Last week I had a friend text, “Cami have you figured out how to turn off feelings yet?”
It’s crazy how emotions can come out of nowhere. It’s also interesting that when the emotion is anything but happy we feel like we have to change it. Stop it!
Ok easier said than done, it we have to feel whatever it is so we can heal where it’s coming from. We are complicated that’s for sure! The whole mind, body, spirit has many factors we get to learn. Then add in relationships, sprinkled with memories and it can be tough. But this is life and it’s what we GET to figure out!
Several months ago I lost my sweet Gram. It broke my heart. I wasn’t ready and it happened when she was in another state. It broke my heart- I’m so grateful for my uncle who let me talk (sob) to her to tell her goodbye over the phone as he let me know her reactions. I am grateful to him for his kindness to my breaking heart. It’s hard to put into words my adoration and feelings for her. From a very small age she had been my person. We had a special bond that I’m forever grateful for!
I was blessed to grow up just 10 minutes away from her and she has been very involved in many aspects of my life. I had a relationship with her like no one else. She bought my kindergarten dress. She brought an ice cream maker and fresh strawberries from her garden we planted to make ice cream on Grandparents day when I was in elementary school. She tried to help me in Jr. High when I had no self esteem. She would make me look in my mirror and say, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough and dog gonnit people like me.” I didn’t believe it then and I sometimes still struggle.
She was my substitute teacher in High School. I love/hated it. So did she. I hated it because she was the sub in my worst class the DAY I had to get a grade report filled out, she hated it because my friends called her Mrs. Staples. (Her last name was Stapley.) but we both loved seeing each other, giggling and a couple of times ate lunch together.
She was my substitute teacher in High School. I love/hated it. So did she. I hated it because she was the sub in my worst class the DAY I had to get a grade report filled out, she hated it because my friends called her Mrs. Staples. (Her last name was Stapley.) but we both loved seeing each other, giggling and a couple of times ate lunch together. As an adult I still loved taking her out to lunch!
Gram came with my Mom to drop me off at college. I not only talked them into “breaking the rules” to go into the hotel pool area after pool hours but got them to get in the pool on the count of 1-2-3…they got in, I didn’t! 😂 My Mom through gritted teeth “Get.in.this.pool!” Bahaha! Gram was scared of water since she was a kid but somehow I talked her into getting into the pool. She even ducked under water when I yelled, “Hey everybody my Grandma is swimming in her underwear!”She gasped as she came up from the water, “You little shit”! I laughed and laughed. Ha ha it’s still just as funny today. I know she doesn’t like when we tell people she swore but come on, it’s hilarious!
She was the person who taught me to love my laugh/giggle that I was so self conscious about. It’s distinct and people always know it’s me. Maybe I didn’t like the attention. She was the one I broke the rules to “call home” to when I was serving a mission. She has always supported me.
So why am I talking about my Gram today? This weekend I spent some time alone in her garage sanding the cupboards that I used to to leave her love notes in. I cried for a minute because I felt sad. I let myself feel it instead of try to push it away. Later I sat in her recliner to rest for a minute as I looked out her front window with tears in my eyes. I even looked in her bathroom mirror after scrubbing paint off my face with sawdust covered hair, tears streamed down my face as I whispered the words from Jr. High. “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough and doggonnit people love me.” And them I let myself cry. It was a sad cry. Why now? Because that’s how feelings and emotions work – they are going to show up randomly. All I could do is not let myself be controlled BY them.
When you feel something, get curious about it. Why was I sad? We were changing the house that for years has been known as “Grandma’s house.” It will no longer look like her house…so for me it was saying goodbye to her again through her space. We are making space for new Grandparents/Grandkids memories to be made!
As I went back to the garage to finish sanding I felt an overwhelming sense of love as if she was sitting right there next to me. It was as if I could almost hear her giggle. She is ok, we are ok (it was a little rough the last couple of years of her life as she struggled with dementia. Few of us experienced her spurts of anger and borderline crazy.) She still loves me like I remembered. I’m pretty sure even though she’s on the other side, I’m still her favorite!
I love love love that these little notes were hanging on the wall by her bed the day she passed from a coaching session I had with her. It was an honor to coach her through some of her hard things in life- and that it was helpful enough that they were taped to her wall. Cue more tears. I’m forever blessed by my friendship with my Grandma.
So to answer my friends question – NO, I haven’t learned how to turn off feelings. I have learned MANY tools to help me deal with emotions when they show up. When you feel something other than “happy” what do you do?