sometimes not getting it right is okay…

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i’m not sure where it started or why i’m really like this, but i don’t like “sad” & i don’t feel like i do it very well. it’s like i dread “the sad feeling” as much i dread the whatever that’s causing the sad. cancer. sick doggy. moving baby girls to college. a friend that’s battling terminal illness. whatever. all of it.

it’s like i’ve always viewed that emotion like an unwanted house-guest ( i only use that cliche because it’s all i could come up with . honestly…there’s really no such thing right? but you get where i’m going with this) who comes for a short visit but stays. like forever. and ever.

for some reason i’m so afraid that if i let myself just be sad, or grieve, it’ll never go away and that i’ll be sad forever. which clearly isn’t truth but still.

i can actually remember the first time i felt this way about sadness. i was a little girl. we lived in nashville so i was probably 6 or 7 at the time.   i can picture the family room, or den actually- dark brown paneling & all. i even remember which side of the room i was sitting. so anyways, i was watching gomer pile ( early 70’s thank you very much) and sergeant was being mean to gomer. i felt so sorry for gomer & must have started to cry. i’m not even sure which parent walked by, but i vividly remember not wanting them to see me be sad. how dumb is that? i wasn’t raised to stuff my emotions. i wasn’t raised in a home where we only were happy and that was the only allowed emotion. i honestly have no idea why i’m like this. but i’ve been this way ever since. i don’t like sad & i don’t like people see me be sad. what a weirdo.

even when i lost gregg it’s like i was so afraid to just “feel the sad”….i watched a strong healthy guy die of cancer and barely hold his baby girl and i couldn’t even allow that sadness in, which of all times was the most obvious & most necessary.  one day i was standing by the sink talking to my mom, gregg was near the end & it was just so awfully heart wrenching. i was crying. just a little but i was crying. and savannah walked up to me & asked if i was okay. dusting off the tears i knelt down with a big smile & told her i was totally fine. just fine. fine. she then asked why the tears were in my eyes. i remember my mom saying that i should let her see me be sad & that was okay…and healthy. gosh. i just couldn’t. i was so afraid that she’d think everything wasn’t okay. well of course it wasn’t okay but i think i figured well at least mama will be okay. life was sad enough during that time but i wanted my girls to at least see mommy happy.

i probably messed that one up. honestly to this day i still wonder if i taught them to stuff it all in instead of just wanting three little girls to know we could still laugh & giggle and that mama was gonna be okay. i’m thinking i failed “emotional health 101”. i’m not sure i did it right or even now, if i’m doing it right. but trying to give myself the grace that we’re all just trying to do the best we can…and sometimes “not getting it right” is okay…

now many years later with losing brinkley…dan’s cancer diagnosis last fall….even moving emi to college last week, i felt myself do it all over again. only allowing my heart to feel so much at at a time. one of these days i’ll get it right. i’m sure thankful for sweet friends that have been so sweet & thoughtful these last few weeks…friends that can acknowledge the sad but then tell me some inappropriate joke or something silly just to get me to laugh. allowing a little of the sad but helping me not let it stay too long.
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my girls have had great summers & made some awesome memories. i feel like i have lots to share. and noonday has launched a beautiful new line…you must go check it out…and i have loads of photo sessions & some sweet stories of encouragement to connect to those as well. i’ve seen the hand of God all over us, carrying us & blessing us this summer. i’ll admit blogging has sorta taken a back seat and can be hard to make the sacrifice of time to write & share but i’m thankful for this little spot & for YOU! you sweet readers have been loyal & such a blessing through it all.

savannah’s drafted a couple posts about her travels abroad this summer & she’s got some great tips for you. that’s coming soon.

emi’s bid day at UGA was night before last & that’s so fun..can’t wait to share that.

madison is working her tail off & her fall semester begins next week. she had a great week down on the gulf serving as a mommy’s helper & i’d love to share some of those images.

caroline’s playing high school volleyball & was just chosen as captain.

i still hear my sweet brinkley as i go through the house & he’s in my heart all the time. i’m praying there’s a sweet golden out there who needs a home and will be with us sooner than later. obviously i still have much i’d love to share about that boy. i honestly feel like pets as wonderful as brinkley are truly a taste of the unconditional love we have from jesus. i’m so thankful that i’ve had that in many dogs in my lifetime & especially with my brinkley.
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August 19, 2015 - 10:09 am

Terri - Thank you for sharing, the bitter and the sweet. What amazing girls you have! Beautiful! Your reflections reminded me of when my mom died (she was 52, I was 30 and my daughter, 5). As one of three sisters, there was a difference of opinion as to if the little ones should go to the funeral. I remember a wise friend telling me that our little ones needed to see family go through the hurts *together* so they could see the support and how much love we shared. This opened my eyes to so many things. I am sorry for the loss of your beloved golden.

August 19, 2015 - 10:27 am

sheri - Great post and an awesome pic of you and Dan – hot momma 🙂

August 19, 2015 - 1:18 pm

Alisa - It’s OK to be sad-God gave us that emotion so we lie closer to him!!! Beautiful post-

August 19, 2015 - 2:38 pm

Jan Fusco - I don’t know why I fall apart over the loss of pets. The tears are just flowing down my face. I’ve never had any children. I married late in life and I have a sweet 25 year old step son that I love. But I have had pets and lost pets. And it always tears me to pieces. As you said, that unconditional love they give is such a sweet reminder of Jesus’love for us. Thinking of you in the loss of Brinkley and the adjustments of your girls going here and there and leaving home and growing before your eyes. Don’t hide your sadness…if we don’t feel sadness, how would we know how happy “happy” feels.

August 19, 2015 - 2:48 pm

Cécile Sauvage - As usual, I like your “simple thoughts” …and your pictures !
Bises de Provence à vous six (spécialement à Savannah !).
Cécile

August 19, 2015 - 3:36 pm

Linsey @ Bravehearted Beauty - I get not wanting to feel too much sadness. I was the same way. I was afraid it would consume me, and then sadness would be all I’d feel, all the time. And friend, in some ways, it feels like that’s exactly what happened when I let myself REALLY feel. I couldn’t stop the sadness. I couldn’t keep it out or make it go away or make it pipe down. And Lord knows I wish I could! But then there’s this gift. I’ve become more present to ALL feelings. Not just my own, but to other people. I can enter into other people’s stories in ways I never could before. I’ve become a safe place for people to fall apart. People who say they NEVER cry fall to pieces in front of me, and it’s the most beautiful thing in the world. Just to sit and be a safe place for someone’s tears. Because tears are SO sacred. Why else would God bottle them up? He’s got a wall full of beautiful tear jars in heaven with my name on them! Have you seen “Inside Out”? It’s absolutely brilliant. I think you’ll relate to Joy so much. I was joy once, then became all sad. But now, I’m learning that a whole heart is BOTH. At the end of the movie, joy and sadness hold hands. Such a beautiful picture. Clearly I could write a lot about this! 😉 LOVE YOU. And love your honesty and your awareness. Good stuff! xoxo

August 19, 2015 - 4:37 pm

Lisa Mothersead - You sounded like a sweet little girl. And Savannah, too, worried about her mom. Ahhh! From what I understand from psychologists (family) around me, as long as you’re not internalizing it all, it’s ok. I yell, laugh, cry easily and basically annoy everyone around me half the time. haha. But, i don’t which is “better”. And congrats to your new Alpha Chi. My youngest was an Alpha Chi, too. 🙂

August 19, 2015 - 7:35 pm

Lori H - Paige,
I understand all that you are saying. While I wasn’t specifically taught to stuff down my feelings, I do sometimes feel that if I let in the sad, I am “wallowing” in it, which was a no no in my house growing up. My daughter’s best friend died from cancer when they were 15 and I had to make sure that I wasn’t passing on that “emotional constipation” if you will pardon the phrase. I am not sure if I succeeded, but isn’t that how we all feel at one point or another? We all are in need of a tremendous amount of grace, and thank GOD He can provide it. Whew. My heart aches for you in the loss of Brinkley. At the same time you were losing him, my sister lost her golden, Chloe, who was her only “child”. I pray that you soon have only peace and good memories when you think of Brinkley, and a wiggly golden body to love on soon.

August 20, 2015 - 12:18 am

cathy g - Beautiful post……. I can stay in “sad”mode for way too long…….thanks again for keeping it real 🙂

August 20, 2015 - 8:22 am

Donna - I’m so sorry about your dog . we get so attached to them. They become members of our family. My daughter lost her Golden last summer suddenly to a heart attack while at my house . She still cries when she talks about her. We had a lab for 13 years that we still miss. The memories are so endearing but I know can be painful. Pets bring such joy to our lives. I know God will bring you another furbaby to enjoy. Have a wonderful day.

August 20, 2015 - 2:49 pm

martha - Paige, it’s good to just have the feelings and feel them some….lots of life changes, loss, and celebrations, and even fear. Tackle them tenderly…they won’t swallow you up.
And I’m sad for Brinkley for you too..we lost Duchess 2 years ago almost and I miss her every day still…she was a 12 yr old golden. Am praying for my next furry friend, really wasn’t ready til a few months ago but I am now. Another golden I think it has to be. Hang in there, thanks for the transparency you gave here, and step into Fall..it’ll be chock full of all kindsa goodness, and LEARNING, and growth too, I’m sure. For all of us!

August 20, 2015 - 7:10 pm

Kellie - I have always been that way about the sad too. Well, until I lost my dad is 2014. For about 6 months I patted myself on the back because I was doing so well and taking such good care of my mom. Then after she moved in with my sister and we were all living side by side and settled I crashed. Now I can’t get OUT of the sad…I try…I just get dragged back in so easily. I think that by trying so hard to push myself forward and not get into the grief I actually set myself up for a great big fall. It’s hard to know what is best and we generally do the best we can so don’t beat yourself up mama…you have some precious girls!

Losing a pet is so terribly sad. We lost our lab at 14 and I would still see him out of the corner of my eye…even years later. He was with during our newlywed stage, 3 houses, through us becoming parents…so many things they are with us as our lives change. And their love remains constant. I hope you find yourself a new guy or gal to love on soon.

August 21, 2015 - 2:16 am

Destiny - This is good; real good…

August 23, 2015 - 10:46 am

tara - the struggle is real…letting yourself feel whatever it is that you’re feeling. praying for you, as you navigate all the change.

i always struggled with being sad, too…finding the good and the positive in situations helped me survive a lot when I was little. also, if i’m being honest, the things I was secretly sad about, the world around me couldn’t handle…so I just tucked it all way down deep. Until I couldn’t anymore. God has a way of graciously getting us to a place when the things we’ve always done to “survive” don’t work anymore.

if he is allowing this season to be a season where you can’t tuck it in and hide it down deep, he’ll give you everything you need to feel what it is you’re feeling. and you’ll be better and stronger for it…and all the people that matter the most in your life will be more than okay with handling your feelings.

August 23, 2015 - 2:03 pm

Lisa Mothersead - Ditto.

August 25, 2015 - 10:05 am

Denise - Paige, I really needed to read this today…You are an awesome, awesome friend and you do always find the positive in any situation. It is ok to feel sad…Just know that you are loved and prayed for.

September 1, 2015 - 1:18 pm

Sasha - Okay this spoke to me really deeply because firstly I am the total opposite. I couldn’t hide my emotions if I tried, which I never do and I probably should… Ava and I were having a girls date and we watched a movie I should probably be embarassed that I let her watch called the Other Woman and we LOVED it and laughed so hard…. but there is this part where Cameron Diaz tells the other girl to “Cry on the inside like a winner” and we were literally DYING over that part because now whenever I get emotional in front of my daughter who is just exactly like you described yourself, I tell her that I am TRYING to cry on the inside like a winner… only I just can’t! Its deep i know. Ha! The point. Good and bad to all of our personalities and I wish I was just a little bit more like you (and my daughter) and a little less of my emotionally vomiting self that I am. But whatever… it’s who we are and that’s okay. God knows. LOve you sweetie. Sorry for the book!!