It’s been a long week. Fortunately I have left-over Cappy’s Pizza for dinner and a bottle of pinot grigio. Well, I probably won’t have the whole bottle for dinner, but having a glass of it with my pizza after this week is a very nice treat.
But why is the title of the post “proud”? My tough week involved a conflict. I don’t want to go into the details about it, but this conflict has been a great mirror for me. It has been one of those events that reinforce that, yes, I have made a lot of great strides in bettering my communication and living a more wholehearted life.
Not too many years ago if presented with a similar conflict, I would have been a hot mess. I would have reacted to my complex emotions through yelling, cursing, blaming, shutting down, passive-aggressiveness…
FYI – none of those things are very productive or constructive if you’d ever like to gain resolution on an issue.
This time, I was able to vocalize my complex emotions and why I felt that way. I was able to stand up for myself in a calm and professional way, though it was scary to do so. I was able to avoid blame, while still getting to the root of what I felt the problem was. I was able to respond to the situation at hand, instead of reacting to it. I was able to listen to the other side, without interrupting. I reached out for support, whereas in the past I would have likely retreated inwards. I took care of myself by meditating and taking myself to dinner. I’m not holding onto the intensity of the emotions and am already moving on. Ultimately, I’ve been daring greatly throughout this conflict.
I’ve been so incredibly grateful for all of my teachers who have contributed to my being so much healthier emotionally and developing healthier communication skills compared to my younger self. I’m going to give some of them a shout-out:
1) Pat Moore – Mandarin Cove Counseling in Jacksonville, FL – Pat helped me work through so many issues from my past and my marriage. She helped me to begin to realize that my feelings and perceptions are important too. She taught me that it is a burden to carry unresolved issues on your shoulders. I am still so thankful for her help.
2) Jill Langer – Center for Relational Psychology in Tampa, FL – I’ve written a bit about Jill’s importance to me before. I thank Jill most for helping me find the words for my feelings. I was 30+-years-old, and I lacked a vocabulary to describe my emotions. Once I had the vocabulary I was better able to identify them when they surfaced, and also identify their sources. I also thank Jill for introducing me to Brené Brown’s TED talk on vulnerability.
3) Brené Brown – University of Houston in Houston, TX – I have never met Dr. Brown, but I do hope to some day. I’ve only ever read her book, Daring Greatly, and watched her TED talk (above), but those two things have had such an impact on my life.
When I first started reading Daring Greatly, I cried. Hard. And while I cried, I thought:
“Yes! This is what I’m trying to do with my life.”
“Yes, it’s incredibly hard.”
“No, some people will not understand.”
But with that book and that TED talk, and also with my experiences with private and group counseling, it became more and more apparent that vulnerability has a lot to do with leading a happy life. Brené’s work and her personal struggles with vulnerability have been huge inspirations to me: enough to name my blog in partial honor of the name of her book. And, of course, I recommend her book and her TED talk to pretty much everyone I ever meet.
So, I’m proud of myself. I’m proud I’m putting my teachers’ lessons to practice. I’m proud that I can recognize progress in my efforts to be a better human being. I’m proud of all of the things I outlined above. And I’m proud that I can sit here and eat my pizza and drink my wine without a lot of worry weighing on me.
Overall, I’m proud that daringly greatly and living daringly are coming with more ease, even when things get hard. I’m proud, and I’m so grateful.