“Brake” Free on Emotional Slippery Slopes

Lost again. Broken and weary. Unable to find my way. Tail in hand. Dizzy and clearly unable to just let this go

I am surrendering to gravity and the unknown. Catch me, heal me, lift me back up to the sun. I choose to live

~A Perfect Circle “Gravity”

In recently traveling off of the island* on which I live, I noticed that as we traveled through the tunnel that motorists have a tendency to brake more with each degree that the road leads downwards. Being a native to this “island,” I’ve known this for years and only now see how counterproductive it is: energetically and mechanically, both physically and emotionally

What We Resist Persists

So often we emotionally resist the downward movements into the void by braking through avoidance behaviors: ignoring it, following our addictions, holding or controlling our breaths, fantasizing, rushing, over-scheduling and plain trying to stop the feelings. (For each count of these avoidant behaviors, I plead guilty.) This only keeps us going down hill, or maybe even plateauing, while stuck in the tunnel.

Zooming Out

Emotions have the root word “mot” which means to move. When set on a trajectory and we brake, try to turn around or otherwise try to stop our forward momentum, we exhaust ourselves. It’s like fighting gravity. You can only fight for so long. What if we stopped fighting? Wait, hear me out…

Surrendering to Gravity & The Unknown

What if, I wonder, we were to release the brake and reduce the burn of friction and allow ourselves to fall, the faster we allow the descent, the sooner we can ascend. At least that’s the case with parabolas. Why not also emotionally?

Yes, I see this probably sounds crazy. Let’s take this same energy model outside of the emotional realm and return to the traffic scenario. With each level that we moved downwards beneath the Chesapeake Bay, the more the red tail lights reflected off the walls and ceiling as far as the eye could see. No one wanted to go the speed limit until they could see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

Without traffic in front of me, I would have put the Jeep in neutral after I hit my max speed near the bottom of my descent and used momentum and the gained kinetic energy to assist in getting back up the hill again. This would have allowed me to use less energy and effort to emerge into the light. Instead, I was braking downhill and then pushing the accelerator to get back uphill. Nearly all kinetic energy was lost in braking. It was bassackwards (assbackwards).

So now I’m applying this conservation of energy model to my own emotional travels. Keeping myself in neutral, doing my best to no longer brake as I slip into the depths of the void. By accepting and surrendering sooner, I believe forward momentum will assist to carry us through to the other side more quickly with less effort.

Please, join me! Just as driving is a skill, so is moving forward with grace. May we all learn to love ourselves enough to allow the healing that occurs in the void. Unlike tunnel traffic, we can choose how long we want to take to break through to the other side by either braking and fighting all the way to the inevitable bottom or using momentum to carry us through more quickly. 

It is our fear that we will not survive or that we will be out of control that keeps us from surrendering fully. Physically we have survived traumatic events, yet we believe that emotionally we will drown or be crushed by allowing ourselves to feel. Read that paragraph again, please, and allow yourself to ask: why do I believe  that mi cannot survive how I feel?!

*Geographically I do not live on an island. However, if traveling by land you cannot leave the metropolitan area without using a ferry, crossing a major bridge, a tunnel or a bridge-tunnel. Traffic can be a nightmare at times, yet I still love it here. 

Image: Google 

16 thoughts on ““Brake” Free on Emotional Slippery Slopes

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  1. Yes. Thank you for this. I have been feeling…the need to defend my emotional nature…lately and that sucks. It makes me question myself. But I am okay and learning so ppbbt(to the person making me question). ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s like the sound of sticking out my tongue and blowing. ๐Ÿ˜œ Yes, it brings back the shame I always felt about my big feelings growing up. It sucks. โ˜บ๏ธ

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh, I get it now. I was thinking it was an acronym. Haha!
        Re that shame re feelings, yes, that’s a clear sign of being invalidated. Love to you! May you find peace with how you feel, in spite of those around you โค๏ธ

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this analogy and hmmmm, I thought I was the only one who would snick it into nuetral and coast down into the tube. ๐Ÿ˜† Sometimes, if no one is behind I will coast to a crawl just to see how far I can go. Hyper-milers do this as a matter of routine. I love this line, “I am surrendering to gravity and the unknown. Catch me, heal me, lift me back up to the sun. I choose to live” It is precisely in trusting God to catch me as I allow the emotion to course through me, then finding the healing on the other side that got me to the point I had enough courage to enter this recovery program. It is strange, emotionally I feel grounded yet the job situation, the horrible hrs, starting this program all contribute to stress and anxiety. , My doc got it right, my cardiac stress test showed a little heart damage from the MI in ’07 but at higher HR the heart functioned well. I know it sounds like a contradiction but it is where I am. Love the post! Learning to live emotionally “”brake free”, really the only way to live!
    You hit another one out of the park, ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ’• Barn

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Barney! I’m so grateful that you have discovered the strength in the surrender, the paradox of alchemy ๐Ÿ™‚
      May you continue to face the fears of the unknown, trees and roots grow from the edges. It is our willingness to expand into the darkness that allows us to experience life more fully! โค๏ธ๐Ÿ˜˜


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