What started with an apparent defective dishwasher morphed into a drama of epic proportions. The dishwasher began to leak, spurring masses of dirty water all over my kitchen floor. To heighten the drama this happened at night, when neither of my emergency plumber numbers were being answered.
I used my own common sense, and shut off the water to the dishwasher. Nope. The water kept flowing out somehow. To ensure I wasn’t submerged by morning, I switched off the main water from the street, went to sleep and awaited my regular plumber in the morning.
He, despite having installed all the plumbing in the house, didn’t have a clue. He told me I need a new dishwasher most likely and left with the same dazed and confused look he had had when he had first arrived. I left it all. Somehow pushing this problem under the floorboards so to speak, knowing that I’d be hand washing dishes for a while, and knowing too that something deep was starting to cook inside of me, a sense of impending emotional activity lurking. The sound of my own inner system was whirring as audibly as the sound of the piping in my kitchen. I pushed it all down, with the usual business, working, any activity, the distraction game we all play is some shape or form to avoid what is really here.
The next day I was speaking to a Journey friend, who understands emotions, about my difficulty identifing my own emotions. How with my clients I am so hardcore, exacting their precise feelings. Yet when it comes to myself unless the emotion hits me hard in the face, I don’t have a clue. The feelings deep inside of me were brewing. To what they were, I remained clueless! I carried on my day with an impending undercurrent developing.
I arrive home with my kids a little later to a new plumber, a real character, and a kitchen full of effluents. The smell was revolting, the balagan (chaos) was out of control, and the pipes had finally given way as the blockage burst open. The hope of a simple broken dishwasher had long since been decimated and here I sat, wading in all the shit that had been mounting and blocking and now could no longer be contained and BOOM! Explosion!
I was simultaneously hit by the unblocking of clogged drains in my kitchen and the unblocking of repressed emotions inside of me. Both buckled me to my knees, and I dropped to the ground in a sea of utter sadness, the likes of which felt bottomless. It was a well of deep pain, of such crystal sadness that it was unmistakable.
In these last months I have gone through deep personal change. My life long relationship with my husband has uncoupled, and albeit very consciously and very gracefully, the energy and effort to restructure our lives, hold a gentle embrace for our children and to get life to some semblance of a new reality has mustered more than my conscious mind has allowed me to realize. What had been happening is that the constant efforts to manage and control life had pushed down emotions and the block blew open just at the same time as my kitchen pipes. With as much dramatic effect!
I cried uncontrollably to the plumber. The tears flooding as copiously as the effluents now freed from the kitchen pipes. It was almost comedic, the poor guy didn’t know what to do with this customer who couldn’t stop crying. He finally walked into my Journey room to check the piping in the bathroom there. Amazed at the energy there he asked what it is that I do…
I answered him, tears still flowing,
“I am a plumber, just like you! I clear out blocked emotions as you clear out blocked drains.”
What Victor the plumber witnessed was emotions in full flow. When emotions are allowed to be expressed, to be healthily released, we avoid the blockages and explosions just like my kitchen pipes. Instead of being in resistance to the outpour of sadness that presented, I opened into it, celebrating the clarity of my pipes that allowed raw emotion to conduit through them. Here was sadness and no amount of skirting, clogging or repression was pushing down that which was here. And as was clear, whatever you push back down is going to eventually find a way to come out, usually in a less than convenient and pleasant way, likely dramatically.
This is what is welcomed. Whatever is here. Just as it is. Effluents and all. May we all learn to be plumbers to our own emotional flow and open to whatever is ready to be released through our systems. And perhaps when we do this we can avoid the extraneous costs of calling in an emergency plumber!