Weighty Matters

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Managing Feelings and Emotions

on April 27, 2012

The news continues to worsen on my cousin’s condition unfortunately.  The sadness weighs heavy on my heart and spirit.

It hasn’t been easy, but I’ve managed to not overeat or eat inappropriately, despite the upset.  I know this is a very good thing, and I’m acknowledging the success.  It’s just that celebrating anything at this point is impossible, given the situation.

I’ve also experienced a good deal of clarity about everything.  I’m really aware of what I’m feeling and how it feels to be feeling these things — if that makes any sense.  I’ve also seen that I need to be super conscious of how I speak and act and how I respond to other people and situations.  I’m upset, sad, and heartsick — but even though I have a right to feel those emotions, I do not have the right to take them out on others.

I was reminded of something that happened decades ago with a guy friend who was heavily into drugs.  Normally a nice guy whether straight or stoned, he inexplicably and unjustifiably took my head off about something one night.  I don’t remember what, but I knew that I in no way deserved his reaction and I told him so.  “Give me a #&*@& break, I need a hit,” he replied, as if being strung out was a reasonable excuse.

A couple of times this week, I’ve run up against some aggravating or stressful situations.  I’m grateful that I had the clarity to feel how tense I was in those cases and that I realized that my reactions this week are definitely impacted by the underlying upset over my cousin’s accident.  Each time, I stopped myself from going with my first instinct — to snap out or snap back at the other person.  Instead, I mentally stepped back from the situation, took a deep breath to assess, and then responded more calmly than I felt inside.  In the end, it was more important to not escalate the drama than it was to be right.  This helped me prevent a negative interaction from getting even worse.

In one instance, I gave myself a mental talking to, internally saying, “Mary, just because this person is acting like a jackass doesn’t mean you have to be one too.”

By coincidence, one of my friends posted a photo of a poster on her wall this week.  It suggested that we T.H.I.N.K. before we speak, asking ourselves these things about what we’re about to say:

T – Is it True?

H – Is it Helpful?

I – Is it Inspiring?

N – Is it Necessary?

K – Is it Kind?

I found this extremely helpful this week.  I’m going to print it up to hang on my desk at work.  I think it’s a guideline that will continue to provide assistance, even when I’m not in the middle of a devastating, emotional, family crisis.

9 responses to “Managing Feelings and Emotions

  1. Marti says:

    Gotta know….
    What does FGBV mean? We’ve come up with several amusing (although most certainly wrong) guesses!

    • Mary Stella says:

      FGBV = Fairy Godmother Betty Vibes or Feel Good Betty Vibes. It comes from a community of wonderful people who frequented Lucy March’s Year and Change blog. We adopted Betty White as the ultimate and the community became known as the Betties.

      • marti91257 says:

        LOL – I was not close… Not even in the same zip code!! Love Betty White & want to be just like her when I grow up! 🙂

  2. Braless Betty says:

    The reason I love you so much Mary Stella is that you are a high road kind of gal and you set a wonderful example. FGBV’s.

  3. Marti says:


  4. robenagrant says:

    Big hugs, Mary. My thoughts are also with you and your cousin and your family. And I adore T.H.I.N.K. I’m going to type that up.

  5. nandragonflybetty says:

    You’re handling a difficult period in you life extraordinarily well, Mary. Hang in there and I love your T.H.I.N.K. list. Probably something we should all post in an obvious place.

  6. Skye says:

    The same as Karen said. My thoughts are with you and your cousin and your cousin’s family.

  7. (((hugs))) and FGBVs.

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