I had stuffed the gear into a trash bag for our trip to Colorado, and hadn’t unpacked it when we returned, just left it in the garage. That morning, I had been trying to find Lil Miss’s snow boots for her to wear to school, and I couldn’t find the bag of snow gear anywhere. I searched the house, asking everyone if they’d seen it, and Lil Miss chimed in: “If it was in a garbage bag, maybe someone accidentally threw it away.” As soon as she said it, I knew that that was exactly what had happened, and I had been the one who had thrown it away. I half-heartedly looked in the outside trash can to see if it was maybe still at the bottom, but I knew it wouldn’t be. I had taken a lot of Christmas trash straight out to the curb for pickup the week before. I distinctly remember that I had had one bag of trash in one hand and just thoughtlessly picked up the bag of winter gear with my other hand as I passed by.
As I realized what I’d done, I cried, and cried, and cried. I thought I was crying over my stupidity and thoughtlessness. I thought I was crying over the new Christmas gifts of hats and gloves, which we never got to use. I thought I was crying over how expensive it would be to replace all those snow pants and gloves. I thought I was crying over the material waste of it all. But it wasn’t until two days later that I realized the actual force behind all those tears. It was loss, grief and sorrow, deep inside me, that found an escape hatch and just came pouring out. Loss that I didn’t understand consciously, but a part of me already knew, even before I had been seen by a doctor.
My intuition (or spirit, plugged into the subconscious mind) had known exactly what had happened, long before the proof came. On the 15th, at my first doctor’s appointment and 11 weeks along, things weren’t looking good. Then, after another test on the 19th, it was certain that there’d be no baby. My procedure was done on the 21st, and it was all over with, and no pain to boot! The strange thing was, I didn’t shed one single tear on any of those days. Though I was sad, I felt at peace with it. There was no hard edge. Part of me felt guilty for not “acting sadder, ” like I was “supposed to,” but why put on an unnecessary act? I had already dealt with it when I had thought I had been grieving over that trivial stuff. Once the sorrow was out of me, it was out. That’s when I felt really grateful for having lost those things: those little losses caused me to process out my grief quickly so I could to move forward with life and be strong enough to support my husband and six-year-old daughter, who took the news of the lost pregnancy (or, I should say, loss of the potential son/daughter or sister/brother) very hard.
That hadn’t been the first time that as soon as I gave a little space for tears to flow, a dam broke open and an inexplicable flood gushed forth. With all the pressure that builds up behind emotions blocked up inside, if you try to vent just a little, it explodes out. And often, the tears that come out are manifestations of a much different emotion than that for which I first started crying. What is the point of tears anyway? Lubricating the eyeballs? Obviously, extreme weeping goes beyond this function, so there must be another physiological purpose. Tear ducts are actually release valves for the clearing of energetic waste products.
I’ve come to understand the way the body deals with an excess of emotion. This will make more sense if you understand how emotions are created in the first place. Although I’ve heard many knowledgeable people explain this, Dr. Joe Dispenza said it in the way that made the most sense to me. As your brain gathers sensory data from your environment, jungles of neurons organize themselves into networks and patterns. The moment these string into place, your brain creates a chemical that translates into an emotion, and that chemical gets stored in your body. These chemicals are the end-products of our past experiences; they have an emotional quotient. That’s how you remember significant experiences. So sensory information, combined with our thoughts, is translated into chemistry. These chemicals signal the gene that helps you react to your environmental condition. The chemicals can switch genes off and on. Feelings are a way of thinking. Emotions push the genetic buttons that turn genes up for health or down for disease. People look for familiar emotions, and it’s the redundancy of the same information that keeps signaling the same gene in the same way and wears down certain genes.
Along these lines, according to Dr. Bradley Nelson of The Emotion Code, each different emotion originates from a different organ of the body. Our intense or repetitive thoughts turn on the endocrine system, which then signals a specific organ to generate a certain chemical, the release of which becomes our experience of emotion. Since experiencing the same emotion over and over again means that one kind of chemical is being released in the same area of the body over and over again, it makes sense that that part of the body would become stressed or damaged.
Even though negative emotions have a necessary function at first (see this post), it is healthy for the body to unload the negative emotional energy after it’s served its purpose. Otherwise, that energy has to go somewhere, so it is absorbed into the tissues of our body. Science has confirmed that every kind living tissue gives off electrical vibrations. The chemicals of negative emotions vibrate at a lower frequency, which changes the way the surrounding tissues vibrate, and if the emotion remains there long enough, stress, pain and sickness are the result. Every time an experience triggers that emotion in us, our body feels it all over again, and we must expend energy to deal with that hurt. Because energy is the force that keeps us alive, to avoid unnecessary expenses of energy, the body wants to rid itself of negative emotions of sorrow, anger, fear, grief, anxiety, etc. This is why, at even the smallest provocation, a large amount of emotional energy may pour out. You give the body and inch, and it will run with it a mile.
This frequently occurs with the emotion of anger. Have you ever seen how a tiny annoyance can make a person lash out? Have you ever been mystified as to how you deserved to be attacked for a seemingly inconsequential action on your part? It’s because it wasn’t about you; it was that person’s anger over something else, the energy of which was poured out onto you. I understand now that the large majority of people don’t process their negative emotions and remove them, deliberately, in healthy and effective ways. People don’t have the skills and knowledge of how to do this, and because our culture has downplayed the huge significance of emotions, a lot of them won’t even try. Because they are unaware of their emotions, they are run by them and don’t even know it. (Read more about this phenomenon here.)
To be fully in control of your behavior, and thus your results in life, it is essential that you control your emotional state by not only being more fully aware of your thoughts, but releasing the negative emotional energy. There are many ways to do this, some of which I will go into in future posts, but I hope you will make use of crying as a release tool. Cry intentionally, with the purpose of catharsis. Children know to do this instinctually, and we adults can unlearn what we’ve learned and get back to that.
If you don’t know how to cry with intention, here are some suggestions:
- watch a sad movie with a box of Kleenex
- create a playlist of sad songs and play through it when you need to cry
- write about your experiences, past and present, and really let yourself feel your feelings
- find a way to relax before or during the cry, whether it’s a warm bath or going out in nature
- set a time limit for your cry so it doesn’t extend beyond the point that it’s helpful
- plan a regular time and place for your cry so that this release becomes a habit
Readers, do you have any suggestions to add to this list? And have you had any experiences similar to my own? I’d love to hear your stories!