Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Reading With Friends

I'm subscribed to daily emails from an online book club. Suzanne Beecher heads up the book club and she writes a daily "Dear Reader" prelude to the excerpt of the particular book we are previewing. Suzanne's words make me laugh...and they have made me cry...and they almost always touch my heart. This was her post today:

"I was feeling pretty sad and disappointed a few weeks ago and when I mentioned it to a friend she matter-of-factly said, "Okay, and why is that a problem?" Her rationale was that most people tend to walk around thinking they should feel happy and cheerful every day, and if they aren't, they see it as a failure. But it's not. Because that's just the way life is--up and down, happy and sad. My friend sold me on her theory and I decided to stop resisting and give myself permission to feel sad and disappointed. And do you know what? Almost immediately it took some of the pressure off, because I didn't need to "fix" the way that I felt anymore. I could just "feel" whatever came my way. My usual routine--when I'm not feeling great--is to work hard at pretending I'm happy. This method definitely hasn't proved to be successful in the past. Because if I turn away from what I'm feeling, I'm just postponing a hurt that I'll end up having to deal with later. And the tricky part about later, is that my sad and disappointed feelings then show up as anger. I turn into one angry, irritated Suzanne, and by then I can't explain why. It's a messy job--working through crummy feelings, walking through the mud and muck--but it's a necessary journey. Having a lousy day? Hey, grab your boots, and let's walk together. I'll be happy to show you the way. Thanks for reading with me. It's so good to read with friends."
Suzanne Beecher
Blog: http://dearreader.typepad.com/

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