It’s a day late, but it is here! Life has been challenging, but a play date, orchestra practice and a car nap made it happen today!
Did you laugh like I did at the opening pages of this chapter? I chuckled because there have been many times when I have let my emotions get the better of me and taken them out on my unsuspecting people. I am still on the journey learning how to control my emotions. I thought I would share a story of my perceived emotional weakness and how my emotions move me to compassion.
I have always been an emotional person (i.e. crier). I remember my third grade report card. I had excellent grades, citizenship, and effort. In the comment section my teacher noted “cries easily.” My parents talked to me about it and guess what? I cried. I can cry when things are sad, and I even cry when things are good. I cry when I confront someone who has hurt me; I cry when my kids are hurting. I think almost everyone I know has seen me cry at some point in my life. It is part of who I am. I grew up feeling ashamed of not being able to control my emotions better. No matter how smart I was, if I cried over something then it equated to me being inferior to those around me. I can’t tell you how stupid I felt when I went in and talked to the school principal about my son when he was struggling in school. I knew what I wanted to say, but as soon as I wanted to talk, that lump came up in my throat and I became a blubbering idiot. I felt stupid. I could see the principal not taking me serious and thinking I was one of “those” moms. Thankfully I brought my husband with me that day and he spoke while I cried. I was mad at myself for not being able to control my emotions and speak logically and calmly with the principal.
As I have grown older and hopefully wiser, I see the strength in my emotions. They allow me to feel the world’s pain so I may act with compassion. I remember my first year of teaching middle school. I had almost 180 kids that year. I had a hard time teaching because there were so many student distractions. My kids, as I used to call them, were hurting. They came from broken homes where the parents didn’t speak to each other, they were going through divorces. One dad suddenly died of a heart attack, another parent was a stripper (and all the entire school knew it), they were struggling with peer pressure to have sex, to try drugs and alcohol, and they were all hormonally challenged. I was supposed to be their science teacher, but they needed me for so much more. Our school had a wonderful school counselor on site where teachers could refer kids who we thought needed assistance (with approval from the Assistant Principal). The counselor soon realized I was able to spot the kids who needed help and I didn’t need to get the AP approval. I think her whole case load was entirely my students that year. I even had to call CPS that year for one of my students. I cried through the entire call as I reported what I knew.
I once thought my emotions made me into a weak woman, yet I know that God didn’t make a mistake when he created me or any other woman. We are the feelers of this world. What I feel and what my husband feels are two different things. My husband and I are complimentary on the feeling scale. There are times when I feel too much and he feels too little. It has caused many a discussion (ok, fight) when things were out of balance. We have been married almost 17 years and at the end of the day we realize we are on the same team, working for the same goal.