My mother says that we, she and I, are “brightly colored people”.
My friends have described me as fiery and passionate.
My husband, I suspect, just wishes I wasn’t such a bitch sometimes.
And no, he would never actually call me a bitch. I’m not even sure he’s ever gone so far as to say I was acting like a bitch, but I’m pretty sure that’s what “what? WHAT? What the HELL, BRITT?!!?” means in Jared speak. And let’s be honest, if you’ve been around me for 5 minutes or read this blog EVER you can probably imagine that it is possible that I could maybe be a bitch. Sometimes.
ANYway, my point is that I am… fiery. My emotions flare hot, fast and high. They have the power to engulf entire relationships in seconds, leaving singed trees and panting bodies in their wake.
I’ve spent a lot of time and money trying to learn how to temper this part of me with logic and reasoning and lofty ideals of who I want to be. I have the utmost admiration and respect for those who have cool heads and the ability to hold their tongue. I am so, so grateful that there are people in this world who do not burn quite as hot as I seem to.
And yet… all that admiration and time and money and self-help books and therapy and meditation and really, really trying to not be so damn fiery has left me exactly where I started.
“What do I do with these feelings?” I asked my therapist. A lot.
“You feel them, Britt. That’s the only thing you can do with feelings,” she told me. Every time.
I have big feelings. Big, loud, instant feelings. My efforts to not feel what I’m feeling because of what I think I should be feeling have been… not good.
But I also don’t want to be a bitch.
And there may, come to find out, be a way for me to be fiery without being downright mean. Or overly critical. Or bitchy. (Yes, I know YOU already know this and everyone else in the world already knows this but this is NEW TO ME.)
Here’s what I’m trying to practice now:
Feelings. Feel them. If you’re sitting in front of me or on the phone with me when I’m feeling something, you’re going to know it. They flare. You’ll hear a lot of “I feel…” and “I think…” and maybe even some “ARGHGHGHGHDKGHFSDKHLLKHJKFDKFUCKDFKJDF”.
“And YOU -”
And that’s where I stop. Because that part? Right there? That’s no longer about my feelings, which I have a right to. That, right there, is apparently the fine line between sharing your experience and criticizing.
That little bit of wisdom cost me $90.
I’m giving it to you for free.