The Feels

The way one FEELS may be directly indicative of the way one feels.

The physical feelings…uncomfortable, stiff, slow, restrained, queasy. But wow, the worst of it is this neck pain, starting at the point behind my hear, extending down my neck and shoulder, and into the area of my shoulder blade.

I can’t turn my head to the right, can’t tip my head back, and it’s actually difficult to hold my head up at all. I feel like my head is huge, and my neck is too weak to support it. The pain comes and goes, but its coming is frequent these days.

In her book Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, Christiane Northrup writes about the connection between physical pain and emotions. She states, “For example, instead of ‘My stomach is hurting,’ say,’What is it I’m having trouble stomaching?’ Emotions such as anger, or any other emotion that you may consider unacceptable or that you may find difficult to experience directly, will often affect your body instead.”

So…I ask myself, “What is it that I am feeling too weak to support?” And “What is it that I find sickening?” And even, “What situation am I uncomfortable with, and which I may be avoiding?”

I am a well-educated woman, and have worked full-time for over twenty years. I am about to accept a part-time position in another town, for a fraction of the pay, but in an office that is calm, friendly, and…yes…air conditioned.

I am leaving a job that makes me feel sick in my skin, that requires me to act in ways I would never act in my everyday interactions away from work. A job that sickens me with the dishonesty and lack of loyalty I see so many of my clients’ family members and representatives exhibit. I am leaving a job where the only clients I have (sometimes as many as 800 at one time) are helpless, and sick. Very sick. I have several clients per week pass on, due to aging, with new clients coming in to replace them. A revolving door of illness and death.

But the pay is great. And money is security. And I’m supposed to want to advance, and make more and more money, right? Isn’t that what is supposed to make me happy and healthy? Oh wait…but I’m not in the best health, and I’m not as happy as I know I could be.

I can shoulder the responsibility that comes along with less money, fewer hours, and happy people. I can shoulder the demands of one more move. I can shoulder the financial restraint I’ll have to exercise when my salary shrinks. I can shoulder the transition period.

I can help to support my family financially, even with a lower wage. I can support my family even better by having the time to maintain our home, take my daughter to events, grow my own vegetables, walk my dog.

I can leave the discomfort of draining hours, of exhausting client needs and demands, of the burden of an extremely heavy workload. I can leave the discomfort of feeling out of place in community, of worrying about living out the rest of my life in the same job that I have never, ever truly enjoyed, and that at times I have hated, and that has led me to anxiety attacks, depression and even one solid nervous breakdown.

I can stomach change, when it leads down a road of sunshine and fulfillment, even if my pockets will be emptier, and my bathroom shelves will be stocked with fewer lovely and expensive skin care products.

I can take a deep breath, enjoy a walk in the morning, and it will all be ok.

Money talks, but most often its words are so very dirty.

Let the hunt for happiness continue.

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