Don’t Stuff Your Feelings . . .

I just want to say Happy Friday, Y’all!  Youse knows the drill … if you will… TGIF!!  Thank you ALL very kindly!!

First, may I wish the Queen, Elizabeth II, of England a well-deserved rest … 70 years … that’s a long time to be “Queen”!!  Secondly, I want to give the Bidens and Obamas “props” for bestowing some decency and dignity to this “American Experiment”.  Some folks never heard that term – the American Experiment – and others could care less!  Yet, it’s hard to be a citizen of a country whose history and laws are not important and that one does not know.  Sheeesh!!  Ignorance IS bliss!!  The “first” African American president and his First Lady finally got their portraits finished and placed alongside the other “First Families” in The White House!  While class, style, intelligence, and dignity cannot be bought … or sold, I would agree with President Biden’s assessment of former President Obama and his ability to possess and display those rare characteristics of today’s world leaders!!  ‘Nough said!!

Have you ever wanted to say something or express a feeling like hurt or pain and were NOT allowed to do so?  Pretty uncomfortable, right?!?  Holding stuff inside contaminates one’s innards unless one knows how to digest the discomfort and toxicity.  When I was just a kid trying to learn how to manage my “angst”, my Dad used to ALWAYS suggest:  “Get a hobby or something …”  After all we had a “Hobby Shop” just up Post Road near the Projects!!  What a great idea!!  I started with wooden airplanes, then kites!  Soon, I graduated to making those tiny shiny model cars that you had to glue together!!  Soon after, in 4th grade at Rochambeau Elementary school, I took up the trombone!!  I continued playing until my freshman year at Princeton when my hometown group “The Whole Damn Family” opened for “Earth, Wind, and Fire” at Princeton’s Annual Cabaret my first year.  To this day, I still LOVE music … almost any kind of music!

Nowadays, I meditate on and ponder stuff so it doesn’t get the best of me.  Over the years, when I felt sad or exceptionally happy, I wouldn’t hold back!  I had the same challenge with anger.  I had to hone in on the sources of my anger and handle it better.  I still remember my Dad – Isaac Henry Cook – and how he must’ve overcome some tremendous odds in order to arrive in Harlem, NY post-WW II with his beautiful bride as they successfully escaped the “Dirty South” with help from friends and family who worked as porters on the passenger trains linking New York with Florida.  I took that same “train trip” a few times with one of my older siblings while my Mom and Dad and the other two kids rode in Dad’s two-tone pink ’57 Cadillac all the way from White Plains, NY to Tampa, FL.  That was often my summer treat or Christmas present during my childhood, whether in the car with the family or on the train with either Edna or Barbara (RIP) one of my two sisters.  I think back to when I was struggling with some personal issues and both my Mom and Dad stood firm with me, exhibiting a rare brand of tough love.  I needed the discipline to harness and develop my many gifts.  I know my Dad suffered as he watched his “baby boy” struggle with those damn demons!!  I could often see the pain etched on his face as he remained diligent to provide the basics for our family while Mom cleaned houses … (How could I dare let them down!)  So, I straightened up … real straight … stiff sometimes!!  But I still “let my hair” down and loved to dance and sing, play sports, and cheer for my favorite sports teams, often with my Dad who loved the NY Yankees and then The Mets!  (We watched a lot of baseball games on tv together as we couldn’t afford tickets to the stadiums to see the games in person.)

So, don’t stuff those feelings!!  Let them flow … it helps keep your emotions balanced, fluid, and healthy.  Of course, if you want to lift weights or run track to relieve stress and tension, do so!  Just don’t hurt anybody!!  When I meditate, and something makes me sad, I may shed a tear or two …  If I’m happy and grateful, I repeat “Thank You!” to the universe making sure that my feelings of joy flow, too!  I think my Dad had stuffed so much inside that it was the cause of his bone marrow cancer.  It ultimately claimed his 80-year-old life as he could no longer stand the pain …

Have a great day, a wonderful weekend, and a non-stuffy life!!

Peace,

John I. Cook, Director

Thanks for reading!

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