Day 355 - November Gratitude, part 19
Friday, November 20, 2015
A quick late blog tonight.
When I was a kid and started to cry, my dad would always yell at me to "gain your composure!" For him, it was not good for a boy to cry. He didn't like tears, but he especially didn't like them from me. From age 10 to about age 22, I can't remember crying more than once or twice in all those years.
After I became an adult, and had my own life to live, I realized that there is value in our emotions. Expressing them is healthy. Suppressing them is not. If there is one thing my dad failed at as a parent, it would be not teaching us how to express our emotions in a healthy, constructive way.
But today, I am grateful for my emotions. Some tragic news has come my way over the past few days. A dear friend had to say goodbye to her nephew after a tragic accident. Another friend is dealing with advanced lymphoma in her beloved German Shepherd. Some of our students are trying to cope with the aftermath of their instructor abandoning their class 2/3 of the way through the semester. I have learned to be emotional in a way that is healthy and empathetic to the plights of others. (Listening to some segments of StoryCorps on the Diane Rehm show on NPR kept my feelings at the forefront this morning too.)
So today I am grateful for the ability to be emotional, even after my dad did everything he could to shut off my emotional flow permanently. I have realized that it is empowering to be able to connect to other people, and our emotions enable that.
My heart is breaking for my friends, but I know that in time, we all will heal. The pain doesn't necessarily go away, but we learn to live with it. How we feel is as much a part of who we are as any other aspect of our lives.
I feel because I'm human. I'm grateful because I feel.