I don’t remember my first time I felt emotional. I also don’t remember the first time I thought being emotional made me weak. For most of my life, I felt this need to suppress my emotions. I think it started as a result of failed friendships and disappointing relationships. If I couldn’t feel, I couldn’t get hurt. I would tell myself: ‘Don’t act like you care too much, you don’t want to look thirsty.’ ‘Act like you’re unbothered‘. Whenever this overture of emotions took place, it changed me. The act turned into the fact, and became someone that I didn’t recognize. I didn’t know how to express myself and just became a shell trying to exist.
In college, I got into a serious relationship and opened myself up to feel again. However, I opened myself up to the wrong person and eventually when I was able to break free, I was in an even worse emotional state than before. I withdrew from family and friends. I turned into someone that lacked the ability to connect with others because I was scared that if I opened myself up or showed true self that I would be hurt and judged so I just didn’t.
After college, I moved to a new state and I wanted a fresh start. I set a goal to change grow as much as possible and to connect with as many people as possible. I just wanted to find my tribe and make a family away from home. However, life didn’t work out like that. Although I met a few genuine people, I also met some people that were not good for me. I was again at a crossroads and didn’t know what to do.
I ended up relocating back to my home state and I was ecstatic. I thought everything would finally fall into place. The excitement did not last long. I found myself constantly being questioned and having to fight against the image of me that people had came up with. Usually, I just go with the flow, however, I decided to stand my ground. I knew that I could no longer ignore my emotions and I had to face my trials head on. That was easier said than done.
As I began acknowledging my emotion, I dealing with an unbalance. I began to be hypersensitive and my responses to things become erratic. I was no longer going to hold back my feelings or opinions. Although I was glad that I was honoring myself and my feelings, I realized that this was not necessarily the right way to go about things. I consider myself to be non-confrontational and laid back so I didn‘t like the fact that there was always some drama going on that I had conjured up. I still was not happy. I was stuck between being too emotional or not caring at all.
I say all of this to say that there is a right way to do everything. There is a balanced way to do everything. Do I have to respond to everything? No. Does my response have to be confrontational, even when I feel slighted? No. Is there a right and wrong time to stand your ground. Yes. Should I give people the same grace that I expect them to give me? Yes. Life is not linear and it will not always be balanced, however, I think if we can self reflect and acknowledge that there is an imbalance, we can over come it. So the next time someone upsets you, take a deep breath, and ask yourself if your response makes sense.