When the Lord told me I had to start feeling me feelings, I’m not going to lie.. I was a tad terrified about that. There is an old dusty filing cabinet in my mind that is cram full and I refuse to clean it out. That cabinet has good memories, okay memories and some are not so good but God kept telling me it was time to clean it out. For some reason I kept focusing on all the bad memories in that cabinet that I didn’t want to remember. Then yesterday (4/9/23) the Lord reminded me that he didn’t want me to just focus on the bad ones. The whole point is to archive my memories so I can make room in my brain for new ones. I have all kinds of stories to share and it’s time for me to write about all of it. Some will be funny, some will be hard to read and others will probably just be a random memory dump. I’m going to start with my very first memory and I can’t tell you how old I was, but I do know I was very young. Maybe toddler era.
My first memory is my grandpa. I am going to assume I was still in a crib because he is looking down at me with a huge smile on his face. My mom told me that he would come into my room every night before I went to bed to say goodnight and he would play with me. I have very vivid memories of him and my family use to tell me they were amazed how much of him I remember because I was around the age of four when he died. I don’t have any memories of him being sick or dying, I just know that one day he was there and the next thing I knew he wasn’t there.
There was a room attached to the back of the house that was a big dining room with a TV. He stayed in the back room watching TV and my grandma always stayed in the living room. He also loved his Budweiser and he would sneak me sips of it when no one was looking. I hung out with him a lot in that room sitting on his lap and I would squish his face with my tiny hands. He had a lot of gray in his facial hair and I would ask him why he had salt & pepper all over his face. In the mornings when I would wake up, there was always a can of his beer left on the table so I would climb up in the chair and drink whatever was left.
My favorite memory of him would have to be the time I woke up in the middle of the night. He was still awake and I remember coming out of my room seeing the lights on. My little brain thought it was morning time, so I did what I always did in the morning. I went straight to the cabinet with all the cereal to pick what I was going to eat for breakfast. On my way to the cereal cabinet, my grandpa heard my tiny feet shuffling on the floor so he got up to see what I was doing. As I’m squatted down picking out my cereal he asked me what I was doing. “I’m picking out my cereal.” He then informed me that it wasn’t breakfast time yet and that I had to go back to bed. Well I didn’t want to go back to sleep because I had already made my choice of what cereal I was going to eat. Needless to say that he won and he walked me back to my bedroom to put me back in bed. My very last memory of him would be his funeral and it’s really only a vision more than a memory. I was hugging my mom’s leg as I stood behind her and I must have peeked around because all I remember is his casket and a pile of dirt next to it. Being that little, I didn’t understand what was happening and I have no memory of anyone telling me what happened to him. I’m sure I felt sad that he was gone but again, I was very little so it obviously didn’t affect me that much.
I’ve often wondered why I hang onto those memories of him the way that I do. It’s because I had a great bond with him. I wasn’t the first grandchild he had, two of my cousins were born before me but they were boys and I was the first girl. That is where my princess personality came from. If you see pictures of me as a little kid, you can see how adorable I was and there is no doubt he wouldn’t be completely in love with me! Not only that but my mom and me lived with them when I was little so I was around him a lot. I am so very grateful that I remember him the way that I do.
A friend of mine gave me this piece of paper that has an emotions wheel on it. There are probably 800 different emotions on this paper and it’s way too many words to focus on. When I got it, I instantly started to make a joke out of it because that’s what I do when I don’t understand something. The same time I’m making fun of those words, I knew it was going to turn into something I would stare at A LOT! Then I rolled my eyes because I realized what the Lord was doing and I didn’t like it. So, as I am remembering my grandpa I went to my wheel full of feelings to identify what I’m feeling. I am feeling in awe and feeling very thankful! I feel thankful because the first memory I have of a man isn’t a bad one. Not everyone has a first memory of a man that is a good one.
I use to think I had daddy issues because of my history with men. I now know that isn’t the case but that will be a blog on a different day. If I dive into that right now, then I will be in a completely different section of my emotions wheel. Right now I’m going to focus on the fact that my first encounter with a man was a loving foundation. That is very important for where I am right now in my life. Just because I’ve been hurt by men in the past doesn’t mean that will always be the case going forward. As I’m writing this, the Lord made it clear that the reason I hold on to my memories of my grandfather is because he a man I’ve had in my life that are nothing but good memories. He set the bar very high for me at a young age but the older I got the more I kept lowering that bar.
The second man in my life that I’m flooded with good memories of was my Uncle Jay Jay. He lived in Atlanta and I remember begging my mom to take me to see Uncle Jay Jay because I loved him so much. He was a musician, he had long hair and beard. He was fun, he played with me a lot and his room was in the attic of the house he lived in, it was fun because I had to climb a ladder to get into his room. He had a mattress on the floor and he had tons of pictures on the wall. I loved being in his room because it his safe haven. I’m also starting to realize that my sensitivity to how people feel started at a young age because I could feel his energy by being in his room. Even when he wasn’t in there.. When things felt good to me, that’s where I wanted to be and being his room is where I liked to play.
My Uncle Jay was the reason I loved climbing trees. When he came to visit us in Augusta, we were always outside playing. This one particular day, he walked into my grandma’s house and I ran to him. He scooped me up and I wrapped my little arms around his neck. He took me outside into the back yard… the sky was bright blue, the breeze was blowing and according to my emotions wheel, I felt content. He put me on this low hanging branch of the pecan tree in the backyard. I can even remember the outfit I had on, I had on a white tank top and white shorts with blue trim. My hair was all in my face from the wind blowing and I felt a little scared being in that tree. He never left me and he kept his hands on my legs to hold me in place. It’s the smile on my Uncle Jay’s face that I remember the most about that moment. It made me feel at peace knowing that he wasn’t trying to scare me by putting me in that tree, he wanted me to be a kid and learn how to climb trees. That branch turned out to be one of my most favorite spots in the whole world. As I grew up and on beautiful days, I would climb onto that branch and sit there for hours. The older I got, the higher in the tree I would go.
I have tons of memories of my Uncle Jay and I can honestly say that he was one of my most favorite people. He died of a self inflicting wound quite some years ago. He was an amazing person that fell victim to addiction and the harder he tried to heal his wounds the harder the enemy worked overtime to make sure he never got freedom. Once again, I am very thankful that the memories I have of him are good ones.
Every time my brain tries to take me down a dark road, the Lord keeps reminding me of all the blessings I have. The moment the Lord revealed to me about this journey of feelings, I went straight to a negative reaction. The biggest reason why I reacted in a negative way because anytime I made an emotional connection with someone or something it turned out bad. I turned off my emotions when I was 16 and anytime I turned my emotions back on it bit me. So I kept turning them off and according to the emotions wheel, feeling no emotion is apathetic. I’ve been apathetic for a very long time.
I’m so grateful that the Lord is starting this journey off on a positive note. I know it won’t always be the case the further into this I go but the Lord is showing me that just because he’s growing me doesn’t mean it’s always going to hurt. I guess the point I’m trying to make is if you feel that the Lord has you on a journey that you are unsure of. Don’t be afraid of it.. Have trust in the Lord and know he will do nothing that will cause you harm. The parts that will hurt, the Lord will bring you peace and comfort. I know this because I’m currently surrounded by his loving arms.
PS. Refer to the bottom of this post for the photo of the emotions wheel!
I love your face..
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