It’s the last Tuesday of the month and that means it’s time to join with Honoré and reflect back on the last four weeks and my journey with my One Little Word.
In case you forgot, my word is open. And I’m sort of struggling with being open right now. It’s mostly, of course, because of the pandemic. Being open sounds so . . . vulnerable. And not vulnerable in a sharing my feelings way but vulnerable like not protecting myself against the virus way. If I look at the word metaphorically, though (and really, that’s sort of the whole point of this One Little Word thing) then I can say I’ve made some progress with being open.
What I’ve really tried to capture this month, and it’s not an easy thing for me, is being open to my feelings. I’m a pretty big believer in acknowledging (and celebrating!) happy feelings but when it comes to the other feelings . . . the feelings I’m having a lot lately . . . the feelings I label as scared, confused, frustrated, uncontrollable . . . well, I’d just as soon avoid those in the same way that I’m avoiding the grocery store these days.
You know that doesn’t work, right? Because when I fail to acknowledge my feelings and emotions they don’t actually go away. Oh no. Instead, they tend to show up in physical ways. I cry. I pick a fight. I overeat. It’s not pretty, it’s not healthy, and it’s just plain not good.
The key, I am learning, is to acknowledge the feelings and lean all the way into them. The crappy feelings go away (not always immediately but always eventually) when I name them and accept them and release them. In other words: the feelings I don’t like go away when I am open to them.
So, in this time of pandemic, I want to acknowledge the fear and uncertainty and disappointment. And in doing so, I open myself up to the lessons I am learning and I vow to allow them to help me grow.