One day I received an email from two members of my email list saying they didn't feel comfortable in sharing their opinions with the group because:

1) the posts seemed to be judgemental and angry rants.

2) members are suppose to be "happily unmarried" but many appear to be angry about their status.

3) they lacked cats and weren't artists and writers as their reasons for feeling uncomfortable.

I didn't understand how they drew up such conclusions about women sharing their trials and tribulations with others. Maybe they mistook members venting on the list about the issues they face in their lives as statements about their life choices? Trying desperately to understand their standpoint I reread many of the recent posts and for the life of me I couldn't find the anger they mentioned.

There was something about their complaints that took me back to a esteem seminar I hosted. There was a audience member who appeared to not feel comfortable with the dialogue in the seminar, she stared blankly around as people gave their testimonies on how they dealt with depressions and lackluster lives.

Although it was obvious she didn't care for the dialogue she played the part of someone who was A-ok with herself. It wasn't until the seminar was over and I was packing to leave when she approached me. Like a dam bursting from the weight of too much water against its walls she began to spill her life struggles. What made her uncomfortable was having to face or in this case hear the very issues with self that made her life miserable. It was then I learned a life lesson, when we find ourselves uncomfortable with a situation, conversation, or in the presence of another we're suppose to ask ourselves what it is that makes us uncomfortable, chances are you are uncomfortable due ignoring and not addressing an inner issue.

It is when we question ourselves we discover unresolved issues and conflicts buried deep under our "rug" (conscious). Identifying those issues or conflicts is not enough, facing their final resolve is a must if we're to grow emotionally and spiritually. The listmates who didn't feel comfortable with the list written exchanges, inwhich people shared their life struggles, were uncomfortable from within themselves. The problems they mentioned were mere excuses as to why they couldn't share or vent about their life circumstances, after all they assumed people would judge them harshly. Most people would agree, we're the harshest judges of ourselves, seldom do people really feel as we think they do about us. Those rants and judgemental posts they referred to were members venting their stress rather than the ranting and bitterness mentioned as reason to not actively participate in group discussions.

I can see how people can misunderstand the term "happily unmarried" and assume its meaning is not a problem or care in the world. The truth is, to be happily unmarried does not mean you don't have days when you don't cry, aren't frustrated, angry, or have moments of confusion. Simply stated, it's finding reasons to love yourself and life on your terms.

To be "happily unmarried" is to be willing to face your hardships, challenges, and demons so you may know real and longlasting happiness. It has nothing to do with the types, if any, of pets you own or the profession that pays your bills. Instead it has everything to do with self-honesty. When you're honest with yourself, hearing someone vent about what is on their life plate shouldn't make you uncomfortable, if anything, it should motivate you to reach out to the person with a compassionate heart.

You will never know how it feels to be alright with self if you don't do any work on your inner being, so when you have moments inwhich your feelings say to you, "I'm not comfortable", ask yourself why and be willing to recognize and deal with the truth.

Here's a little side note about email lists. Many people look to these lists for their entertainment rather than as a tool to overcome problems. This is unfortunate because those who lurk and smirk are usually the people who need all the support they can get from a positive source like email lists. Hopefully people will come out of their shells and actively participate on the list for which they belong.

Author's Bio: 

Regena English is a self-esteem speaker specializing in single
women and is currently the editor-in-chief of both The Leather Spinsters
Newsletter and Leather Spinsters on the Web Ezine located at .