A month ago I was feeling quite secure and emotionally okay. THEN my friends Amanda and Jodie and I read Rising Strong by Brené Brown and decided to start an online book club. NOW I’m rumbling and reckoning with my emotions and security has taken on a whole new meaning.
Rising Strong is not an easy book to read. Brené encourages you to be uncertain.
Embrace the emotional adventure—even though it will hurt. Every. Time.
Why do we run away from our emotions?
Why do we say we sort it out later?
Why does later never arrive?
We all have those visceral responses to emotions in our bodies.
Quickening heart rate.
Red-hot face of shame.
We squash emotions down with another glass of red, a tub of Ben and Jerry’s or rage at those around us who wonder, ‘Where the hell did that came from?’
I’m a squasher. I squash emotion down, hide it in an I’m-fine-please-don’t-worry smile.
For years I’ve squashed and squashed and squashed emotions down until my body said enough.
Until my body screamed through pneumonia, glandular fever, chronic fatigue.
Until my body shut me down.
I live with someone who is the exact opposite. I live with someone who confronts. Who rumbles and reckons with emotion. Who lets everyone know exactly how he feels.
When the two meet something destructs and devastation detonates.
When the two don’t rumble and engage with emotions well, something disconnects.
When you are curious about the story behind the emotion. When you connect the dots. When you engage with your feelings. When you are curious— that’s when you discover that pretending and silence don’t work anymore.
When we give ourselves permission to feel emotion.
Engage with emotion.
We give ourselves permission to be authentic.
At first, we might feel insecure.
Might withdraw from the battle.
Might not want to face the truths of our story.
Might fall back into the security of keeping our emotions in the dark.
Brené tells us that the curious, those who don’t stay down after they fall or are tripped are often troublemakers. Hard to control. Which is the best kind of dangerous possible. They are the artists, innovators and change-makers.
If we are curious we might have to become a different person.
A person others around us have never known.
A person who has learnt something.
I’ve learnt that squashing equals secrets — and secrets make you sick.
I’ve learnt that confronting and rumbling and reckoning with emotions is healthy. Healthy for myself and my relationships.
I’ve learnt that if I am brave enough to face the truths of my story, reckon with my emotions, am brave enough to fall down, get back up and chart a new course, I find truth, strength, daring, authenticity, adventure.
I am able to live the story promise of my life.
I used to think security was found in hiding. Now I know the paradox— security is found in understanding, reckoning and rumbling.
Security is found in the uncertain adventure of owning the truth of my story.