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messy feelings by proxy

May 21, 2013

I wanted the title to be an anagram (which originally was “messy feels prx”), but I only allow myself to add 1 extra letter to make an anagram work, and that wouldn’t have been sufficient. Still, I found myself thinking about ‘messy’ and ‘proxy’ and ‘feels’  . . .  I don’t actually know what the title means, but it does resonate with what I wanted to write about, so I kept it.

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As seen on Twitter, Judith Weston:

As soon as you tell yourself that your feelings are wrong, you can’t do anything creative.

Two days ago, Spouse read the blog post I wrote that day, and came home thinking I was all bummed out. I wasn’t. More like bemused. Or maybe musing.

I’m in a different wyxzi than I was when I wrote it, and my current wyxzi feels that perhaps I was too harsh about certain aspects. There’s always a part of me that (helpfully) pipes up just after I’ve disclosed something particularly heartfelt, and suggests that perhaps my feelings were somewhat strident, or maybe even incendiary. Basically, part of me inflicts a tone argument on whichever other part wrote about my feelings.

I feel internal pressure to apologize for my feelings. Or to write a second post, backtracking.

Usually I manage to resist those impulses.

Blogging has given me a place to explore my own feelings at length . . . wherever they might take me. My feelings don’t all agree with each other; some are downright contradictory.

And yet, I’ve come to find that a good thing.

When I’m willing to go . . . anywhere. . . that my feelings lead me, I discover all sorts of things that I never would’ve guessed.

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Yesterday my volunteering place emailed me a training course evaluation form. Even though I knew I would want to write something substantial in the comment section — necessitating dictating / editing /revising, etc., and probably spilling over to a second sheet, I still went ahead with a pen and handwrote some of the shorter answers.

Question 10: Do you plan to lead at least 2 field trips this season? If not, why?

As I wrote my answer, I realized that the words I was using conveyed the exact opposite of a deeply held principle. One that guides a great many of my actions.

I walked around, thinking, reevaluating. I whited out my first answer; gave a different answer. Thought/felt further.

I emailed my contact (which I’d been planning to do even before I got the evaluation form). My first attempt to explain my reasoning, I realized, was full of platitudes. I kept revising until I surprised myself. My actual fears deep down underneath were much different than the surface fears camouflaging them.

I shared with my contact what my real fears were. We had a genuine conversation about them, in which she admitted she (still!) occasionally has similar fears.

None of that could have been possible if I hadn’t been willing to probe deeper.

I was willing to probe deeper because I’ve committed to honoring all of my feelings by expressing them the way they need/want to be expressed. (And refusing to apologize for them, or qualify them, or otherwise dismiss or dishonor them.)

It remains tough to do that when I express things that are unflattering, that (I fear) make me appear weak, “flaky”, Weird In A Bad Way.

But it’s still the right to do. And by living with my discomfort, I’m learning how to live a better way.

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