In my last session with my therapist she said, “Those are just feelings; it is not an emergency.”

Excuse me?

So now not only are feelings not facts (thanks, Kaply) but they are also not an emergency. Hrmph. This is. . . weird. I’m having trouble wrapping my mind around these new concepts. Do you mean other people are existing in the world and not letting their emotions rule their lives? Who are these people? I’ll tell you who they are: They are robots. Plain and simple.

Okay so obviously I’m joking. I have to joke or else I will lose my everlovingmind. This week is slamming me with opportunities for personal growth. The kind where I make hard decisions to stand up for myself, to look deep into what it is I believe I deserve and then. . . use my own voice to speak up about it. Does telling people what you want come easily to you? Because for all my opinions and pockets of confidence, when it comes to love I have the hardest time telling someone what I want and need. I could say something derogatory about how it’s no wonder I am single but that’s not very nice. And I need to be nice to myself. Why is it so difficult?

I am having trouble with the deserving part of all this. There is this story I have told myself for years and years. It’s about a girl who gives and gives and gives and people like her so she keeps giving because clearly that’s the measure of her worth. She gives outwardly but not inwardly. She only knows herself as a giver and to stay in her comfort zone, she continually seeks out receivers. She gives so much that one day she comes up empty because no one taught her how to replenish that which sheย  gave away.

I do not like this story.

So I am writing a new one.

I know that it is incredibly freeing to speak up about what you are feeling. To give voice to what you hold deep inside you. I think many people live their entire lives pushing emotions down or away and then wonder why they are unhappy or unfulfilled. I will not be one of those people.

“We don’t say everything that we could/So that we can say later/Oh, you misunderstood/I hold my cards up/Close to my chest/I say what I have to/And I hold back the rest/Cause someone you don’t know/Is someone you don’t know/Get a firm grip, girl/Before you let go/For every hand extended/Another lies in wait/Keep your eye on that one/Anticipate/If there’s anything I’ve learned/All these years on my own/It’s how to find my own way there/And how to find my own way back home…” -Anticipate, Ani DiFranco


30 thoughts on “Anticipate

  1. There is something very freeing about writing a new story. Our first story is partly the one that birth and circumstance give us and partly our true self. The new one is all us, and then we just have to make sure we keep living the one we’ve chosen for ourselves.

    And because I couldn’t get comments to work on the post before this one: that quote (bees) is one of my favourite ones ever & is often posted in my house. And I love MO’s poem The Journey.

  2. What?? Emotions aren’t emergencies? Well, HOG WASH!
    j/k. I think I need to start sending money to your therapist, as I seem to be benefiting as well. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. yes! the next version of your story can take all the twists and turns you want it to, because it’s YOUR story to write! that’s a wee bit empowering, no?

  4. I think you are in a very good position. You can start/build a relationship where you both can get your needs met. Because, even if you don’t ask for what you need, you still expect them to meet those needs. And really, do we expect them to read our minds. I know I do, until I say it out loud and then it just sounds ridiculous.

    Sometimes the hardest thing is figuring out what I need, before I get pissed off that I am not getting it.

    Good luck. You can do this.

  5. It is actually a beautiful thing to receive. Because when you do, you are letting the other person experience the feeling of being a giver, too.

    Otherwise it’s kind of like when you give someone a compliment on their appearance only to have them say, “No, I look terrible.” Isn’t it more satisfying if they say “Thanks for the compliment. You made my day!”

    Maybe you could start small. Call up a friend and say “I need someone to listen.” Likely they will be flattered that you have honored them with the opportunity to give.

  6. another fabulous post, sizzle. i come from a long line of women who repress feelings. my mom was always the peacemaker, never talked about her own wants or needs but was always trying to please everyone. she had breast cancer 3 years ago and says she thinks she got sick from all those toxic feelings she kept inside all those years. whether or not that’s true, she has a point.

    i’ve been standing up for myself a lot more lately and i have to say, it’s scary. but, pushing myself outside my comfort zone is what i have to do to grow and change for the better. so, a little awkwardness isn’t gonna kill me.

  7. I love this post. And I love you standing up for yourself and how you feel, and rightfully claiming the things you need.

    I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve been belittled or insulted by people who repress their feelings because I don’t repress mine. It’s something I have to perpetually remind myself: that I am who I am, and I’m proud of that person.

    Having feelings, and expressing them, is such a huge part of life. I’ve always worn my heart on my proverbial sleeve, and while it hasn’t always served me well, I don’t know any other way to be. I don’t want to be any other way. Life is far too short not to say the things we mean, and mean the things we say.

  8. I feel that you might really enjoy (or at least take something away) from the book The Five Love Languages. It has worked wonders in my world – when I am open to it because we all know that there are days when nothing will do but a good ol’ pity party ๐Ÿ˜‰ It talks a lot about comparing ourselves and need for love (a very specific type of need for each of us) to a car and when you are on empty it is NO GOOD. You learn your love language and in turn it can help you to fill yourself up as well as others around you.

  9. I read an article yesterday about Julianna Margulies having an “Aha” moment where she remembered her mother’s voice saying, “Honey this is only a moment; it’s not the rest of your life.” I loved this. I think when things feel their toughest, it’s important to remind ourselves of this. The emotions will pass, the hurt will fade and soon enough we’ll be laughing again – better than ever. You’re going to be laughing soon, too.

    It’s so amazing to me the amount of insight you’ve gained in such a short period of time. YOU’RE DOING IT! You’re totally digging in and making your life a better, happier thing. That is awesome! And the giving? What a great thing to realize! Maybe you could make a list (sorry I love lists) of all the ways you could give to yourself more often. Then make one about all the things you know you deserve. Clarity is the best thing in the world. I hope you’re planning to pamper yourself somehow this weekend. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. While it’s a great thing to give to others, PLEASE learn to let others give back to you. Be selfish, do things for YOU, love and adore yourself. Go out and pamper yourself and let your friends and family pamper you. Because YOU DESERVE TO BE PAMPERED.

  11. Good luck on your new story! I am always shocked when my therapist points out something like that to me. I kind of want to stay in my own little world, thank you very much!

  12. So, as the more enlightened of the two of us, help me out here. My therapist is trying oh so hard to get me to acknowledge my feelings, to not shove any emotion immediately away. I’m supposed to actually figure out how I feel about things instead of searching for the logical response to what the other person wants to hear. How does this behavior make me unfulfilled and unhappy? Believe me, I get that it does. I’m just struggling as to why one causes the other. And maybe that is what I’ll have to talk about next week during my session?

    It helps me so much to read what you write along this journey of yours. I am on a similar journey, although way back at Step 1. But you give me hope to one day get to where you stand now.

  13. I pick the narrative. The truth is that I can spin the story of how I relate to others in any number of different ways. I can create a context for my actions that either diminishes or increases the power I have over my actions. The problem with the narrative wherein I have the power to choose my actions is that it requires me to accept myself as a person who has chosen certain postures to meet my internal needs. If I want to own my future actions, I am generally required to own the historical ones as well.

    This is the shit that Plato totally got right. That and the intercrural sex thing.

  14. *hearts* the poems from the last entry. The Bees really ARE making honey with the things they have found in you…just believe it.

    As for the Giver thing. It’s easier to give than to receive, mostly because we don’t feel worth it. When you start having to receive is when you have to break down those walls, and let them live there in you. It throws us out of balance, and makes us question, Is this Ok?

    It is okay to let people tend you, and give you what you need. I had to learn that lesson myself, firsthand. I felt propped up, like a wilted flower in a nursery for awhile there when it was bad, and I hated myself for that weakness…but it showed me, I DID need other people. It might make me a selfish cow, but? A good relationship goes both ways, and they will give when you need them to.

    Here’s a thing too– a friend told me that we go from one end of a spectrum to another, while we are figuring things out for ourselves. It settles down in time to a Normal Level. I’m here to say, it does. The crazy does ebb. Just remain in your own head and skin, and let yourself feel your feelings. (hugs)

  15. Yes. What you said. Yes. (There would be more but I’m both hungover and raw from my own week of Massive Self Growth Also With Some Disaster.)

  16. Yes and yes and yes! Re-write the story to make it what ever you want, involving whoever you want. Make it the best story it can be, the best you can imagine, because you deserve it all lady!

  17. I too am a giver, but the last few years, I have learned to say no and to mostly ask for what I want. It takes time and practice. Don’t be so hard on yourself. You are learning one little step at a time. Hugs. xoxo

  18. Loving that I’m reading this new story as you write it for yourself. Also, I used to think I told people what i needed and wanted. Then I married my husband. He has brought it to my attention that if I have ever said what I needed or wanted, it must have been silently.
    Huh. Who knew?
    Now, it’s getting used to making those statements aloud.

  19. Giving voice to our feelings, being aware of them, is a key part to our growth. I have to agree with Kaply and the therapist, they are neither fact nor emergency. If we treat them as such, we drive ourselves nuts! We need not hide our feelings, we just have to not judge ourselves for having them. Right?


    um…….. this statement could ruin my life!!!!!!! or i guess make it better…… but still!!

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