In our family, we talk about U-Haul moments—dating back to the time when Liesl suddenly figured out that U-Haul meant, well, “you haul.”
Yesterday I had a U-Haul moment.
For the past few weeks I’ve felt an unusual amount of anger. Rage, actually. It flares up quickly, rising up like a whirlwind from my gut, and it takes all I’ve got not to lash out.
Fortunately, Willa doesn’t trigger it. Usually it’s our dog Brady, whose in-your-face, high-strung energy gets on my last nerve. (He gets a lot of time-outs, when sometimes it’s me who needs one.)
Yesterday I figured out that the anger was anxiety, boiling up and spilling over.
Huh. Go figure.
I’m not very good at anger. Not good at acknowledging it, not good at feeling it, not good at expressing it (appropriately or otherwise).
At most, I get snippy. When I describe an incident where “I was really mad,” my friends laugh at me.
So this anger, and this anxiety, they’re opportunities. Opportunities to learn to live in my heart.
Almost twenty years ago, a career assessment counselor wrote about me, “Heather is a feeler who thinks through her emotions.”
That annoyed me—and stuck with me.
And yesterday, for the first time, I really understood what he meant. I always knew what he meant about keeping my emotions at arm’s length, about projecting them on the wall of my mind rather than living in that messy feeling space.
But yesterday I caught a glimpse, just a tiny one, of what it might be like to live in the messy space.
And have that be OK.