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Are You Afraid?: A Conversation on Emotions (pt.1)

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Quote: "We generate fears while we sit. We overcome them by action." Dr. Henry Link

“Mom, Are you afraid?” : We were getting ready to have a conversation on emotions.

I was driving my children to school when the question popped up.

I answered her question quickly and easily: “No,why?”

My daughter then said: “It just seems like something is wrong.”

Me: “ It is. My hand is hurting pretty badly today and I guess I’ve been thinking about the pain.”

Ella: “Oh, that makes sense.”  I tried to rest my hand on the steering wheel, directing without gripping. 

Me: “Are you afraid?”

Ella: “No.”

Before I go further … 

FIRST, can you believe it … I was DRIVING!

For those of you who are here for the first time driving is a relatively new thing for me. This is its own adventure when you haven’t been behind the wheel in YEARS.  But, that’s not what this post is about. 

Sometimes I feel like I’m talking about pain WAY too much and then I realize … that’s life. If you’re avoiding this topic, you’ll avoid healing too because pain is what signals the need for healing. 

I fell today. Not because I had a seizure, not because someone pushed me … but because I tripped over a brick and flew face first onto a pile of stone.  It’s weird to say, but I felt kind of triumphant about the whole thing because I felt it all. I was there for it and I owned it! There was nothing anyone could have done to stop it.  But, it also wasn’t the fault of drugs or my condition. It was all me. I didn’t feel afraid, until I did.

Things happen. And, I’m dealing with some major pain now. SO, I let my mind go down the rabbit hole a bit. I went to the E.R. in my mind before I even iced it.  WHAT?! That’s how bad it hurt. 

I made it home from drop-off and the ice was feeling so good, but I couldn’t put my fingers down flat. So, I started reading about ligaments. And, then I started feeling bad about that. Until, I hit the STOP button on myself. 

Sometimes we need to step back and ask ourselves what our brain is telling us and what our emotions are telling us. Then we need to sort out the difference.

Admittedly, I was feeling a bit sorry for myself. Would my hand come back? Would I need physical therapy? The fall was hard and I felt a snap.  But, this mind jog wasn’t helping. 

So, I grabbed the tool I use for cell repair and bruising and I am applying it frequently. But, I still have to deal with my mind. 

My daughter seemed to have dealt with hers beautifully, I thought. 

Have the conversation about being afraid!

When we stop to have a conversation with another human about our concerns and ask our question in a positive way, we’re able to avoid the hurdles our mind may create for our day.

She could have chosen to wonder for the rest of the day: What’s wrong with mom? Is she angry with me? Is she afraid? Did I do something? What’s she going to do when I get home from school? 

Instead, she asked the question: “Mom, are you afraid?” And, then we were able to have a conversation, so her mind was at ease and ready to face the day. 

We’re all a little fearful of what we don’t know. And, maybe that’s what I should have told her at that moment. I was afraid … afraid my finger was never going to be the same.  Afraid I would have arthritis in this hand forever … afraid that the pain would lead to more meds which would lead to split relationships I couldn’t handle. 

But, the reality was … I hadn’t processed this yet, but I knew I wanted to remove the pain. I was avoiding, pressing down feeling and in the process my feelers in the back seat knew I was afraid, because they could feel it. 

Your children know. They see. And, your kids are learning from you how to handle their emotions. They’ll reflect back to you what you give them, after all, those emotions aren’t just yours. 

When we conceal and hide and pretend the emotion isn’t there, we’re setting the stage for more pain (ours and others). Emotions need to be acknowledged. Having conversations is one way to do that.

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