Day 34 of 100 intentional, reflective steps.
People hurt people. It’s one of the sucky parts of relationships. No one is immune to it. Over the course of my life I’ve swept a lot of emotions under the rug like broken shards of glass. I knew they were there but while lumpy and uncomfortable they seemed to be getting smaller as time ground them into the past. In some cases forgiveness swept the shards into the garbage but in other cases it was just me cleaning house like my children did when they were little; shoving things into corners, closets and yes, under the carpet. The gig is up. Somebody just rolled back the carpet and I’m in bare feet. What to do with the mess?
I acknowledge it. I am learning that it is crucial to acknowledge emotions of betrayal, anger, hurt and frustration. Its not like we should cradle them, rocking them in our arms like babies but it is important that we at least hold them close enough to inspect. What caused them? Why did they get so big? Why are they so slippery and won’t let us examine them? What about ourselves do we see in their reflective surfaces. Sadly, it seems the more we look at our basest and ugliest emotions the more attached we get to them. But they’re bad houseguests and should not be encouraged to over stay their welcome.
What’s the “trick” to letting go of those emotions before they poison us? Like many kids I was fascinated with magic tricks but I never saw a box labeled “Presto Chango! Make your hurt disappear”. Even though anybody with some maturity would know that to be nothing more than a grand illusion it still sounds like a great “quick fix.” But in regards to letting go of the uglies, I suspect like all good magic, the trick in in the timing. Obviously, I need a lot more practice before I can “nail it.”
Thankfully, life will continue to offer me opportunities to figure this out. More chances to hold forgiveness and awareness lightly in my hands and then release them into the fresh air of grace.
6/62 (Craving sugar all day!)
Day 16 of 100 intentional, reflective steps.
One of my childhood favorite games was “Operation.” I loved the challenge of trying to pull the bones out of the guy without making that obnoxious buzzer go off. I blame Milton Bradley for at least part of my anxiety disorder. Between Operation and Perfection I was set up for it. Part of learning to live with PTSD is recognizing your own emotions. I’ve spent my life in public service and have tried, and often failed, to weigh and balance my words with wisdom. Therefore I have spent a lot of time biting my tongue and stifling my anger. (I know. I’m the pastor whose parishioners were going to start a blog entitled “Shit My Pastor Says.” I really did try and behave myself.)
This is probably not a bad way to live, keeping control of your tongue, heart and emotions. But tell me this. Where is the balance between expressing yourself and stating your emotions/need exactly as you feel it? Sad? Cry. Excited? Shout it? Happy? Share it. Angry? Say it.
These days I feel like a walking Operation game. If somebody hits the wrong nerve I feel like going through the roof. My anger trigger is quick. I blame the therapists who taught me to “feel my feelings.” I’m just irritable, jumpy and angry. I like knowing what I really feel but now I don’t know what to do with it.
So, light the charge, shoot me out and call me a cannonball. I’m coming in for a landing and I’m libel to tell you exactly how I feel. Well, probably not, but I want to.