What I am learning –
Expressing emotions, not just the “good” ones, is a part of life. I’ve always been quick to embrace feelings of joy and love and happiness. But when it comes to anger or frustration or sadness, I’m not comfortable. I’d rather bury these emotions down deep. I’d do almost anything to “keep the peace.” And now when I have to face the realities of life – like caring for a mother with Alzheimer’s or navigating the release of a young adult into the world or maintaining a 35 year marriage – I run headfirst into this wide and wild range of feelings, and there really is nowhere to run and no way to escape. I’m learning that when someone is angry toward me, or when I express my own outrage, it doesn’t have to destroy the relationship. It might even strengthen it.
I’m learning that sometimes a gentle and caring approach is called for and sometimes you just have to take the world by storm.