OK. First of all, Sarah owes me a pretty significant counseling fee for that advice she so eloquently refers to in her last post. I was going to ask for $14.50 and a couple of Starbucks. But hey, if Nick can scam 50 bucks for a non-existent organization camp, I should be at least looking at 75.
After all, I did talk her down off the ledge. For her first post on Emotional Austerity I saw a lot of emotion, and very little austerity. The lady’s definitely got some work to do here.
But don’t most of us?
We are all emotional animals after all. Let’s face it. Emotion has sustained us. I don’t think we would’ve made it very far as a species if our ancestors, after coming face to face with a Saber Tooth, decided that meditation was in order.
But still, there’s got to be balance. Our lens has become so blocked by emotion that we have lost the ability to see the bigger picture. While we may come into this world pure and blissfully calm, it’s not long before that bliss is gone, replaced by emotion that builds on itself, the layers thickening over time. While I’m not suggesting that we can fully remove emotion, I do believe that intentionally pushing back on emotional excess can lead to greater balance in our lives. And if not allow us to regain a blissful existence, perhaps we can at least find greater peace within ourselves.
Whoa there. Don’t run away! I’m not some Buddhist monk run amok. But don’t you sometimes wonder what it would be like to live more calmly? More peacefully?
So, I guess this is my intention for this month. To learn how to modulate my own emotional response and live a more balanced life. That when I respond with negative emotion, whatever that emotion might be, I will step back and assess it. Not judge it. Instead, accept it for what it is, and then explore it with the goal of understanding it and perhaps altering my future response for the better. Recognizing and acknowledging an aspect of oneself is the starting point for change, don’t you think?
Now, I’m not suggesting that we solicit the professional services of Mr. Spock here and all become Vulcanized. I pity the poor guy if he ever tried the mindmeld with me; he’d be forever scarred. The mind and logical assessment , while helpful, has only limited usefulness. The mind can logically explain the biochemical process that elicits an emotion, but that doesn’t make that emotion any less real. When Chloe leaves us for her trip to Germany in a couple of weeks we, too, will attempt to be logical about her separation from us. We will tell ourselves that, logically, this is a learning opportunity for her. That this will help prepare her for the time when she leaves us for good. Will help prepare us as well. Sure, we can logically tell ourselves this. But in the end, it won’t really matter because we will miss her like hell anyway. And that’s that.
So, where do we end up? Can a greater inner peace be achieved if we are such emotional animals? If so, how do we get there?
Who knows? Those answers are not easily found. But that won’t stop us from trying this month.
Hope you stick with us for the ride.