a turning point for me happened in my early teens. i don’t quite remember the particulars but i had some righteous reason to be anger at my dad. he yelled back at me with these simple words, “you can’t be angry at me, i’m your father!”
as I think back to that day, i am reminded that someone wrote into one of the writers at the seattle times after a particularly bad snow storm and said, “seattlites can’t drive the snow. the writer retorted, “why should that be surprising; they can’t drive in the rain or the sun, either.”
you may wonder what a denial of anger have to do with snow in seattle. let me fill you in.
in the same way seattlites can’t drive in the snow, rain or sun the expression of emotions in my family, whether joy, sadness or anger just didn’t happen.
every time i’ve flashed back to the day, I thought of the suppression of angry. shortly after that, I would feel anger for the emotional cripple I had because i never learned how to express emotions in a healthy way or any way for that matter. too often find myself cowering in the corner instead of expressing some emotion.
something happened this week.
for the first time in my life, i relived that day and recognized the positive outcomes from that day. I saw the wrong in having my emotion stifled. i saw the right in expressing my emotions, even if it wasn’t okay to my father. I also learned how right it is to express any and all emotions.
do i express every emotion that comes my way? come on, i’m human; sometimes it is best to have an unspoken thought. additionally, i’ve relived my teenage day thousands of time, only 10 times i’ve got it right. too many times I fall back to the negative outcome of that day and freeze in terror.
i have a long way to go before reaching even and a longer time before the slate is cleared. that won’t today or tomorrow but the journey has begun.
I’m glad you realize how important expressing emotions are (most of the time). I wasn’t allowed to be angry, sad, etc. which stifled other emotions and I’m working to get that stoicism isn’t the ticket most of the time.
i’m amazed how many people in society still do get. you know those people. you say your sad/mad/anger/down and they immediately try to talk you out of it, as if is somehow wrong to have those emotions.