Juli McClelland

A letter to the heavy emotions in my life

Hi, all you pain inducing feelings,

You are an uncomfortable bunch. Ugh. Ok, honestly you don’t often get the credit you deserve. Let me give it to you.

Depression, you helped me see when I wasn’t really living the life I wanted. And you taught me that sometimes happiness is small, but it can do big things.

Anger, you taught me to use my voice, instead of bottling in my emotions. If I could offer you a loyalty customer punch card, you’d get a free ice cream for sure, but I finally learned what you wanted me to know: speak up.

Fear, you are so sneaky. You fascinate me, I thought I would outrun you, outwork you, outdo you at some level, but I know you’re always part of the ride. And I’m ok with that. You’ve shown me where I stopped believing I was safe, and that those beliefs didn’t have to be permanent.

Anxiety, you helped me discover when I was mixing up truth and fear. You’ve seen me run through an entire Netflix series (ok, more than once). You’ve seen me dive into a jar of frosting, into a glass-er-three of wine, into someone else’s problems because the fear felt more real than the truth. But I get it now, there’s always a higher level of truth.

Loneliness, ugh, you gave me a hard time. But if you never came, I wouldn’t have seen how much I was hiding from the world.

Jealousy, you showed me through other people what I wanted—and wasn’t doing—to create in my own life.

Betrayal, thank you for teaching me to have boundaries that honor me and relationships with mutual trust and respect.

Deceit, damn, I admit I can still feel a sting from you, but you have helped me to empathize and remember that we’re all humans with our own challenges.

Shame, you’re like the person who stayed at the party too long. You definitely overstayed your welcome, but it was my responsibility to tell you to go. Thank you for coming, you’re not invited to any of my parties anymore.

There are more of you I could speak to, but for now I want to say I accept you. You’re part of my life and when you show up, you always have a gift in hand—something that will help me grow. I’m not always quick to be grateful (you can laugh at that, we know quick isn’t really how it goes)—ahem, but I am ultimately appreciative.

I love my positive emotions, obviously, they get loads of attention. But that doesn’t mean you’re not an important part of my life. I want people to know that, so they can be ok with all the emotions in their spectrum too.

Thank you all for teaching me. I know as tough as you can feel, feeling you in my body will never destroy me. 

Love, Jules 

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