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Understanding Feelings – What Are We Missing?

Gayle Petrillo September 2023

Career Kuel Thought Leader: Gayle Petrillo

Time flies by, doesn’t it? Each day ends in a blink of an eye. 

Rethinking Yesterday:

We often worry about what we said, what we did, how we were heard, etc. If we aren’t rethinking yesterday, we are looking forward to something in the future – tomorrow, next week, next month, etc. 

What are we missing? Many times, it is simply being present. We forget to smell the flowers or admire the mountains as we focus on getting in our steps. We hurriedly walk past others without a greeting or even a smile. And we aren’t aware that that person may need that at the very moment you are passing by. 

“We forget to smell the flowers or admire the mountains as we focus on getting in our steps.”

When did we last honor what we have now – our spouse or significant other, our body, our mind, our home, our kids, our parents, our friends, our neighbors? These thoughts have come to me many a recent night while I lay in bed. I’m grateful, always for all of these; however, they are often taken for granted.

Difficult Time To Bear:

My mom just passed away a week before her 90th birthday. We all know we will lose our parents, at some point in time. It’s still such a difficult time to bear. For me, it was a very unexpected circumstance. The roller coaster ride I’m on takes me gradually up to where I remember wonderful moments and then races down the hill on a fast track where I lose my breath, and gasp for air wanting those memories to come back in view. 

Moreover, family and friends, near and far, have reached out to me. We’ve been the recipients of food, cards, calls, visits and texts. I’m so appreciative for all of these and yet it’s hard to move some days, some hours. 

How am I supposed to feel? There is no book on how to raise your kids, nor how to mourn family losses. We all mourn in our own way, and it may well be dependent on who we are mourning. 

It’s been suggested that I write my mom a letter, stating the things I, and we, did well and not so well, separately and together. I’ve started that letter several times; I’m sure I will finish it in the coming weeks. 

“Again, I’m not an angry person, yet I feel angry at times.”

Understanding Feelings:

Someone else suggested I read about “RAIN” (Recognize, Accept, Investigate and Nurture) as it relates to my feelings, and understand that these feelings are emotions and not my identity. As an example, I’m not a sad person even though I feel sad a lot. It also applies to other emotions, including anger. Again, I’m not an angry person, yet I feel angry at times. 

Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance are the five stages of grief, according to Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, and its modeling is very helpful as I try to understand my feelings and the why behind them.

In conclusion, I’m trying to get back on the road I had been on and I realize to go forward, I have to travel the road ahead, paying close attention to where I am, physically and emotionally here and now. Mother Teresa’s quote comes to mind, Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” 

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About the Author:

Gayle Petrillo is President of First Impressions, Image Consulting. Gayle is an image consultant working with both businesses and individuals. Her services include: customer service training; team building skills; secret shopper services; gossip avoidance techniques; closet analysis; wardrobe transformations, personal shopping; employment coaching; and presentation skills.