“How was Disney?” I recently asked one of my friends. Any mom who has ever taken her kids to Disney knows this question requires more than just a simple response. I expected a story containing equal parts frustration and happiness to follow, and I wasn’t disappointed. At the end she said, “sorry to unleash on you.” I was reminded of how often I also apologize for the very same thing.
Moms are complimented for having extremely hectic lives yet keeping it all together and remaining cool. How do we actually feel on the inside? More often than not we are keeping our emotions in check in order to avoid appearing weak or out of control. I agree that we should remain cool for the sake of our kids, but there has to be someone we can unleash on with complete honesty. We should not apologize for it! Besides, where else will we get therapy without the hourly rate.
I have a friend that is my designated unleashing buddy. Yep, that is exactly like a designated driver without the hangover in the morning (most of the time). We meet monthly at a halfway point between our two towns and spend hours unleashing over Old Fashioneds. I know what you’re thinking, “I talk to my friends about my problems, too.” That’s great, but do you unleash? I’ve learned over the years it is a true form of art. You should feel as light as air when you’re done. Talking usually only scratches the surface of a topic. It may be enough to make you feel a bit better, but not necessarily different.
The art of unleashing sounds simple enough but the application requires complete abandon. It is difficult to expose ourselves in that manner even to our closest friends. I promise it’s worth it! If you are not already unleashing on someone, here is what you need:
- A friend who you feel does not judge you in the least (You say, “I hid the body in the dumpster last night.” Their response should be, “Perfect, the garbage truck already came by this morning.”)
- An issue that is bothering you
- Your ability to talk about it with complete abandon
For me personally, it is the last component that’s a challenge. I may talk about something that is bothering me, but rarely do I allow myself to be truly vulnerable. Vulnerability, in this case, is allowing yourself to be susceptible to emotional attack or harm. Even the definition sounds terrifying. However, when I unleash, I force myself to be vulnerable. Not only do I say what is bothering me, but I express why. The why includes my fears, self-doubts, embarrassments, weaknesses, and every other emotion we are taught to suppress.
Allowing these emotions to surface feels foreign, as if my mind is revolting against me. After all, why would we willingly talk about what embarrasses us? I promise you, with the right friend, you feel as if you can exhale that problem or negative feeling right out of your mind, body, and heart.
So, I encourage you to find yourself a designated unleashing buddy (DUB) and let it all go!