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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.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    After the wonderful coincidence of our last names, your emotional intelligence hit me as something so striking and wonderful that I hoped so much I could be your friend, even across the miles, dear man.

    emoticon emoticon
    1926 days ago
  • RHOOK20047
    I can't tell you how many times I heard as a child, "Men don't cry, man up!" or "Do you want my to give you something to cry about?" . My father wasn't abusive, I guess men of that era weren't in tune with their emotions. Later in life after my dad had his first stroke and was bedridden, he used to start crying for everything. I would try and cheer him up with his lines, but I realized that at the end he did find his emotions. The day before his massive stroke which left him in a coma for 4 1/2 years, he told me that he loved me for the first time. I knew he did, but he had never said it. And it was the last thing he said to me. I learned a long time ago, that it is easier to wear my emotions on my sleeve than to keep them bottled up in me.
    1926 days ago
    Steve someone that cries out and with tears is a very carring person. We as your friends are so lucky to have such a great friend like you for you care so much for others. You are always there for us. Your dad should be very proud of the carrying son that he has. I know I am proud of you!! Please rest tonight. I know it is hard when we see our loved ones hurting.
    1926 days ago
  • no profile photo JEANNETTE59
    I am so glad that as an adult you were able to overcome your Dad's "objection" to tears.
    Male and female, we are born with the ability to cry. There is a reason we are created with tear ducts. It is so we can cry!
    1926 days ago
    My dad used to tell us to pull ourselves together and he kept a very stiff upper lip all through his adult life. It was only when he was in the last stages of cancer, that he allowed himself to show sadness and even to cry occasionally. Feeling emotion is the only way we can learn to be empathetic to others. I am glad you stayed raw inside and can be there for your friends now because you know how they are feeling, Steve! Thank you for this lovely blog!
    1926 days ago
    It is difficult as a parent to see what the ramifications for some of our behaviors will be. Your Dad was wrong, but a lot of people were wrong, dealing with boys back then...BE STRONG....BE A MAN. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

    I am glad you have overcome that, and are able to share your emotions. Men who do not are missing out on something important in life. Why is it when a man cries, we know there is a catastrophe?

    Here's hoping all your friends get through their life traumas, and come out OK on the other side.

    I'm glad you are in their corner.

    Spark on.
    1926 days ago
  • no profile photo CD15118206
    Thank you so much for this beautiful blog, your compassion, and friendship. I'm going to share this with my parents this morning before we head back home. I'm so blessed to have you in my life.
    1926 days ago
  • PICKIE98
    I have always ben the emotional person in the family, crying at the drop of a hat. I still cry over having my dear dog of 15 1/2 years euthanized 6 years ago. Tearing up right now, just thinking about it..

    Stepping OVER the obstacle instead of stopping at it and gong nowhere, I finally realized I am not wrong, just different. Your dad's insecurity was reflected in his orders to you. You went beyond it and look where you are now. KUDOS!!!
    1926 days ago
    I am glad your Dad wasn't able to shame your emotional feelings/expressions permanently out of you! I am glad you could recapture them and still connect! It can be hard to feel, but can be worse to be "clogged up" with blocked emotions! So sorry to hear of the difficult situations of your friends, but they are blessed to have a friend who understands and can connect with how they feel!
    Tonight I went to the SparkPage of a dear SparkFriend who passed away recently! I felt the need to visit...and leave a message that I missed her...tears just flowed, more than when I found out her battle with her illness had ended! I was surprised but glad it came to the surface and came out! I had not realized it was there...
    Have a good Friday and weekend!
    Love & Hugs
    1926 days ago
  • no profile photo L_DROUIN
    I believe that God gave us emotions and that emotions are a gift. Even Jesus wept. It is true that emotions allow us to be able to connect with other people. I'm glad that you have learned what you have about having healthy emotions.
    1926 days ago
    Awesome blog Steve! Feel the feelings is what it's all about! Excellent gratitude list!
    1926 days ago
    Each person has needs at different times. It is good for us to try to read our friends and be able to be with them.

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

    1926 days ago
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