Acknowledging Emotions As They Come

I love to read. While I love a good suspense or romance, lately I’ve been reading mostly self-help.

I want to be a better person. I can’t be a better version of myself if I continue to live in the past, do as I have done in the past.  Albert Einstein said it best when he stated something to the affect that doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different outcome each time is the definition of insanity.

We all have a story to tell. And as I’m learning many share similar stories as mine. Hard, challenging upbringing; Traumatic events that left scaring; Emotional responses that we are taught to suppress.  Suppressing anything is not good and fixes nothing.

The most recent books I have read talk about acknowledging emotions as they come up. Facing the demons rather than pushing them back in or worse, chiding yourself for the demons.  So today when I had another crying spell I asked myself what was bringing this on, what emotion was surfacing.

I identified today’s emotion as grief.

The last five years have been extremely challenging. My father was diagnosed with (and died from) cancer. While helping to care and support him, a friend committed suicide. While supporting my mom and friend (whose husband died due to suicide) I divorced my husband.  While “dealing” with the divorce I was attempting to learn balance and find my “place” in the world. Just when I thought I was learning balance I sold my house and bought a new house. Then my mom was diagnosed with (and died due to) cancer.

Before mom passed I remember telling my friend that I needed space, that with all that has happened I had not had time to grieve my dads or her husbands death. I was so busy being everyone else’s cheerleader that I wasn’t being there for me. And I needed that.

Since January I’ve had so much free time. It’s the first time in years where I can focus solely on my well being and not have to “save a portion” for someone else.  Up until January, every other weekend (for the majority of the last four years) was spent traveling home to be with my mom. Those weekends with mom were the best. While helping her heal I was healing too.

Tears have come so often since she passed.  I haven’t cried this much in 23 yrs. I don’t even think I cried this much when my dad died (probably because I felt in necessary to be the “strong one”).

I was brought up to believe that crying is a sign of weakness. Anytime I would want to cry, I would force myself to suppress the tears. I would even call myself names if I cried.

But not today, not since January. The second greatest woman in the world died and took another part of me with her. Today when I cried I acknowledged that I still grieve for her. I acknowledged that with her passing I felt as if I was “all alone again”.

Yes, I know this time that I am not all alone. I have an amazing support system grieving with me, rooting for me as I continue to be the best version of myself.

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