“Why are you crabby? You have so much to be grateful for. You and your family are healthy. You have a cozy home, a career you love, and amazing friends.”
“I know all that is true, and I’m very grateful, and I’m still crabby. Why can’t I be grateful and crabby at the same time?”
“I don’t know. Aren’t there rules about things like this, about how we are supposed to act and feel? At least that is what I’ve always thought, though I’m not so sure any more. So let me ask you. Can you be grateful and crabby at the same time?”
“Yes! Why not?”
That was the conversation I had with myself first thing Thursday morning.
It turned out that my crabbiness inspired me to pick up my journal and write. Who knew crabbiness could inspire? I scribbled “I’m crabby” over and over again, filling up about a third of a page in my college ruled spiral notebook.
I paused for another quick conversation with myself.
“Have I written this enough.”
The answer was clear. “No, you haven’t!”
So I continued to fill up another third of the page scribbling, “I’m crabby, I’m crabby, I’m crabby,” hoping this wouldn’t be my new mantra or possibly a new affirmation.
Finally having written enough, I looked at the page, closed the notebook, put down my pen, and smiled. Lighthearted and feeling wonderful, I went on to have a lovely day.
Acknowledging feelings. So powerful. So healing. So simple, though sometimes uncomfortable and even frightening. When I gave this unwelcome feeling a voice, it’s hold over me disappeared as if a spell had been broken.
I have no doubt I’ll be crabby again. When I am, I hope to remember that listening to my feelings, whatever they may be, has the power to lighten my heart, ease my pain, and offer understanding, self-compassion, and peace.