Sometimes I feel like I’m losing my mind. I mean, I can feel intensely one way and in the next second- no, in the same second- feel the exact opposite. Alanis Morissette expresses the paradoxes in her personality well in the song “Everything:”
I can be an a**hole of the grandest kind.
I can withhold like it’s going out of style
I can be the moodiest baby and you’ve never met anyone
Who is as negative as I am sometimes
I am the wisest woman you’ve ever met.
I am the kindest soul with whom you’ve connected.
I have the bravest heart that you’ve ever seen
And you’ve never met anyone
Who’s as positive as I am sometimes.
I hesitate to even express these truths about myself because women are understood by society to be such “irrational creatures.” I fear that by expressing my struggles with conflicting thoughts and emotions, I align myself with the “emotional woman” stereotype. But screw that. I am emotional sometimes. In my experience it’s the times when I stifle my emotions that I am most unhealthy. So I’m going to share my thoughts anyway, and admit that I haven’t figured it out. I wish I could give a 3 step process of letting go of my inner wars and lifting them to God, but I can’t. Some days I claim victory through Christ, others I fight endlessly to no effect, and still others I just pretend there’s no battle to fight.
But we all have battles. Inside us and publicly, we all wage war against something or someone. Sometimes we’re completely on the defensive, because something happens and it’s not our fault. Sometimes it is our fault and we try to fix it. Often the truth is somewhere in the middle.
I work with women as a counselor, and I see many women’s struggles to fight these battles. Some women struggle to express- or even feel- their emotions. Some women’s emotions flow freely. Some fluctuate inbetween. But all of them fight battles. And they fight with heart. and they fight with passion. and they fight with soul. So call them hysterical, call them irrational, call them emotional. Who wouldn’t be after all they’ve been through? Personally, I can see a lot of the beauty in their battle and in my battle because of the emotionality- not in spite of it. And I’ll choose to call them strong.