Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Why is it that our emotions give us no warning when they are about to take us on a wild roller coaster ride? Even when we know we are acting crazy, we often can't stop ourselves. People approach the same situation from radically differing viewpoints, and separate sets of emotions and perspectives, and when you arrive at that moment of clashing with someone else you realize how far apart all of us humans can be sometimes.

I long for connection with people, particularly those who are close to me. But I am thinking narcissistically of my own needs and desires in any given setting, and I have to assume that the other person is thinking of theirs. This creates a conflict where one doesn't need to exist, but you don't have much time to prepare when the misunderstanding begins to occur.

A family sits down for a peaceful dinner and the whole event can derail with the smallest comment, look or gesture, and leave hurt feelings and anger in its wake. I abhor how fragile our communication can be as people who love each other and try to be kind to one another, but the cold, hard truth is that we let each other down in a million ways, and we have to be open to that possibility.

We have to ask for what we want. No one can read minds, and shouldn't be expected to. It's not easy for most women to ask specifically for what we need, but we are worth the request, and it helps our men to know what we are looking for when they are not picking up on our cues. I understand this fully, but sometimes forget it when I most need to vocalize what I am looking for.

I wish I could predict my emotional swings. It is one of the biggest frustrations of my life to be held prisoner to my vacillating feelings. I am learning that I must deal with how I feel, or my emotions beat me up until I notice them. Feelings aren't rational and they aren't supposed to be. They are our warning system; our "get engine checked" light, and paying attention to them provides our best defense against sickness and stress.

I am a woman, and must own the emotions I have. They are not wrong. They can help me if I will listen to them and heed what they are trying to tell me. I'm learning not to panic when something sets me off, but to withdraw to a quiet place (the bathroom works well for those of us with small children). If I'm alone, I can center myself enough to hear that still, small voice, and trust it to walk me through to what is really bothering me. If I can calmly understand what the real issue is, I am usually able to deal with it.

No comments:

Post a Comment