Thursday, October 8, 2015

Chandeliering Our Emotions

"One of the outcomes of attempting to ignore emotional pain is chandeliering. We think we have packed the hurt so far down that it can't possibly resurface, yet all of a sudden, a seemingly innocuous comment sends us into a rage or sparks a crying fit."

    My father had volatile emotions. It was hard to predict when he might "hit the ceiling". Now, this is a man I love and brought so much good into my life. I credit him with my need to create because he taught that to me. I am not bashing him but explaining a truth which set me in a direction which I still travel today. When his anger would send him up to "hit the chandelier", we all ducked for cover. I learned to please and avoid all contention. I was the apple of his eye until I countered him for the first time when I was eight. I wanted to be baptized into the church but he wanted me to be his Sunday buddy. Not believing in an organized church, there was always tension, covert and overt, between my parents. I joined her side and lost my most favored status, or so I thought. Today I still struggle with the need to please. It makes me do the hustle, which is a term I will explain in more detail in a upcoming post. I have always hustled for worthiness because I wanted to keep the climate in my home steady. Somehow I thought I could control that. Dr. Brown explains that, "chandeliering leads to eggshell environments- fear based settings where everyone is on edge."
   If we are the ones chandeliering, the way to wholeheartedness is through unpacking the hurts. It means rumbling with pain.
  If we are consistently on the receiving end of these outbursts the pathway to whole-heartness is not different. It still means unpacking the hurts and rumbling with pain. It means coming to understand why someone we love acts the way they do. It means accepting that we are not to blame for their reactions only our own response.
     "Living, growing up, working, or worshipping on eggshells creates huge cracks in our sense of safety and self-worth."

     "A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger."
Proverbs 15:1

  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.               


  1. i wrote a longer comment that didn't go through. will have to send more later. don't know why it didn't work:( great post.

  2. This makes a lot of sense- I identify with the "eggshell environments" and taking too much responsibility for other people's feelings and reactions. I like the description of the solution- "unpacking the hurts and rumbling with pain"- it accurately conveys how difficult it is, and yet it's a helpful way forward.

  3. This was a very tender subject for me: am going to ruminate and come littles are definitely learning to process the effects of such tensions on their own emotional's definitely been a resilience-builder for them.


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