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Are You Emotionally Ready for the Unexpected?

The New Year has arrived. How is it going for you? Is it all you hoped? Are your plans going well?

What if something messes up your plans?

Are you emotionally prepared for that?

Entering the New Year I had my goals in place. I was excited. I had a great post started full of all kinds of encouraging things as I looked ahead. I was full of the hopeful expectation I wrote about last week. 2016 had been a year full of both good and bad and I was ready. I had learned so much. I was ready for the new adventures ahead.

I was prepared. Or so I thought.

Then…On January first, an emotional onslaught came.

A close family member spent the day in the emergency room. She ended up being admitted and getting a biopsy, which we have to wait an extra day for because of the holiday.

And while that was going on, my mother in law was not waking up. She was unresponsive and I had to call the hospice nurse to check on her.

We all wondered if this was the day or the week she would pass. I’ve said before, she has been in the process of dying all year. It has been an emotional roller coaster ride.

I want the ride to stop. But saying that causes another kind of pain accusing the heart of malice. There is no malice, only a desire for relief, for peace. Those who have been on this ride understand.

And no matter how much we have prepared and know the day of her passing will come, we are never really prepared.

All that emotion caused my body to vibrate under the stress of it.

The very first day of this New Year, I had the opportunity to put into practice what I wrote last week.

The part about how the one day isn’t the deciding factor for the entire year.

The part about having a choice in our attitude being positive or negative.

The part about perspective – choosing what to focus on.

The one crisis was totally unexpected like a sucker punch. While the other has been an ongoing variating cycle making things unpredictable.

A storm raged in my soul. The emotions rising and subsiding over and over like waves.

Complex emotions like those have the ability to sideline us.

They can take us out of the game.

I’ve been sidelined. But I have found the way back into the game.

I had a choice.

This was just one day.

My attitude and focus needed to be intentional. I took the time to quiet myself and listen to what my emotions were saying.

Emotions are screaming out needs. We have to listen. We must identify them and meet them.

All throughout this emotional day, I was reminded how much I needed.

I used to have a hard time with that. I didn’t allow myself to have needs. But I learned while writing my book needs are not evidence of weakness, they are human. So if you’re human, and I am fairly certain you are – you have needs too.


I found this meme online with words from my book. I believe it validates I’m not the only one who has struggled with this.


We have needs.

We need to know we are loved. We need to feel supported. We need to feel understood. We need to be allowed to have our limits. (And the list goes on…)

Which brings me to an amazing part of my emotional day.

In the midst of all the emotion and stress of the day, our family rallied like we’ve never rallied before. We communicated with each other well. We all showed up with love and concern for one another. Everyone doing what they could.

Some made phone calls. Some brought food. Some visited. Some prayed. Some met with the doctor. Some encouraged. Some sent photos to provide smiles and laughter.

Everyone has different abilities and availability. What matters is that we share what we have.

Everyone has different abilities and availability. What matters is that we share what we have. Click To Tweet

Because we all showed up with what we had, we emerged stronger, because our needs got met. Both the need to provide support and the need to be supported.

So why does it matter?

Because YOU have emotional needs and it matters that they get met.

Emotional needs that go unmet do not disappear. They go underground and will resurface again. This might be through acting out (arguments, being critical, overeating or drinking). Or by making the body sick in various ways (from colds to cancer).

Just like the body needs food and water or it will die, the emotional aspect of your life has needs also.

Emotions are screaming out needs. We have to listen. We must identify them and meet them. Click To Tweet

Have you stopped to listen to what your emotions are asking for?

Do you know how to do that?

Does it scare you to think about it?

Many people are afraid to look inside themselves. But the cave you fear to enter holds the treasure that you seek. Joe Campbell

Last year I read the book The Listening Life by Adam S. McHugh. I highly recommend it. In it he says: How you listen to yourself will determine how you listen to others. Do you dismiss your own emotions?

Our emotions are a part of us. Dismissing them is dismissing a part of ourself.

If a part of ourself is inactive we are incomplete.

If a part of ourself is inactive our relationships will be incomplete.

Self-care (not self-absorption) is necessary for healthy emotions and healthy relationships.

The year will bring both good and bad. That is life on planet earth.

So are you emotionally ready?

What does that look like?

We prepare for what we know, we listen to our emotions and we connect with others when it is too hard.

Life is hard at times but we can be there for each other. Listen to each other. Carry each other.

Are you in need of being carried or are you in a place to carry others.

We need each other.

Take action:

Listen to this old but timeless song.

Let me know in the comments how I can help.

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8 thoughts on “Are You Emotionally Ready for the Unexpected?

  1. This is an amazing post. Going to share it with my page Mommy’s Mid-Life Quest. (

    I’d love it if you’d share your blog links on my mommy blog link party. 

    The FanDayFriday Link Party runs each week Friday thru Sunday. 

    Add your URL on the open link party post here:

    Thanks for your time and consideration.

    Patty Gordon
    Blogger |

  2. Thank you for this. I have been struggling with a variety of emotions lately: fear, sadness and anger. My already broken brain is having a tough time and it is taking a toll on my body. Thank you for the validation.

    1. You are very welcome Bernadette! I am so happy to be helpful. I understand the enormous value of validation. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Great Post! Appreciate your insights! Our emotions are often not addressed out in the open and exposed because we are overloaded with our own preconceived parradym which is often negative self talk that keeps us from venturing into the unknown. Can’t wait to read your next post.

Please share your thoughts!