For the past 6 months, I’ve had two bottles of lotion on my bathroom counter: one is called Happiness and one is called Comfort. Each day of these last 6 months, I’ve made a choice between Happiness and Comfort.
Most days I chose Comfort, but some days I chose Happiness.
Until recently, when I realized that I’m an idiot and it was a stupid choice I was forcing myself into every day. Sure it was only lotion but it represented so much more. Happiness OR comfort. Each day, in so many ways, I chose either happiness or comfort, when I really needed both.
Do you have this idea too? Take a moment. Think about it. Do you sometimes shove your emotions down and think you can contain them … because you’re afraid that someone will get upset if YOU get upset?
Bingo. You chose comfort over happiness.
How about doing the thing you do NOT want to do because you think it will make the other person happy? Yeah. Raise your hand. You’re part of my club. So what do we do – you and me and thousands of others in this club? How do we fix this pickle we got ourselves in?
We make the hard decision and actually SPEAK about what we feel. We don’t shove it all into the barbell or the bottle or the journal or the numbing den of entertainment heroin known as Netflix. We feel and deal and speak and have an actual conversation that matters. Many conversations that matter, even if they’re about those old stupid emotions that you’d rather not talk about, you know the ones that keep showing up after you’re pretty sure you drowned them. Turns out emotions are damn good swimmers. Ugh.
Now that doesn’t mean you get to be a jerk and irresponsibly shove your emotions all over other people. You don’t get to dump and run. You don’t get to toss your emotions onto the flaming bonfire of the significant people in your life and then skip away, happy and free. That’s not fair. You’ll have to wear your serious shoes and plant your feet and stay in that space with your loved ones, sober and kind and in honest conversation. Oh, it might suck for a bit. Don’t worry. You’ll live.
And you still can enjoy the barbell or the bottle or the journal or Netflix. Each of these drugs has its place. But don’t let any of them be the place you hide what you really feel and what you really want to say. Time to speak up and own all of who you are.
You just need to have a third friend: courage. Go find her. She has the key to the rooms that hold everything you really want. Good luck. I’ll be out there too, trying to find my way.