It’s hard to pass by a news story with the headline, “A novel technique now possible to predict volcanic eruptions now possible, thanks to ‘magma’ foams”.
Never did I ever expect to read the words ‘novel’ and ‘volcanic eruption’ in the same headline because, after all, a volcanic eruption is everything but novel.
As I read about this 7-year study by Scientists at the University of Tokyo which was likened to obtaining a blood test to check the health of your body, where the degree of ‘foaminess’ of magma could be used to predict the likelihood of a specific type of eruption, my mind harkened back to my own teenage years where it often felt like magma was bubbling and foaming below my surface and every once in a while it would erupt.
I was fortunate. I grew up in a home with few hardships. We had good food on the table every day, we lived comfortably in a large warm home, I wore new clothes, not hand-me-downs from my sister.
On the surface, the perfect childhood.
However, for me it wasn’t. I had everything I needed from a material standpoint, but not emotionally.
Now, don’t get me wrong. My parents did a phenomenal job raising my sister and me. We’ve both turned out just fine.
However, no parent is ever perfect. And there will always be ways in which, with even the best intentions and all the love in the world, they will fall short.
And for me, it fell short in the emotional support I needed.
Back then I didn’t know I was a highly sensitive person (HSP) and empath. I just thought there was something wrong with me, that I couldn’t shut away and turn off my emotions the same way everyone else could and did.
Whilst I was a part of a loving family, we were not a family who openly expressed our emotions such as verbally telling each other ‘I love you’ or giving/receiving a lot of hugs. And we certainly did not speak up or out of turn or raise our voice - I have one single memory of my parents arguing.
For many it sounds ideal. For me, however, it was a struggle as I was (and am) such an emotional person. I wear my heart on my sleeve and have always struggled to hide my emotions.
So, for me, living in a home where it was not acceptable to speak up or against another family member, where arguments and disagreements were unheard of, where tears and displays of emotion made others feel uncomfortable, it often felt like I had magma bubbling beneath the surface of my skin.
As life threw its many challenges my way, I’d try to hide my emotions inside of me, to deny their existence, to try to store them deep within me. However, gradually, the magma of emotions flowing through my veins would heat up and bubble and foam, rising closer and closer to the surface, ready to break through and erupt.
And when the eruption took place, to protect those around me I only let it take place in the privacy of my bedroom. The only place I felt was safe for me to erupt.
Every couple of months throughout my teenage years it became a habit. I’d try to contain my emotions and my reactions to life around me by pushing them deep below the surface so no-one would feel uncomfortable around me, until it all became too much and I would go to my bedroom and just cry and cry and cry for hours in an attempt to release what I had pushed deep within me.
It wasn’t a healthy way to be. But it was the only way I knew. And it gave me the release, the coping mechansim I needed.
As an adult I can look back and appreciate how sensitive I was as a child and teenager, and still continue to be today. I can look back and give that lost younger me a hug of love and support. I can look back and forgive my parents who couldn’t deal with such an emotional child because they had their own unaddressed childhood issues and traumas.
However, no matter how many years of healing I have done, no matter how many years I have devoted to myself to peeling back and addressing the layers, I still struggle to fully change from who I became in my teenage years.
I understand and appreciate that disagreements are healthy, that the occasional argument can help clear the air and let everyone’s voice be heard. And yet I avoid confrontation at all costs for fear of hurting the other person. And, through the avoidance, I only end up hurting myself.
I understand and appreciate that being open with my emotions and feelings is healthy and the need to regularly release them, rather than deny and hide emotions, is necessary. And yet I struggle to do so in front of people, including those I love, who I know would feel uncomfortable with my tears and wouldn’t know how to support or console me. And, through not being honest and allowing myself to be me, even in front of those how love me, I only end up hurting myself.
We all have our own background, our own stories that we have carried through life, stories that have shaped who we are today regardless of whether they force us to act against our natural grain or not.
And these stories of who we believe we are, of who we have been shaped to be, do not let our true self and essence shine as brightly as it should or could. Rather these stories lead to bumps along our path and attract obstacles that we struggle to find a way around.
Wouldn’t it just be easier if life was smoother, if life just flowed?
That’s exactly the question I posed to the angels on behalf of us all, this week: “What can I do to create better flow in life?”
We all have stories that have shaped us. Yours may be similar to mine or completely different. However, until we address these stories, until we learn how to create better flow in our life, the road we walk will remain bumpy and strewn with obstacles.