How do you share your thoughts, your feelings, when you’re unable to understand why you’re voicing them in the first place?

When your own reasoning is obscure…

When the point of your thoughts actively swims away from your grasp, hastily plunging into muddy, mental waters…

This is how nearly all of my deeper emotional moments captivate my mind, loudly begging me to chase down their meanings.  This is also the very reason I write.  Description and understanding fuel my busy mind.  I want, more or less need, to unravel my own mystery.  Does that make sense?

Yesterday, my youngest daughter fell asleep on my lap.  Her active two year-old little body momentarily stilled, enraptured by a subconscious dreamland.  These moments have become all too fleeting.

Wanting to see her resting face, I took my phone and snapped a photo of us together.  We’re on my in-laws divan, nestled together.  Her small frame is tethered by warmth to mine as I view the photo I just took.

My eyes witnessed what I knew I would find; her small, cherub face touched by the glow of peace that only sleep brings a small child.


Without warning, I felt on the cusp of an ugly cry session.  Why does the sight of my safely, sleeping child pressed against my chest reduce me to tears?  Why am I plagued with the anxiety of absolutely losing my emotional sanity that very moment?

I have learned that our inner ambiguity does come with options.  We are unrestrained; free to choose resolution, or flee into the land of dispassion. We can acknowledge our feelings, or walk far from them.

The power really is ours.  Emotion does not correlate weakness.  Showing emotion doesn’t make you lesser, either. It’s human.

Even when we don’t understand our emotion, we can be bold, free-diving into the blackness of our own confusion, shielded by the blazing fire of our own curiosity. It’s okay to cry and not know why, and then will yourself to find the answer.

We are allowed to set off in exploration of our own feelings, because sometimes, we need to lean into our emotions to understand how they arrived at our mind’s or heart’s doorstep.

We are also allowed to turn away, fearful or impartial to what lies beneath our confusion. Sometimes, we need to shelter ourselves from emotion because it hurts.  It’s okay to hide for a moment too, just not forever.

As I sat upon the divan cradling my sleeping toddler, I chose option number one. I started to sift through the why of my impending hysterics, as I tried to keep from swerving into the cry lane.

Unapologetically, I tend to be that person who obsesses over the deeper meaning of a moment.  It’s the same way I listen to music, especially the sappy kind–I want to feel the lyrics, I want the words to evoke emotion.

As I dug through my unbalanced, emotional state, I found the trigger. The picture I’d taken of the present transcended a picture my father-in-law had taken in the past. I wrote about that picture after it had a massive strike on my heart, a year and half ago.

Anabella being held by her Great Granny Polly, who passed away a year and half ago. The image flashed in my head like a slow blinking, strobe light. The memory came alive inside my mind.


{Anabella softly curled into Granny Polly’s chest, her little eyes closed, soothed by the sound of Polly’s heart.}

On the brink of overwhelming sensibility, I often have to remind myself that not everything needs to be understood.  I have to force myself to not act on the emotion, or even acknowledge its presence.

Otherwise, I will run myself in circles, trying to understand every emotion that skitters across the plane of my life.

On the verge of heavy tears, my husband called that moment. I didn’t have to choose–to sink into the moment, or run away from it–he was my reprieve from the infamous ugly cry that burned at the edges of my eyes.

Instead, I got to hold the moment, cupping it in my hands, before I placed it back into the pocket of my heart.

Even if I didn’t chase for the clarity of my heavy emotions, I was blessed with the understanding regardless…

Time is such a gift.

All my daughters have been blessed to be in the presence of their great-grandmothers.

Time gave them that gift.

The picture of Granny Polly with Anabella stirs something deep within me, the variations of the butterfly affect and the humility tied to it–we all come from somewhere and have an affect on someone.

“I have learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”                 –Maya Angelou

By choice, all of their great-grandmothers have shown their great-granddaughters love–the most influential language.

Their character gave my daughters that gift.

Today, I am so thankful for not only the treasure of time, but also emotions–the sad, heart-wrenching kind, the joyful kind, the ugly kind, and even the fearful kind–because they truly are the building blocks that construct the moments that make a life.

Author: Sarah Black

I'm a self-professed 'Drama Mama'...of four daughters, I blog to (over)share my stories on learning to maintain my sanity by strictly eating laughter in the emotional land of motherhood while trying to keep my husband from running away from the sheer amount of estrogen flooding our house.

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