I met a man the other night, probably in his 60's, who, through some trials of his own and struggling to deal with them, found some words of solace that he chose to share with me. He said that the best advice he had read was to really truly feel each emotion to it's fullest, and deepest extent. It's so that when something really bad or frightening happens, you already know that feeling, it is familiar, and each new experience is easier to deal with. Also, that way, when you are done feeling it to it's fullest, you are then done with that emotion, and are able to move on and leave that entire experience behind you.
I have always agreed with this. I am an emotional person and I really love being able to express myself, even when others don't seem to understand why I am so sad, or happy. It was really moving hearing this come from someone who has probably lived most of their life masking their emotions, being that he was a man, and that is what most men do. He said that he had pictured his retirement a certain way, but when life handed him a deck of cards that didn't allow for him to follow that dream, he had to reevaluate a lot of things. That made me feel really sad for him, as he seemed to be sad when he spoke about it. But in his next breath, he spoke of how he really tries to be joyous as much as he can now. He has a new appreciation for life, mostly his own I think. I could tell he was taken aback by the conversation when it first begun, that he was a little uncomfortable talking about some of the things that were coming up...but by the end of the conversation (which was only about 5 minutes long) we had hugged, and formed a bond where even if I never see him again, I will think of him often.
Even though I get sad thinking about some of the cards my deck has in it, I wouldn't change them for the world. I am so grateful that I have the ability to acknowledge, understand and appreciate both the wonderful things, and the not so wonderful things that life has given me. I know that I have an expectation for my future, just as that man did. I have hopes and dreams and I cannot imagine what my life will be like if they do not come true. But as he said, he is more joyous now than ever before. So all I can really hope for, is that whatever cards I get next, I too, will be able to find joy and peace no matter what.