If it’s Raining … Just. Let. It. Rain.

August '99, a pic I took of a rainbow over Iguazu Falls (Argentina)
August '99, a pic I took of a rainbow over Iguazu Falls (Argentina)
My brother is two years younger than me, yet sometimes he amazes me with his ability to make me see things in a different way.

Tuesday I was feeling particularly down, and he shared this quote with me:

“The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.”

Again, such an obvious nugget of wisdom, but its significance coarsed through me all day. It’s not easy for me to “let go” of anything. Like many women, I struggle with this in many facets of my life.

And sometimes when we’re feeling blue, we just want to “snap out of it.”

We’re encouraged by society to move on, to “get over it” (whatever “it” is).

But here’s my question to you today: If we don’t let ourselves feel whatever it is we’re feeling, aren’t we denying ourselves the capacity to heal?

I say a whole-hearted YES.

Ignoring a wound won’t stop it from bleeding.

Spending every cent of savings on an emotional shopping spree won’t create a sense of financial security.

Nor will a binge create a sense of body love.

Pretending we’re not hurt when a friend or loved one has wronged us only encourages the pain to fester.

And putting the kibosh on anxiety/nerves about an upcoming life-change like school, a new job, marriage, a baby, moving, a new home … only makes it feel that much worse.

Sometimes, perhaps it’s best to step outside, without our raincoats or umbrellas or wellies, and to wander around in the driving rain.

To take a look around at the splattering drops, the sheets coming at us from all angles, to slosh around in the puddles, til we’re chilled to the bone and drenched, teeth-chattering.

Because you know what?

After the rain, oftentimes a rainbow appears.

Maybe it’s faint. Maybe it arches across the entire sky. Maybe you’ll notice the clearing blue sky in the distance. The warm glow of sun on your face as the rain pellets subside.

And then there’s peace.

Right now, I’m immersed in a thunder-storm of sorts. And instead of whining about it, commiserating about it, I’d like to turn it into something positive. For after the storm comes the rainbow.

And the sunshine.

How about you? When you are faced with binging or emotional eating or disordered, mindless eating, do you think if you just “felt” it — whatever “it” is — that you’d be better off?

9 thoughts on “If it’s Raining … Just. Let. It. Rain.

  1. Definitely. For me, my eating is a way to escape whatever problems I’m facing at the time. Whether it’s something that’s happened or just feelings I’m experiencing, a lot of times I shrug it off and drown myself with food (or lack thereof). My only problem with actually facing my feelings is the challenge of not having a pity party…which I’ve been known to do. 🙂

    I love the rain quote…so simple, but true!

  2. The one thing my therapist has told me more than anything else is, “try to sit with the feelings and notice what comes up.”

    Like most people with disordered eating, I eat to cope with anger, anxiousness, depression, and loneliness. I’d rather occupy my hands and mouth with food than to sit and think about what’s going on in my head and how to fix it. But now that I’m trying to use my behaviors less and less, I have to really recognize what I’m feeling when I’m angry, lonely, depressed, or anxious.

    I think the sooner we acknowledge the feelings we have which we previously covered up with food, the sooner we can overcome them. And when we overcome them, the rainbow comes.

    My therapist gave me that whole “wave” theory- about letting the waves come and swim with them rather than try to do the impossible and stop the waves altogether. It sounds similar to the theme of your post, and I totally agree with every word of it. Your rainbow is on its way!

  3. CDLover, sometimes it’s good to have a pity party 😉 As long as it doesn’t involve bingeing! 🙂

    Kristen, I am so glad your therapist gave you similar advice. Sometimes we need to sit with our feelings and just feel them. I definited cope with my emotions with food…and sometimes it’s just boredom eating. The difference is now I KNOW what I am doing and why I am doing it–I just don’t always make the change.

    Your rainbow is on its way, too 🙂

  4. What a great post! And you’re so right…sometimes you just have to let it rain. That’s been one of the most difficult things for me to learn – and remember – when I’m in the middle of a bad moment or day or week or whatever…

    Usually I try to identify exactly what emotions I’m feeling (as opposed to “general ickiness”), determine why I feel that way (whether it seems “right” or not), and then give myself permission to just let it rain! When I acknowledge what’s going on instead of burying my head in the sand – or in the potato chip bag, as the case may be – seems like things get back to normal much quicker.

  5. So true! I have really had to work on dealing with feelings rather than stuffing them down to pop up 10x worse 2 years later! And – of course – for me, food was a way of ignoring the real problems in my life…

    I considered it a huge achievement when I was having a bad day, and although my first thought was “I will feel better if I eat that chocolate I have been saving”, I stopped and forced myself to identify the reason I was upset…

  6. YES! I know that if I just allowed myself to feel whatever it is I’m feeling–instead of masking that feeling with food–i’d be much better off! For me, pinpointing the emotion I’m actually feeling helps a lot–even saying it out loud “I’m just bored–not a good reason to eat” Definitely something I need to keep working on though! One day at a time 🙂 AWESOME POST!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s