Posts tagged ‘sad’

let’s live

Mom, do you love me when I am crying?


Me too. I love you even when I am sad.

I love you no matter what you are doing.

Me too! I love you no matter what I am doing too.

Oh how I love this girl. I want to eat her sometimes, consume her completely, get the MOST of her that I possibly can. Other times while I am watching her, nearly writhing with the degree of my love, my mind begins to search wildly, to scan for other ways to do something with these feelings. Sometimes I end up thinking, I want another baby, just so that I can get more of this love, so that I can find an action that will help me deal with the strength of my emotions.

Feelings, even good ones when felt strongly, are difficult, and we wriggle and writhe unable to just let them be. Action is the first thing we move toward to help us cope.

Feeling pain? Take an aspirin!

Feeling sad? Think happy thoughts! Take a bath! Drink a beer!

Feeling good? Post about it to Facebook! Take a picture! Commit it to memory so you can recreate it again and again!

Feeling mad? Talk about it! Post about it to Facebook! Slam a door!

We always want to do something. And if someone else is feeling something we think they want us to do something as well. The lame thing is that doing something doesn’t work, it doesn’t really help us and it doesn’t help anyone else. If you want to see an emotion shift quickly just watch what happens when you feel that feeling all the way, without squirming. Like in yoga class, when I’ve twisted myself up into an almost unbearable pose and then the teacher comes and twists me further, but instead of then giving me permission to release he asks the class to stay here longer. Because I feel uncomfortable I look for ways to shift a body part to ease or at least change my feelings, and when that doesn’t work I move in my mind, trying to get away from the sensation. If I finally give up the struggle everything gets better, instantaneously.

When uncomfortable in any emotion, the best possible thing we can do for ourselves is to feel that feeling as much as possible, without running away, without fixing, without doing anything at all. And when someone else is feeling something we can support them in feeling their emotions in the same way. This means that when your kid hurls the sippy cup across the room because you gave him the WRONG sippy cup, do not rummage about for another sippy cup. Don’t even move. You don’t even have to say anything, simply bear witness. If they are open to empathy give it freely, Oh, you’re really upset. That’s not the cup you wanted. There probably will come a moment when getting another sippy cup is desired but allowing room for the feelings come first, action later.

At art class this week a little boy became mad about a lump of clay and lashed out at the little girl next to him. His grandma said, No no no! You don”t do that! Do you want to paint? Let’s move over here and paint. The boy became angrier at this and ran out of the room. The grandma followed him out saying, Do you want to go? Do you need water? Do you need to go potty?, until they were out of sight. The boy was mad. That’s all. But instead of noticing that and accepting him, his caregiver was trying to do something, trying to move him out of his emotional state. And guess what? It didn’t work. He was still angry, perhaps even angrier than he was during the initial interaction, and they had to leave.

Let’s stop fixing. Ourselves and others. Let’s stop doing. It has no place in the emotional landscape and does us no good. Let’s stop “protecting” ourselves from feeling things. It’s okay to feel. In fact feeling is what makes living worthwhile. Let’s live.


May 13, 2010 at 10:00 am 3 comments

sad emily

I heard the phone ring and I just knew. It was bad news.

My sister Emily has a dog, Bello. You might as well call him an appendage he is so woven into the very fabric of her life, of her spirit. Bello was diagnosed with cancer today and given three months to live.


Bello is so great. There are dogs and then there are great dogs and Bello is one of those. Brown, loyal, sturdy, consistent, and devoted. They are never apart. He waits for her outside of any building she enters, sometimes for a long time. He accompanies her on every trip. He sleeps under the covers. In a crowded room he lays down and makes long steady eye contact with her.

He is her child and best friend rolled into one, and now she looks at him and can see the end of his life. She is living the day that she has always dreaded.

I am so sad. My sister crying can cause me to cry quicker than anything on the face of the earth, and tonight she is sobbing.

I am reminded, against my will, that the things you love, the very most of all, still leave you.

Oh life, so much to teach us about loving and letting go, and sometimes we do not want to be taught.

December 4, 2009 at 5:00 am 1 comment

empathy delivery


It’s been a bit stormy around these parts lately. Not just the weather either. Seems there has been a cosmic synchronicity and all households have seen some feisty turbulence. So I hereby deliver some empathy to any and all:

  • that have not left the house for three days straight because their two year old does not want to go outside in the cold and does not want to wear a coat
  • that do not want to wear coats, be they two or thirty something, because it is not fair that it is already so cold
  • that are feeling FURIOUS watching their older child physically harm their younger child
  • that are not enjoying the presence of a younger sibling that plays with the toys, makes loud noises, bumps the chair they are sitting on, etc.
  • that wonder if their wife/husband/partner is the right person for them
  • that miss their wife/husband/partner and wish she/he would come home soon
  • that have the flu
  • that are pregnant and feeling tired, emotional, frustrated, or all of the above
  • that are working so hard at raising their children and are not feeling like the heroic warriors they are
  • that are tired and want to go to bed but still have things they need to get done
  • that are feeling insecure, or lonely, or sad
  • that are criticizing their body, and/or food choices
  • that want to be with their kids more than they are
  • that are having a hard time with squabbling children
  • that are worried about money
  • that want something that is not available to them

I love you. And here’s to a sunnier weekend.


October 16, 2009 at 8:59 pm 2 comments

home again, home again

homeAfter the blue, yellow, and peach tones of Santa Cruz we are back to the green, brown, and rust tones of Missoula.

The girls, figuratively speaking, went from the big strong arms of their loving Granpa to the big strong arms of their loving Papa. A fair trade, yes, but one that brings strong emotions. Sadness and happiness at the same time. Glad to see Papa. Sad to leave Granpa. Glad to be home and sad to be back at the same time.

Strong feelings for Mama too. Between the parentheses of Santa Cruz and Missoula there was a car ride, flight, long layover, flight, and another car ride. This time the girls did not bask in the praises of fellow travelers. They slept, fought, and cried throughout. I reminded myself that they are indeed “good” children nonetheless. I gave them, and myself, heavy doses of empathy for our plight.

And now we are home and attempting to find ourselves again within the scents of this house and the objects we left behind. Smiling widely at the frantic swing of Henry dog’s tail, sinking easily into Nathan’s aura and our soft bed, musing gently over the ability to hold powerful and different feelings at the same time.

To use the Feeleez poster to describe these feelings I think we might have to snip, rip, and cut each little illustration into tiny pieces, mix it with water and warm it on the stove.

October 4, 2009 at 6:20 am Leave a comment

knotholes have feelings too

IMG_0805There is a family of knotholes that Echo discovered living in the wood panels of the bathroom wall. Today she declared that the Papa knothole is feeling “sad and discouraged”.  By the look of him I think she’s right.

September 17, 2009 at 5:07 am Leave a comment

“She needs a dolphin!”

This is Echo. She is 20 months old. She started identifying feelings with the Feeleez poster at 12 months. They are never too young to start.

January 27, 2009 at 1:41 am Leave a comment

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