Gifts: Moving easily into and out of emotions. Intuition. Creativity. Flow.
Challenges: Feeling awkward and out of place when you are out of your element. Few defenses. Using emotion to play into others’ sympathies.
What do you see when I say, “Seal”? If you’re like me, you see a gorgeous fluffy white face with huge, saucer-like eyes. Those huge eyes are one of Seal’s gifts to you: The gift of seeing clearly in the depths.
Seal has clear eyesight both on land and underwater. Seal does not live full-time in the water. It gets food from the water and uses the water to escape from land predators—such as polar bears. Of course, there are ocean predators, too, such as orcas and sharks. And yet, in spite of all the danger lurking in the water, Seal knows that it cannot let fear stop it from entering the water. If it does, it will starve.
Water is a symbol of emotions. The danger in the water to Seal represents the danger we feel when we are at the edge of diving deep into our own emotions. You may be afraid to feel—both sorrow and joy. You may fear being overcome by your emotions, drowning in them. Seal teaches that if you avoid going into emotional waters, you, too, will starve. It won’t be a physical death, but it will be a soul-death, a starving from lack of feeling, a moving through life like a numbed-out zombie.
If you have numbed yourself out on alcohol, drugs, sex, or some other form of emotional escape, think about how emotionally dead you felt. When I was going through emotional turmoil years ago and was mixing antidepressants and alcohol, I felt worse numbed out than I felt in the turmoil. With the tumultuous, at least I could feel.
The message is that long-term numbing out—by whatever means—feels like death. When you numb out the “negative” emotions, you end up numbing out the “positive” ones as well.
You can connect with Seal to learn how to dive deep into emotion without drowning, without being consumed, and without losing sight of yourself. So often, what we fear about going deep into emotion is that we won't be able to see clearly anymore. We’ll be so consumed by our emotions that we won’t be able to think straight. Most of the time, that is true. When we are emotional, we do have a hard time thinking clearly. But Seal models a way to experience emotions while still seeing and thinking clearly.
A challenge that comes with Seal is feeling awkward on land. For you this mean feeling awkward out of your element. You may actually feel more at home in feeling than in logic—in water rather than on land. Great! Then use that to help other people navigate their emotions. Be the one who sees clearly in the dark depths and guides others through and back out.