Seething beneath the surface I am experiencing a force of emotion that I have spent my entire life attempting to contain. At times, I have failed miserably, and it has escaped in a fit of rage. I have lashed out at the world, and those around me, sometimes over the most trivial things. However, in this moment I am clear that those explosions have had nothing to do with what was really going on.
I feel deeply. I have a passion inside that I have never felt free to truly express for fear I would be viewed as utterly insane. I am frightened of how big the feelings are, and I wonder if I will ever feel safe enough to express them. I look around me and it seems I live in a world of barely contained passion. How much illness, depression, and rage are the result of misdirected or tightly held passion? I wonder what would happen to passionate feelings if it were more acceptable to be real, rather than nice. The interesting thing is, I sense that my passion is more about love, rather than anger. It only turns into anger when I have thwarted its expression.
Let me back up. Tonight I have been listening to one of those PBS Telethons featuring the amazing voice of a talented tenor. As he began to sing Nessun Dorma my entire body clenched as I felt overwhelmed with passion . . . passion for the music. But more than that, I felt as though I would explode from the depth of feeling that I was experiencing. I don’t believe it was simply a reaction to a beautifully performed piece of music. I have a similar experience when I travel through a tree-lined canyon, look at a colorful bouquet of tulips, or gaze in awe at an exquisitely crafted piece of architecture. Something deep inside of me erupts, and I want to stretch out my arms and embrace the beauty I see with all of the passion I feel inside.
But I stop myself because I have been told to quiet down, settle down, and tone it down from the time I was very young. I wonder what would happen if I did not hold my feelings in, but instead allowed them full expression?
I often think I am the only one who feels this way. Sometimes I want to scream at someone just so they will scream back and I will know that they feel as strongly as I do. In fact, I spent most of my married life holding it in until I could no longer contain it, then unleashing the feelings in a fit of rage, and repeating the process all over again. Every time I was told that I needed to calm down. Instead, what if I had someone to just grab onto me and hold me tight, or someone who was able to match my passion and help me channel it in a different direction? But I am clear that is not someone else’s job. So I write.
I pour my passion onto the page and it eases a bit. It’s still there. In fact, I hope it never goes away, or diminishes in the least little bit. I just want to find ways to express it so that I feel seen and heard. This world is an endlessly amazing place, full of the most passion inspiring people, places, and things. And I want to “Come and rejoice . . . and [I] don’t even have to make a sound” (Rejoice, Il Divo).