Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Singing About Feelings

I stayed home from work today. Lack of sleep (my own fault) and internalized stress brought on a massive migraine that had me down for the count. So I slept and thought and kept things quiet. I went online a few times and I came across this little gem.

Yes, it's Sesame Street again. Yes, I'm 35 years old and Sesame Street is still teaching me about feelings.

{p.s. Grover is my favorite muppet. Don't even get me started on the genius of "The Monster at the End of This Book."}

{Also, Dave Matthews. YES.}

Like Grover said, "Oh, David, to be honest I do not know what to call this feeling I feel."

It's weird and serendipitous and maybe a little ridiculous, but this little song helped me to sit down and think about it. I have a wish that I made almost a year ago and it hasn't come true. I'm jealous of my friends who have what I want, but proud of them and so glad they're my friends.

It's not a good feeling. But it's there and it's valid and I have to make space for it.

I grew up in a house where we always had permission to feel what we were feeling. There were healthy boundaries about how we expressed those feelings, but they were always valid. Somewhere along the way, though, acknowledging those not so good feeling started to be too risky, too vulnerable. Too painful. So I started to push them down or cover them up. I cover them up with distractions or projects. I create a million ways to avoid those feelings, but I rarely create space to just feel them.

I had the gift in the spring and summer to regularly meet with a therapist. BEST THING EVER. One of the things she helped me realize is that while, yes, I can do hard things (a family mantra), there has to be room for me to just be. She helped me give permission to myself to once again feel what I feel and create space for it to just be there. That doesn't mean I dwell on it; but acknowledging it, finding that word to tell what I'm feeling helps me to move forward.

{print made by my incredibly talented friend Robin Plemmons 
and available in her etsy shop, lemonswithapea}

When I do this, when I don't squelch the uncomfortable, risky, vulnerable feelings, I can then say with all the enthusiasm of that sweet Grover, "I am joyful that _____!"  And I can really mean it.


  1. What a beautiful post Leslie. I completely understand, I grew up in the same kind of home...but I sometimes hate the way I feel and want to push it aside because it's ugly or embarrassing or I wish I didn't feel the way I do. I have struggled for years with jealousy and frustration at the way God has worked in our lives. I am praying that God will show you how to deal with your jealousy, that he will fill you with joy and peace, and you will thoroughly enjoy this life he has given you. Your post was a blessing to me.

    1. Oh, thank you, Lexi! What kind words. I'm grateful for your companionship in this even if we don't get to see each other very much. Many of your own blog posts have been such an encouragement in this season!

  2. We call those days "mental health days" around our house. Everyone needs them. Good for you recognizing that you needed to slow down and take care of your soul instead of just soldiering on. What good does that do? LOVE YOU!

    1. We call them that, too! And you're right, it doesn't do one bit of good, the opposite actually. Love you, you awesome almost-marathoner :)

  3. I love this. I do that very same thing. Even the idea of "creating space to just feel" is so scary! But good. So, so good.

    Glad you're blogging again!!

    1. It's scary and inconvenient and HARD, but oh so necessary. Also, love that I didn't even have to send you the link ;)


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