Learning to Breathe



Breathe in. Breathe out. It seems like it would be a simple task to accomplish, but at times it feels like the one thing I can not remember to do. I am trying to work on homework and there are a thousand voices around me; I hold my breathe, the burn reminding me that I am in control. Money isn’t as prevalant as I need it to be; I hold my breathe, forcing the frustration somewhere hidden. I think about the future and all the unknowns; I hold my breathe, choosing to not feel anything but the blood pounding in my temples. I can control that.

I learned a long time ago to feel a distaste for emotions that seemed trivial or weak. In doing so I learned to control many minute details about myself. I do not get angry or hurt very easily. To feel hurt I would have to first care about the person’s opinion of me. That is not something I do lightly, and when I do allow my guard down it is with a lot of hesitation. I know why I choose to be like this, but that is not something I want to talk about on a public blog.

So I am protected from these emotions, but in doing so, I forgot how to breathe. Those deep intakes of air, and the flood of exhalation that relieves the lungs of all the pent up evils that we store there are necessary. Just like it is not good to express every feeling that dances inside the human soul, it is equally harmful to withhold. Some of those can stay, latching on like a tumor. I do not want that kind of toxicity in my body, or mind, or soul, or wherever they embed themselves. I imagine they look like some sort of bulbous purplish black creature with tentacles. What an ugly thought. I would rather release them in the air before they solidify.

Meditation is a release valve. The rhythmic sway of ribcage against shirt. Eyes boring through a wall. My skin feels like water. The burning in my back is like fire now, but I ignore it, push it back. Not the same way I push back feelings. This will not latch, it will pass. Things are changing. I feel it when I breathe. Breathe in. Breathe out. I remember something that should have made me angry, it didn’t, and still doesn’t, but I remember it and recognize. Breathe in. Breathe out. The air vent sounds like a rushing underground river. Breathe in. Breathe out. Something from my past creeps up and I watch it play out like a mildly amusing sitcom episode. Breathe in. Breathe out. It is time to move and stretch. I am still calm, a little sore, but I still remember to breathe.

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About hanahrose

Student at West Shore Community College.
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