Jim Carrey was quoted in a Playboy magazine interview last year saying that “Heaven is on the other side of that feeling you get when you’re sitting on the couch and you get up to make a triple-decker sandwich. It’s on the other side of that, when you don’t make the sandwich….It is about giving up the things that basically keep you from feeling. I am always asking myself, “What am I going to give up next? Because I want to feel.” Learning to feel begins with a choice and the realization that authentic living demands the maturity to open up to your full experience, as messy as it might be.
This is, in fact, the do-or-die work of relationships; to have the courage to feel the full range of emotions that comes with intimate connections. It is literally the fuel for the fire of passion, the air that keeps relationships breathing, the stuff of transformation and growing up. Just as our weaknesses and frailties are wedded to our virtues and strengths–the ability to express uncomfortable emotions creates the possibilities of discovering the love and passion that we want most.
How then do we make this choice to live a feeling life, to physically experience the internal storms of growing up and growing old? It is a practice, no different than learning a new musical instrument. Some days you hit the right notes, other days there is no melody at all. In agreeing to the practice, something opens and each moment gives you an opportunity to try again. Slowly you become comfortable with the weather systems of your emotions. Some days it is even comforting to know they are there.