December 11 - Turning Confusion into Curiosity

When we were designing our eClubSoda website, we didn’t think much about the “H” word. We were excited to offer you this daily thought to nibble on throughout the day. It’s different now. For those of us who create this column, and for many who read it, the “H” word has become very significant.

The day that eClubSoda began on the Internet, a dear friend let us know in a very loving way that we had misspelled the word, “horsd’oeuvre.” I was grateful and wrote to our wonderful webmaster (and my dear son-in-law), Jay Huller, with a request to correct it which, as always, he did immediately. Then I received another letter, suggesting still another spelling. And then another. I also noticed that throughout our website, the “H” word had been spelled many different ways. So this began a chain of emails to Jay, and he diligently tried to meet every one of our requests.

To make a very long and frustrating experience a bit shorter, suffice it to say that it took a very long time to get each and every “H” word spelled and capitalized correctly. Sometimes I would misspell it by mistake in my emails to Jay, and he would understandably reflect that in the website. Sometimes it was just a case of miscommunication or lack of noticing a hyphen here or an “e” there! At one point, the “H” word came up on everyone else’s computer correctly, but on mine it was still misspelled. Life definitely had something for me to learn from this.

I got frustrated, exasperated, and intimidated! Thank goodness I didn’t medicate it away. Instead of reaching for the chocolate, a drink, or any other substance, I got curious about my feelings.

At one point, I put my head down on my desk and just cried (this was about 3:00 AM!). I couldn’t make myself be understood. No matter how hard I tried, someone would hear something different from what I intended. I felt hopeless and helpless to fix the problem. I couldn’t seem to do it alone.

“When have I felt this way before?” I asked myself with curiosity. The answer was easy. When I was at home as a child and my father would drink and rage, I intuitively knew there was a better way. But everyone kept telling me that what I saw wasn’t so and not to talk to anyone about what I saw. As a child this had an enormous effect on my feelings of safety and security. And on this day, when I could not be understood, those feelings quickly rose to the surface. In the past I would have moved quickly to numb these feelings, but this time I instead went toward them and as a result felt genuine relief rather than the artificial kind.

Armed with this awareness that I no longer had to do this all by myself and in silent suffering, I asked a few other people if they had any idea how to word what I wanted to say more clearly and then I typed one more email to Jay; in a heartbeat all of the “H” words suddenly matched; they were all correct!

It was like a miracle. I had found a powerful voice in the wisdom of my tears. I didn’t have to struggle with my perceptions and question myself anymore. I could speak in a clear, concise, and direct manner that which I saw and thus be understood. I was back in my adult mind!

Today, will you honor all of your feelings? Will you begin journaling so that you can understand them better? And above all, will you remember that we are doing this together? Will you practice saying when you do not know how to do something and then ask for help? Will you step out of your fear and into your adult mind?

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