Finna is an Old Norse term that means be found, be perceived, noticed. In an effort to truly become Friða, I have taken it upon myself to learn Old Norse, Icelandic and Runes. Finna is my word of the day.
In looking for a word that means “to feel,” I came across finna. My intention was to write about feeling emotions. It seems this word is more suited to the task.
This is what I have decided to name this next chapter of my life, the next chapter in becoming Friða Káradóttir. In this chapter, I must allow myself to find and perceive more of who I am. It also means I must notice…<deep sigh>…my feelings, my emotions.
Previously, I mentioned the fear that possesses me as I step foot on this journey. There are few people who claim to and actually do enjoy feeling pain. I am not one of them. I do not like to feel pain and would, therefore, rather I felt nothing.
I would rather feel nothing than feel the pain that seems to crush my soul, that forces tears to stream down my face in salty rivers of sorrow.
I would rather feel nothing than expose my heart to the grief of not being with my sons, of missing out on helping with homework and science fair projects.
I thought this would be a better way to live, to feel nothing. I compartmentalize my emotions into virtual treasure boxes, some elaborately decorated, others plain, a few hideously ugly.
But I was wrong. Dead wrong.
The five months between my vacation in the Dominican Republic and Thanksgiving, my journey was about getting outside of my comfort zone, to build new friendships, and accept that being alone did not mean accepting loneliness. On the contrary, learning to do things alone meant I would understand it was quite the opposite of loneliness. It permitted self-actualization. As I neared the end of that chapter, I braced myself for what I knew what was coming next: feeling.
Deep within my soul, a war began. It sounded like Wardruna was playing the epic theme of my life. I did my best to ignore it, but each time I stilled my world to meditate, the rhythmic drums beat louder, stronger, the intensity growing with each heart beat, with each breath. For a time, I could only meditate for five minutes, ten if I was lucky. Any longer than that and the suppressed emotions would beg to be noticed. I even attended a group meditation session where we discussed meditation and then practiced for only ten minutes. I found it difficult to breathe. The more I tried to focus on my breathing, the more anxious I grew. I felt like I was drowning in a sea of open air. I knew they would come, the feelings. I knew they would surface. What would I do with them in a room full of strangers? I somehow managed to last the ten minutes without noticing the feelings. Well, except for the anxiety. I ignored their urgent poundings. I was pretty good at that; I was a professional ignorer of feelings.
You see, I thought that if I noticed one feeling, one emotion, one little memory, I’d have to notice them all. I felt like Clark Kent as a boy in the newest theatrical version of “Superman” when he locked himself in the janitor closet at school. He could hear and sense everything and everyone all at once, and could not silence them; he was overwhelmed by his abilities until his mother was able to draw his focus to her voice alone. A friend of mine helped me to see that I, too, could learn to deal with the overwhelming sensation. “We certainly have different reasons for meditating,” he laughed. My friend encouraged me to do like the boy did, to focus on one thing at a time. He helped me see that it was okay to lock myself in the closet if I needed to–that was the meditation. But let’s make the door a split door, permitting me to open only the top half and to easily close it when necessary. He helped me find a method to notice, to perceive, to acknowledge all the feelings and emotions that flooded my soul daily…one at a time.
I discovered a way to allow myself to be found, to be perceived, to be noticed. I discovered a method to acknowledge not only my own emotions, but the emotions of others as well. I am an empath, after all.
Meditation has helped me learn how to be present. The practice of meditation allows me to acknowledge thoughts as they enter my mind and then let them go. I can linger on any or none as I see fit. It has helped me to be in control of what I am afraid to feel. It has helped me to acknowledge my fears and self-doubts. When I begin to become overwhelmed, I bring myself back to present until I am ready for the next emotion. My meditation sessions have grown longer. An hour easily flies by.
May you find what brings peace to your soul. May you find the path up the mountain that brings your dreams to fruition. And may you notice all the beauty along the way.