Today I got this great idea... we should wear shirts that send a clear message. Depending on the day mine might say "Just Ask" or "I don't want to talk about it" or "Yes, I really am happy today" maybe "Feeling Sad, but you don't need to fix it".
The possibilities are endless and could be very helpful in group settings, or even at the grocery store.
Aside from that thought I have also be pondering how I work through my emotions. I've had a couple friends ask me if I allow myself to feel my grief.
My first instinct is to answer that I do. And I think that is mostly true. But given time to process and consider the answer I'm not completely sure. I definitely allow myself to be present in whatever emotion/mood I'm in. But my answer to someone who asks me how I'm doing will inevitably be "fine", even if that's not the case. I really have to force myself to give a more authentic answer at times.
Even though I believe that I need to embrace how I'm feeling, I don't necessarily go the distance. I stay closer to center. I try to close the door when the tears start. I noticed it at my doctors appointment this week. As I started to cry (which came unexpected), I immediately worked to shut the tears off and start explaining myself with words.
I think it's easier/safer for me to use words that express myself physically. And I think I do this out of a fear of being "too emotional". A tag that was given to me growing up. I have always felt like it was a negative attribute. But I watch my daughter, and you could easily tag her with "too emotional", but she's not. She is perfect, and she really expresses how she is feeling. I want her to be able to work through her emotions, but I don't want her to learn that she should hide them.
When you work hard to learn to hide your tears, you also end up hiding your giddiness. I feel like I've put boundaries up and I stick to the middle of the scale for emotions. I'm not positive there is a reason to change that at this stage of life. Just as much as I want to embrace my daughter, I also want to embrace myself.
Since I'm a big believer in personal development I'm going to have to balance embracing myself with learning to feel my sadness. To allow myself to just stare at Abby's picture and feel the pain, feel the regrets, feel the love and accept all of it.