Feel the Feelings…

by Ken Malloy

Looking at a picture of buildings has never affected me so deeply.

Just a few moments ago, I was paging through an online brochure for my alma mater, Syracuse University. Bold colored pages offset with photos of courtyards dotted with groups of students sitting in circles reading and relaxing on the deep green grass; majestic buildings reflecting the warm afternoon sun; classrooms full of students neat and clean, looking full of hope and promise.  Just as they should. A college education is a valuable tool in our modern world.

I had a good experience in college and feel good about the four years that I spent at Syracuse. So I was surprised when I clicked to a page which revealed a large aerial photo of the main campus and suddenly felt sad. Taken from a helicopter, this image showed a view of a “world gone by” from a perspective that I had never seen before.

With eyes blurred with tears, I traced the steps I took from the dorm to classes; from class to the fraternity house which I eventually joined; the athletic fields which I would lap effortlessly in nothing but sneakers and shorts; the college bar where my jazz-rock band often played on Saturday nights.  I even located the spot where my college sweetheart told me that she loved me.

I guess I just haven’t thought about those days in a long time. I graduated 31 years ago and it’s seems that an entire lifetime has passed since then. Everything was ahead of me back then and now I’m a good half-way around the course.

So, even now as I write these words, I feel sad.

Why?  I don’t really know.

I could spend some time thinking about why. I’m sure I could figure it out. That might be useful to gain some further insight into myself and I might very well do that.  But right now, that’s not what is important.

Here’s what’s important: to stay with the feelings and just experience them. And,  here’s what MOST important:

It’s O.K. with me that I feel sad!

I am not afraid to feel deep feelings that may be unpleasant, difficult or even overwhelming. I know that they are just feelings and so I accept and embrace them fully.

I relax and breathe and let them flow and sit back and watch as they come and go.

This is why I don’t have TMS.