The Biggest Little Word

           I started my morning  by having a conversation with myself. I’ve been thinking about my blog and questioning whether I’m writing what people want to read.  Something I’ve learned in my writing class is the importance of considering my readers when writing. So, when I got up this morning I asked myself whether I was going to send out the blog I originally wrote, or if I should change it. Being  honest, I must tell you that I second guess myself a lot. I’ve written all of my life, but putting my writing out there for the public to read is very different from writing for myself. They are animals of a different color. Writing for myself is easy, because no one reads what I write, but, writing for others leaves me open to either acceptance or rejection.

          I’ve been questioning myself about whether I should keep my blog light and fluffy, or if I should write about what really matters. I’m aware that some people would rather read light fluff , while others like reading something with a bit more substance. This morning, I talked to Paul (my husband) about my dilemma and he reminded me that my goal in writing has always been to put words on paper that will encourage people to look deeper, climb higher, question more, and love themselves and others more fully. That’s why I named my blog “Streams of Consciousness.” My intention is never to preach but to stream my conscious thoughts to you in a well-written, easy to read manner.  I want my writing to be such that it entices people to question, “what if?”. So, I’ve decided to stick with the genre that expresses my goal for writing. I’m aware that everyone might not want to read “streams of consciousness”, but that’s okay. I’m going to continue to put my conscious thoughts out there for whoever does want to read them. And as much as I’d like to think that everyone is interested in conscious living, reality reminds me that my thought may not necessarily be correct. With this in mind, I now present my this weeks blog, “The Biggest Little Word”, which is about conscious living.         

          Paul gave me some good prompts this week, but the word that really impacted me was the biggest little word,  or. Though the word is only two letters, it is a huge word because it offers choices and possibilities. Using the word, or, can quickly remove me from a dead-end street. When I’m faced with anything in life,  if I can give myself an or, the context of the situation many times changes. 

          A large part of my healing journey is noticing how easy it is to hide my truth behind a powerful emotion, usually anger. When I see that I’m very angry, I  know I need to take a moment and ask myself the” or “question; “Am I really angry about this situation or is there something  hiding behind the anger?” Many times, I find that I hide my fears behind anger. 

          Another part of my healing journey is paying attention to how easy it is to confuse emotions, and not really be clear about what I  feel or know to be true. Sometimes I hide my sadness behind anger, and there are times when I hide my anger behind tears. I don’t always know when I’m doing this because I’m caught up in feelings. But when I take the time to ask  another or question; “Am I really sad or am I really angry?”, my truth becomes clear. It can be easy to laugh when your heart is breaking, or to cry when you’re furious,  because many of us don’t know how to identify what we’re feeling. 

          Sometimes, not knowing what we’re feeling or how to express ourselves is due to our upbringing. Unfortunately, in our society most girls are raised to know it’s okay for a girl to cry, but it’s not okay to be angry. Girls are not supposed to be rowdy and fight. In some instances, girls actually learn how to get their way by crying. Boys are just the opposite. They usually get the message that it’s okay to be angry. In fact many boys are encouraged to fight and be agressive, while being taught that to cry is to be a sissy. Too many men have been raised to believe, “Boys don’t cry.” No wonder we grow up confused about what we’re feeling, and if we do know what we’re feeling, we don’t know how to express it honestly. It’s not easy to change a habit or break a lifelong pattern, but what it is, is life changing. Thanks to the word “or“, we do have a choice about what to do with what we’re feeling. 

          I had been in therapy for about three months and was very adept at covering up my sadness and anger. One day, I was talking to my therapist about a very painful incident in my life. When I finished my sentence, I laughed.  I will never forget the way she leaned forward in her chair and asked me “Why are you laughing? Is this really funny or are you hiding behind the laughter?”  I didn’t know how to answer the question. She then asked me, “What are you really feeling right now as you tell this story?” At that moment, what I felt, was that a dam was getting ready to burst inside of me. It was hard to speak because I was being overwhelmed by a  tsunami wave of sadness that was threatening to break loose and carry me away. With tears glistening in my eyes, I told her,” If I start crying I’ll never stop, and I’ll wind up running down the street crying and screaming like a banshee and they’ll put me away.” Just speaking the words and identifying my sadness helped to open the floodgates. My therapist came across the room, took me in her arms, and said, “There now, it’s okay to cry. I’m here. Just cry.” And cry I did until I was cried out and wrung out. Having that experience opened up something inside of me and helped me to know the difference between identifying what I’m really feeling and giving myself permission to express the feeling, or making a choice to stuff the feeling and pretend there is something else happening.   

          Life is easier when we’re clear about what we’re feeling and when we know how to express our feelings truthfully. Next time you have a strong emotion, I hope you’ll consider asking yourself, “Am I really (name the emotion), or is there something  hiding behind this emotion?” Once you correctly identify what you’re feeling, I trust you’ll take the opportunity to express your feeling appropriately. That one little word, or, can make a difference in life when we are ready to choose to see our truth.


About brendamarroy

blogger, and author
This entry was posted in Consciousness, inspirational, life musings, personal, Reflections, Thoughts and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to The Biggest Little Word

  1. Betsy Ashton says:

    One of the wisest writers in my writers group told me that I wouldn’t be honest in anything I wrote until I was brave enough to go into the dark places inside my soul. He was right. And you are right in asking the “or” question. Am I angry at you or at me? Am I happy or hiding behind my feelings? Writing about the monsters that hide under the bed frees us as people. We can identify the real from the imaginary. That said, we can decide that we want to believe in the imaginary. It’s our choice.

    I like your blog. It’s raw and honest. Don’t succumb to fluff. There’s enough of that going around. Not enough substance. You provide substance. Keep on writing.

    • brendamarroy says:

      Thanks Betsy. Ah, yes…those dark places inside our souls. That’s where all the diamonds are hiding. When I lead women’s groups I often use the analogy of a cake of shit covered with yummy chocolate icing. It’s not edible, it stinks, and no matter how hard you try you can’t convince yourself that it’s really a great tasting cake.
      That’s how it is when we keep our stuff hidden away. We pretend to have it all together and say how sweet life is, but we know in the dark places of our soul, that the icing, or outside, can’t really cover up the inside. I love your response. Thanks for reading.

  2. Hi Brenda,

    Unlike you…I am not such a wonderful artist with the keyboard or with my words. So many times I don’t even have enought extra time on my hands to check out your blog (yours is my 1st blog EVER) BUT, I did, and I enjoyed your writing style so very much as well as your thoughts about the OR word.

    Good luck with your work, and I will look forward to seeing you down the road!

    With Appreciation,


  3. Jennifer says:

    Write to unfathomable depths Yaya!
    I can relate to what you are saying about mixed up emotions. My father use to forbid crying, “It will make you a stronger person,” he used to say! It is as confusing to live that way as a child as it is to unravel the damage as an adult. In a similar manner, patriarch Joe Kennedy ran his family in the 1930’s with the same rule as mentioned in Ted Kennedy’s Biography. Can you imagine complying with that rule with so much tragedy swirling around their family?
    You have written well about raw emotions and how we should try and understand REALLY what it’s all about…..deeper we go deeper we understand……..keep digging deeper YaYa…Happy Valentines Day Darling!! XXXX I love you XXXX

    • brendamarroy says:

      Thanks Yaya. And Happy Anniversary to you and Mac. I thought about yall when I woke up this morning and saw the date.
      We had a nice valentines. Paul was off so we went out for breakfast. For dinner we had steak and lobster (at home) and later a bottle of champagne with chocolate covered srawberries. Yummy.
      I appreciate you and I love you.

  4. I love your writing style and enjoy your stories

  5. cabooselady says:

    Dearest Brenda, PLEASE do not stop writing! Your words today have helped me so much! The “or” word hit me right between the eyes. I am involved in a long distance relationship right now with someone that I love with all of my heart and he loves me as well. We found each other again after forty years having been grade school crushes! We have actually “been together” just for one week in this past year, but knew instantaneously that we were really meant to be! We talk and laugh and share intimacies over the computer every single day; we are both ending long and unfulfilling marriages right now and hope to soon be together forever! Days are sometimes so very long and lonely and he has more patience than I seem to have and my emotions get the better of me more often than not! So, please continue writing your blog; always know that you are helping at least ONE person get through each day: me! Thank-you!

    • brendamarroy says:

      Thank you so much for your encourging words. Trust me, I have no intention of discontinuing my blog…I was just trying to figure out whether to write raw and true or to write fluff. As you can see and read, I’ve decided on raw and true.

      I totally get how difficult your situation is right now. It’s hard to be separated from the ones we love. Been there, done that.

      Keep in touch with me and let me know how things are going for you. You can email me at:

  6. akarmin says:

    Even though we are not consciously aware of our anger, we can become more mindful of its presence by asking ourselves some focusing questions, such as “Who am I angry at?” or “How do I feel about what happened?” We never think of asking such questions because we all learned that we are not supposed to be angry at the person who died. We would feel too guilty. So we solve the problem by choosing to internalize our anger. Yet, we are angry just the same.

    • brendamarroy says:

      Hi Aaron,
      You are so right. Asking questions is important. I think many people don’t ask themselves these important questions because they’re afraid of the answers they might get. Uncovering what lies beneath the exterior is an act of bravery. Seeing our truth can be painful, but it can also set us free. Thank you for reading and thanks for your comment.

  7. Roseann Kriebel says:

    Keep deep diving, Brenda. It’s your job, your destiny. And we are grateful for your naked stream. Love ya!

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