Since late last year, I've been doing a lot of thinking about getting my own house in order.
You know, clearing emotional baggage, yadda, yadda, yadda.
I'm not the kind of person who wears their feelings on their sleeve.
I'm more like Hmmmm. I don't know what to do with this emotion. Let's just bury it in the basement, close the door, and forget it's there.
Which is basically a prescription for an ulcer.
Or a lifetime of bitterness.
Frankly, I don't know which is worse.
But the bottom line is this: Sometimes it's hard for us to say what we truly feel.
Here are ten things that all of us -- at one time or another -- have had a hell of a time admitting...
1. I'm sorry.
This one is the Big Kahuna. Even the mere thought of having to say these two words is liable to induce choking. But, man, if we can summon the courage to utter a genuine, heart-felt apology, it can bring relief like nothing else.
2. I love you.
While definitely as powerful as I'm sorry, this one packs a tad more vulnerability: Few things can be more daunting than laying your heart on the line. Maybe you want to confess this (for the first time) to your new significant other. Or maybe you're in a well-oiled partnership that is as old as wine and should say I love you more. Chances are, we all know someone we could say these three words to more often.
3. I f*cked up.
Maybe you said the wrong thing. Maybe you did the wrong thing. And whether or not you knew it was wrong then -- and in your defense, perhaps you really didn't know it was wrong, but you know now that it was wrong. Maybe you're not genuinely sorry about the mishap, but you still know you messed up. And it can be hard as hell to admit it. Even though you would probably feel better by doing so.
4. I don't know.
Mothers. Fathers. Construction workers. Teachers. Broadcasters. Singers. Writers. Doctors. Politicians...I could go on with this list until I'm blue in the face. No matter how skilled we are at what we do, none of us knows everything. Sometimes circumstances and situations arise when we've got nothin.' We're fresh out of ideas. Fresh out of directions. Fresh out of answers. We just don't know what to do next. And although this happens to the best of us -- all of us -- it's often considered a weakness to acknowledge it.
5. I'm hurt.
This one here is tricky. It's tricky because hurt is a chameleon. Right after it occurs, you can dress it up to look like anger, or you can take the other extreme and brush it off to hide the fact that you were ever hurt at all. Regardless, hurt won't just go away. It festers.
6. I'm angry.
But there's no masquerading this one. Anger is ugly, in your face, and, frankly, dangerous. If hurt simply festers, anger festers and lingers. Which is basically akin to an emotional powder keg. I'm angry symbolizes a fire that has been ignited within is -- and not in a good way. But the worst part is that we'll often try everything in our power to deny admitting it.
7. I'm afraid.
Back when I was in college, someone -- I forget whom -- told me this, and I've never forgotten it: There are only two emotions in this world: fear and love. That every single emotion we are capable of feeling stems from either fear or love. And when I thought about it, I totally agreed. When I've been mad, sad, confused, or frustrated, fear -- of not having the answer, of not being able to change my circumstances, etc. -- has usually been the true culprit. Like hurt, fear can also change shape and color.
8. I forgive you.
Few things suck more than being wronged by someone -- and then having to forgive them. But forgiving ourselves can be even harder. About a month ago, I posted the following on Facebook:
9. I'm letting this go.
Have you ever just been tired? Tired of that relationship. That job. That routine. Tired of whatever is not working. But as much as you desire change, something is keeping you from pulling the trigger and altering your course of action. But, ultimately, in your bones, in your core, you know that you are ready to move on. And move on, you must.
10. I deserve this.
A loving partner. The job we truly want. A better life. Before we can attain whatever it is that we want, we won't have a snowball's chance in hell of getting it unless we admit that we deserve it first.
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