Yesterday, while picking up my granddaughter, I witnesses a blatant show of emotions. Two teenage brothers came out of the building together agitated. Even though I was across the parking lot I could see the anger on their faces. Suddenly, one attacked the other, ramming himself into the stomach of his opponent. A fight ensued for what seemed minutes. It shocked me to see their raw emotions. As they became aware of the scene they were making they pulled themselves apart. I wondered if this moment would be resolved or piled onto an existing resentment list.
Were you raised in a family that allowed emotions? Did your family have skills to integrate their emotions into words? I know I was not. I was born after World War II and after my family had survived becoming refugees and fleeing their homeland. A whole lifetime of emotions were lived through by my Dad and Mom and three older brothers. They have stories of fear and deprivation that I totally missed out on. I was curious, but there were locked emotional doors.
"We don't know enough and/or we aren't sufficiently aware of the power of our emotions and how they are connected to our thoughts and behaviors, so we fail to get curious."
In the following posts I want to write about these five barriers to dealing with emotions. I have confronted them all either in myself or in others.
" Pretending not to be hurt is choosing to become imprisoned by the dark emotion we have experienced-recognizing and feeling our way through the emotion is choosing freedom."
There is nothing wrong with having emotions. I find solace in the story of Jesus coming to Mary and Martha at the death of Lazurus. Don't you find it remarkable that he weeps with Martha just before he raises her brother from the tomb? Why waste all that emotional energy? Being wholehearted means feeling. A God that weeps seems unfathomable to a human but could we trust a God who doesn't know the deepest despair?
I am joining Kate Motaung and others who are writing every day in October. My intention is to record my reactions and feelings about Brené Brown's newest book, "Rising Strong". You can find the other posts I have written here.