Another Halloween is officially in the books. Something that I always do when it comes to holidays is reminisce over past years’ holidays.
A couple of years ago, Halloween fell on a Saturday. It was also the heat of COVID. So we were in the midst of consistent isolation, fear of the unknown and much hesitation when interacting with others. But that evening turned out to be one of my all-time favorite Halloweens. The weather was beautiful, almost every driveway was full of people sitting (6 feet apart) with a fire pit going, and people got creative with how they handed out candy. Some just set them out on a table at the end of the driveway and others created pulley systems.
It made me wish Halloween was always on a Saturday. But, any day that Halloween had been on that year would have been memorable. Because it was one of the first times I remember actually getting out and about and interacting with more people than just family and co-workers in close to six months.
Six months of weighted, challenging emotions were met with a beautiful and joyous evening. I’m not saying I’d ever wish for a global pandemic again, but I do use this remembrance of Halloween 2020 as a reminder that there is beauty in the whole spectrum of emotions.
Using the metaphor that emotions are like a wave, if the wave only stayed at its highest point, that point would become the norm. Meaning, if we were only ever happy, eventually I don’t know that we would actually be happy anymore. It would just become our norm.
Instead, emotions are meant to fluctuate and meant to be felt.
This rings true in numerous aspects, but has been something I have been particularly intentional about with my relationship with God. This is not to take away from the joy that is felt in moments of deeply attuned connection with God and to dismiss our longing for these moments. But, it is a reminder not to dismiss the power of the moments of anger, frustration and sadness with God, too.
I used to think that I should only go into God’s presence when I was calm, cool and collected. But, now I know we have a God who wants to join us on the whole wave of our emotional experiences.
So next time you are in the midst of a more challenging emotion, feel it. Feel all of it. And rest in knowing that that emotion will pass. And because you felt it, there will be much beauty in the other emotions awaiting you.
Kylie Larson, MA, LPC