This morning at breakfast, as I was looking out the window and into the sunshine that spilled onto the nearby plants, I realised that I was feeling okay again. My wave is rising, I thought to myself. I have read somewhere that women are like waves. Our emotions tend to rise and fall, just like a wave on the ocean. When our wave is high, we are filled to the brim with happiness and love and ready to share it all with the world. We do whatever is asked from us by our loved ones, our children, our neighbours, our significant others, our friends, because by nature we are nurturers. We give and we give; our wave is rising and when it reaches the top, we give it all out. That’s what women do, according to Oprah, we have a disease to please. And boy, does she hit the nail right on the head.
But what we don’t realise as women is that, our tendency to give is not limitless. When we tend to take care of everyone, we forget to fill our internal tank and we only realise that we neglected it when it runs on empty. And when we run on empty, our wave begins to descend. And as our wave goes downward, so does our mood and feelings. This is when we feel cranky, weak, tired, and all sorts of negative emotions, because we gave it all away by taking care of everyone and now we are running on empty. I think the crashing of our wave is the thing that baffles men the most because they have a different emotional analogy. If women are like waves, then men are like rubber bands. But since I have an innate bias, I’ll only be talking about women in this post.
The love, time, effort, and care that we give to everyone is limited, it will most definitely run out especially when it’s not being returned to us by the same people we are trying to nurture. All of a sudden we feel drained and then we begin to feel resentful. We’re resentful because what we give out is not being returned and we feel used up. And the unbelievable part is that we deny that we are resentful, we won’t even admit it to ourselves because we are women and because from a very young age, we were already conditioned to think that it is our role to nurture and to be giving and to take care of everyone. Heaven forbid we ever feel resentful because that would be selfish.
I’m sure some women who will read this might even go on the defensive and say, “No, everything that I do for my family and for my children is being given out of the goodness of my heart and I am not waiting for anything in return.” Of course, you give freely but what happens when you run out because you forget to fill yourself up? Do find yourself staying in the bathroom and lock yourself in there for some peace and quiet or do you look at the dishes in the sink and angrily wonder why you always do everything for them when they can’t even do simple things like washing the dishes for you? You feel so tired and burned out and you feel resentful but you deny the resentment even to yourself. One of the things I’ve learned, as my wave crashed and stayed submerged underwater for a long time, is that we have to honour the resentment that we feel. And that it’s okay to feel negative emotions because not everything in life is wrapped in a fancy paper with a big shiny bow on top and because these negative emotions are a part of the human experience. The only difference is that once you have honoured the feeling, you have to come to terms with it and then let it go. If you force it downwards into hiding in the deepest recesses of your heart, or if you tend to sweep it under the rug, you will never be able to let it go.
After the crashing of our wave, we will ultimately rise back up again. It’s a cycle, and as I have repeated from time to time, everything in life is a cycle. We are not broken and we do not need to be fixed, but we do need to feel supported and loved so that the crashing of our wave won’t take that long and we can rise up again. And when our waves have risen, the view from the top offers a different perspective and proves to be rewarding.