When did it happen? The change, I mean. The transformation from singularity to multiplicity Really, life was simpler when something inside of me took a barometer reading of all my emotions and awarded “control” to the strongest one.
If I was happy, happy, happy, then that feeling served to override minor set backs and other disturbances in the universe. When my heart was broken, the hurt or the anger (depending on who did the breaking and how, usually) kept me from rejoicing over the daily miracles all around me, including those in my life who would do just about anything to help me mend and grow.
Somewhere along the way, things changed. I started feeling (deeply) conflicting emotions and instead of battling for supremacy, they found ways to co-exist. My heart can be breaking over a terrifying diagnosis and doing the happy dance with a friend who has just seen the ultra sound of their first grand baby. Neither emotion diminishing the other.
I used to think that adults were insincere or in denial of reality when they demonstrated what I perceived as a kind of emotional schizophrenia. And I suspect, really, that sometimes they were. But not always.
Where did I confirm this? Did I call Oprah to find out the flavor of the day opinion on this topic? (Yeah, like I have her phone number.) No. I read the Psalms. “How long, O Lord, will you hide you face from me forever?!” and “I trust in your unfailing love…” are about 2 sentences apart in Psalm 13. I have heard some say that David had a change of heart. I don’t think so. In fact, I’m pretty confident that his heart held both of those emotions at once.
So, life may have been simpler then — living one emotion at a time. But it’s better now.