My cousin is very brave when it comes to facing her feelings, and for years she’s practiced coping skills to help her with reactions from people who don’t want to discuss unpleasantries.
Several cousins got together for a picnic, and I listened to my cousin handle topics that truly used to terrify her. She knows how to use skills like recognizing painful emotion when they appear, naming her deep experience and staying in direct contact with temporary negative emotion. She responds honestly about how she feels by using specific language.
This is the grown woman who used to be so afraid to cry as a little girl that she wouldn’t blink and unchecked tears ran down her sweet cheeks. When both of us were younger, her desperation seemed unbearable. I relate to that because my desperation seemed unbearable at the time, too. It no longer appears that she struggles to speak of difficult things. She tells the truth, and seems to function on a higher plane of trusting herself.
It’s gratifying to watch a person grow and change through determined hard work. She refuses to accept unhappy communication as a lifestyle. My cousin wants to live a happy life, and she has earned her joys.
I find inspiration the way she approaches confrontation, uses her words to express whatever discomfort arises. She actually sits with her emotions until they pass. What a concept.
That particular skill seems so excruciating to me, because I feel afraid of my past sorrows or childhood shame, as readers of my blogs well know because I frequently write about coping skills, like reaching for a grateful expression of something can pull me out when I am afraid, or talking things over with a trusted listener.
Breathing helps me, as does listening to an intelligent brave soul live her life. I choose my heroes, and she’s one of them. To listen to my cousin grow and see her strength of character coming from a deep heartful place that she has cultivated is remarkable.