“Feelings”, seeing the word on the page it seems quite harmless. Pulling the letters apart, mixing them up (gnefneisl) these letter hold no meaning to me. However when I internalize what I think the word means to me, how powerful that word seems.
All my life, I was shown that feelings were a dark, mysterious force in the human existence. As a child I learned to fear some feelings in “others”. Anger, resentment, frustration would send me hiding to my favorite hiding spot. I also learned that what I thought I was feeling was incorrect. (There is nothing to be mad about, you shouldn’t cry about that, etc.) Since I wanted to please, I learned to put my feelings in a box. And as a child who loved mythology, it was Pandora’s Box. My Pandora’s Box was a jewel encrusted box made of gold. She was magnificent and yet what she held inside was both treasure and pain.
As I grew, I would often place items into my Pandora Box, feelings of my own, love, fear, hate, resentment. I made regular deposits along the way. Sometimes I would open this box just for a second to let some of those feelings out. And they came rushing out with full force. I learned to fear those emotions. And so they sat and sat and sat.
Then there came a time, when my box was just too small to hold all I had placed within, and these emotions, so well hidden; came out everywhere I went. Someone said something to me I didn’t like, well I told them. AT&T commercial, I cried like a baby. It seemed to me I was no better off feeling these things than I was before not feeling them. I feared this box even more. The dark magic is possessed, possessed me. I was an emotional wreck.
And so the journey to understand this box began. I noticed how I would completely validate “your” emotions while totally discounting mine. “You” were justified in your feelings, mine were stupid and senseless. I also noticed that this box had become quite heavy to carry, in fact too heavy.
So I sat down with my box. Looked at it from all angles, examined the rusted locks which kept it closed tight. And I decided to open it.
Bonnie was inducted into the Order of the Sword & Shield National Honor Society at St. John’s University, New York City for her work in Business Resilience.
Bonnie is Past Chair of the Association of Contingency Planners where she served for 6 years.
She is a proud native of New Orleans and has experienced what she calls, “The Katrina, Rita, Ike, Gustav, and BP Oil Spill” disasters first hand. She has had to learn how being resilience leaders and businesses to increased performance, achieve stronger relationships, and build mental toughness that we all need in today’s ever increasing busy world.
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