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A dear friend of mine posed an interesting question before our last book club meeting — what verb or adjective would you give to describe yourself, if you could only choose one?

At first this simply seemed like a fun exercise, but as I spent time pondering the endless possibilities, then paring those down to more poignant and specific words, I began to realize that for me it was a another discovery of self; a journey to the heart of who I am.

I have always loved words; they hold immense weight and meaning. I also take words seriously and believe it is important to use them properly. Therefore, the task initially seemed a bit daunting. Do I choose a word like sorrowful? That is not all I am anymore, is it? Intense? — not inclusive enough. Some words brought too much negativity to life. Nothing was giving me that ‘a-ha’ moment I was seeking. So I began with a list of words that rang true when thinking of traits I possess and adjectives I feel relate to me on a deep level.

Once I was well into the process, it became clear I needed a word that meant ‘broken open’. That is how I best describe my experience of Zev’s death, my intense grief work, and the empathy I hold in my heart for others experiencing pain and loss.

I also wanted it to speak to the journey I am on and how I continue to learn about myself all the time. There was no single word for that. So I went back to square one…

More than ever before in my life, I comprise massive amounts of:
sorrow
anger
pain
compassion
love

In fact, there have been many days in the past couple of years during which I have been literally overcome by one or more of these emotions. And there was the word, right at the front of my psyche; simple and perfect in all it’s precision.

I am Caitlin Overflowing.

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One Comment

  1. Interesting…


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