Me? I feel full of conflict. What's so wrong with mad and sad? Is this a uniquely female way to deal with the darker side of emotion? Or something I learned a long, long time ago? I tend to gloss over angry or sad emotions with juvenile language--"I feel icky." Or skirt around my feelings, "I feel not so good," or "I feel ok." It seems easier to answer in a cheerful yet robotic voice, "I'm fine. How are you?" Or even worse, sit in silence with a painful lump in my throat.
But then I might miss out. I might miss having a real conversation with a friend. I might miss the closeness that comes from being genuine with my mate. And I would miss sharing honesty with my sons in the face of heartache. I owe it to myself to be truthful with the ones that matter most to me.
What if I trusted that the folks I love want to know the real me? What if expressing emotions came with a request for help? "May I have a hug? I feel so sad today." Or, "I need to vent because I feel so angry." That might make it easier for me to talk. And easier for others to listen.
"Feel and deal." I see this handwritten message on my friend's fridge every time I visit. It's catchy. Even though it sounds simple; it's certainly not easy. The reality seems messy and difficult. That's the challenge--accepting reality. Accepting the day no matter what it brings.