Change is possible – if we deal with feelings first

Sometimes (okay, most of the time) it’s invaluable to have someone outside of yourself alert you when life seems to have derailed from normalcy.

Such was the case recently.

The other day my wife asked me, “Why have so many of your blogs been so sad and depressing?”

At first I was slightly perplexed. I read and re-read each and every post at least three or four times before I ever hit the “publish” button, and couldn’t necessarily say “sad” and “depressing” were the only sentiments I’d use to describe them.

Writers often pour the emotions they’re feeling at any given moment into their work, and I’m no different I suppose. And while I wouldn’t use the words “sad” or depressing” to describe my current state of mental health, I guess there was a part of me which must have been feeling some of that.

I guess one could say they were subconscious emotions hovering overhead and emerging in the form of a blog.

My typical reaction to such a perception is to immediately get defensive (not an unnatural reaction). But this time was different. This time instead of getting defensive, I thoroughly examined my wife’s perception and asked myself the question, “Is my writing becoming one sad and depressing story after another?”

Moreover a man I’ve revered for decades, and whose remarks were staples in my blogs and articles, has all but disappeared. His humble, poignant messages of inspiration used to comfort and console me (and countless others), and yet I can’t remember the last time I referenced his words. This man is everyone’s favorite neighbor – Fred Rogers.

I found the following passage not only incredibly timely for this post, but accurate as well. “There’s no “should” or “should not” when it comes to having feelings. They’re part of who we are and their origins are beyond our control. When we can believe that, we may find it easier to make constructive choices about what to do with those feelings.”  Fred Rogers

It’s important to remember that change is possible. We can’t try to bury and conceal the true emotions we’re feeling in our hearts. That denial will do little to change the way you’re feeling and only prolong the emotions for an unspecified duration of time.

However, we must learn to compartmentalize those emotions in order to “make construction choices about what do with those feelings.” And sometimes what you need to do couldn’t be easier – close the door on the past and live for today.

I’m incredibly grateful for my wife’s perception as it will continually be on my mind when I sit to craft my next post.

It serves as a reminder of all the amazing people and circumstances I’m blessed to have in my life, and sometimes forget to acknowledge. But most of all it reminds me that life is what you make of it, and if your daily routine is becoming “sad” and “depressing” it might be time to make some constructive choices about your feelings.