Oddly, he was seated in my desk chair. It was swiveled around so he could face where I had taken up a stool at our breakfast bar. This conversation has become nearly a daily routine for us. It’s been two and a half years that we’ve been walking this road of the unknown, uninvited, and unpleasant.

To say “it’s complicated” is an understatement. Thus, these frequent meetings are necessary for us to navigate the twists and turns we are faced with on a weekly basis. He’s a thinker, a fixer, and sometimes an emotional bull dozer. I, on the other hand, am intuitive, decisive, yet careful. Getting us to emulsify takes much whisking.

I “know” quickly, yet need time to discover my feelings about a matter. Then I argue my point until I’m satisfied that my “knowing” is sound. This is my process. He, on the other hand, will use all form of logic to endorse his point of view while removing his emotional ocean from the whole situation. Emotional processing will be an aftershock.

Neither of us will taste the salt of our own tears.

The emotions get expressed mostly through words.

As I face him and listen to him explain with great detail about the physical alterations he thinks we should make to the room, for their safety and ours, I am engulfed by fear. There are no tears but the emotion is violent.

He has no idea that I am no longer seated with him in our kitchen. I have floated away to a remote island, I have created a safe place, I am assessing, I am surviving. He went on for a few minutes until he finally paused, waiting for me to respond.

“I don’t know what to say.” “I want to be out of my body, my life, this problem, and runaway.” I blurted. Clearly, my feeling assessment had been cut short. Thankfully, he received my orange road block of words as a warning not to continue to plow through the issue so abruptly. In his defense, he’s a fixer.

It takes me a bit but I can finally label my feelings. Loss of freedom.

Everything he has just narrated equals loss of freedom, with me playing the part of warden. It doesn’t take an Enneagram expert to understand that the long term affects of intense emotional pain combined with certain loss of freedom has pulverized my otherwise enthusiastic nature. I’m a seven and freedom is my happiness balm.

It takes courage to accept the unacceptable.

While walking straight into the headwind was a hard choice, it was a courageous one. It was one baby step in the right direction. We all struggle with different fears, yet the solution for all of us can be the same. Take one baby step in the hard direction.

Choosing to face our fear when we’ve lost part of ourself due to heartbreak, or disease, or an unexpected traumatic event, requires courage.

For you friend, if facing the unacceptable is what’s weighing you down. Know that you are not alone, I’m with you. Let’s be strong and courageous together.

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