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Embracing Emotions

A cloud settles over Wind Mountain, near Home Valley , Washington. Photo by Tim Graves
A cloud settles over Wind Mountain, near Home Valley , Washington. Photo by Tim Graves

I found myself with multiple feelings on the three-month anniversary of my surgery.

As I journeyed home from climbing Wind Mountain in the Columbia River Gorge, I felt a sense of accomplishment. I have made remarkable progress in the three months following the removal of my right colon. My body is not only healing, I am getting back into shape. Two and one-half weeks ago before climbing Wind Mountain, I thought I might collapse before the first switchback in my attempt to climb Dog Mountain (See Perseverance.)

Unexpectedly my thoughts turned to those-days in the hospital and recuperating at home. The surgery. The pain. The weakness. The sense of vulnerability. My feelings of confidence and accomplishment were gone and I felt, I felt…

I felt panic! It was a guttural, involuntary response to my experiences of surgery.

I lived in those feelings for awhile. I allowed myself to be immersed in my feelings. Then, like the comforting fog and damp drizzle I’d hiked in on Wind Mountain, my feelings of confidence settled on my skin, clouded my eyeglasses, and seeped into my bones again.

Fog hangs over Wind Mountain in the Columbia River Gorge. Photo by Tim Graves

Both my feelings of those-days and my feelings of accomplishment are mine. I own those feelings. They are me. They are mine. They are legitimate. I choose to embrace them for my emotions are God-given.

Our core emotions are of divine origin. Created in the image of God, our emotions tell us something about the nature of the Divine. It is in our passion that the Holy Spirit teaches, nudging us to grow and become more honest with self and the one I call God.

Just as climbing Wind Mountain — a mountain once used by native peoples for Spirit Quests — strengthens my muscles, being present with all my emotions bolsters me spiritually and emotionally. It builds self-awareness, spiritual-awareness, and empathy for others. And so I allow the Spirit to do the Spirit’s work in me.

I choose to grow.


This is the ninth of multiple posts about my experiences of surgery and recovery following a colonoscopy.

Related Posts

God Hides God’s Face From Me! May 20, 2014
Unnatural May 21, 2014
Out of Chaos May 27, 2014
No Big Deal May 29, 2014
Mortality June 3, 2014
Wiped Memories June 6, 2014
Perseverance June 10, 2014
Scars June 19, 2014
Embracing Emotions July 4, 2014

Why do I write about this topic?

Following my surgery I had a myriad of feelings. A myriad of web searches to find the stories of others, perhaps to validate my own emotions, left me empty handed. And, so, I write these posts to process my very real feelings and in the hopes that someone else finds them useful following their surgery and recovery.

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