Amazing Parents

Sometimes it\’s AMAZING. Sometimes it\’s just A MAZE.

Express yourself

I’ve been writing a lot lately. Maybe not here, but a lot of other places. Recently I told a friend the story of how I met my husband and everything that happened between high school and that moment. It was a really, really, really long story. But I couldn’t help it. As I wrote the words, all these little details came up for me. Things that people had said, smells and sounds that came flooding back. It felt really good to just write it all out like that. I’ve never really done that before.

As I hit the send button on one of those emails, a little part of me panicked. I saw the little google thing across the top say, “Message sent”. And frantically I looked around the keyboard for the delete key! What had I just done? Had I really told somebody all of that? My secrets and my idealizations? Had I really just laid out all the mistakes I’d ever made and how so much of my life is scary for me?

Wow. I guess I did.

But as the days go by and my friend gives me feedback on everything I wrote to her, I begin to feel so relieved. Like so much pressure has been lifted off. It wasn’t that I was hiding something that came out in that story. It wasn’t anything negative like that. But it was raw, unedited. And I had finally put words to all those random memories that I have inside my head.

I was talking to my good friend Nelly today and she was telling me how overwhelmed she feels lately. One thing I asked her was who she’s been talking to about all these events in her life that are happening? She said she tried to talk to her husband, but he just doesn’t seem to get it. She tried to talk to her mom, but her mom was too consumed with her own problems to be any help to Nelly right now. How many times have we each felt this way? That we just need to talk about it or get it out, but that nobody is there to catch the ball?

I suggested to Nelly that she starts a journal. I don’t know that she had ever thought of that before. But there’s something huge about writing it all out. Saying exactly how you feel. Finding the words to all those abstract thoughts. And finally being able to sit back and just say, “yes, there it is.” There’s something satisfying, even healing, in that.

Talking to Nelly further, she told me a little bit about how she grew up. As she reflected on her early years she told me, “I don’t think I was ever encouraged to say how I felt.” I said, “Yes, and how do you feel today about saying how you feel?” She said one word: “selfish”. How sad is that? That my sweet friend Nelly feels badly for just expressing her own feelings. What a disservice her parents have done to her. Thankfully, Nelly is learning not to pass that disservice down to her own children. But instead, she is teaching them that it’s ok to have feelings and it’s ok to tell them to other people, especially to the ones who care about you.

Let’s pray that we all can teach our children that. And also teach it to ourselves.


March 12, 2008 - Posted by | A New Paradigm

1 Comment »

  1. I’ve been blessed to have Danny as my outlet. Since I was 12, I’ve had a person I could tell anything too. I think it helped that we lived so far apart. That gave us the courage to say what we really felt. Now we email almost every day. It’s really the only journal I can imagine keeping. I will write him huge long novels and even if I don’t get a response from him, I’ve still gotten my feelings of my chest. It’s such a huge relief to have that support.

    Comment by Jolie | April 24, 2008 | Reply

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