Though our emotions are not always true, they can lead us toward the truth. But first we
have to make a commitment to taking a look at them. Emotions following a traumatic event such as a suicide, can collect in such a way that we neglect them. Granted, sometimes those feelings have to be set aside in order to pay the bills, put food on the table and do the laundry. Eventually though, we find they can no longer be ignored.
One Item at a Time
It is not an easy task to sort through our emotions and decide which ones are truthful and which ones are big fat lies. But, when we decide to attend to them it will be time well spent. Sometimes, we may even discover a nugget buried in the clutter.
For instance, I’ve shared before how my oldest son’s rebellion was the catalyst that caused me to consider my anger. Though I justified my wrath toward him, I uncovered more to my anger than what I unloaded on my son. My rage was meant for my father and my mother.
Certainly, every child desires at least one of their parents who will say and do the right thing and be the rock in a shifting world. My father was that rock for me. He was the one who I relied on, trusted for support and who loved me. It was an unbearable event when he ended his own life.
After that, all I had was my mother. But, she’d never been the one to whom I connected with on an emotional level. She was not the one I went to when in need of comfort, advice or encouragement. Though she was all I had left, I still had nothing left. In a way, I’d lost both of my parents.
Coming to terms with the obvious loss of my dad was difficult. Understanding that my mother was emotionally unavailable was baffling.
It will always be a mystery as to why it took me so long to see my misplaced anger as well as why my oldest son had to be the recipient of it. But, finally I admitted the hardest thing for any child to admit; their anger toward one or both parents.
Neither of them had done the right thing and both had let me down. Uncovering this kernel of truth led me to letting go of my resentment toward them and reconstructing my relationship with my son.
Why bother sorting through our emotions? The emotions we collect may be worth collecting if they show us a seed of truth. But first, we have to take a look.