Emotional Responses

I ‘m reading this book, Blue Mind, by Wallace Nichols. (Thank you very much for the reference, JoAnna.) It is a scientific exploration in to our relationship with water. Why we love it so, fear it some, why 80% of us live near it. In this book one of the statements he makes early on is that every decision we make, comes from our emotions. I had to think on that one for a bit, because honestly, I didn’t think that was true, but in hindsight I suppose it is. Even an unemotional response to something is an emotional one, isn’t it? Kind of like the way not doing something is a choice as well as doing something. Everything is a choice. And how do we make choices? The way we feel about the choices may not be the only criteria in making a choice, but it is always one of them.

There are some emotional responses I could do with out, from myself and from others. Yesterday, I allowed myself to become angry and go to a place where I vowed I would not again visit. As soon as I recognized it, I retreated. From the room, from the conversation, into myself, and quiet. I hate that I allowed myself to get caught up in that again. First time in a long, long time.

Why is it so hard to be the person I think I am, the one I aspire to be, under some circumstances? Why do I allow myself to slide into an emotional mess, behaving in ways that make me feel bad about myself, instead of ways that honor myself? Maybe it’s all those years of training I had, responding in kind to the treatment I was getting. I don’t know. I just know I’d like to learn to live like water a little better. Time to regroup.  I’m guessing that as I continue this book, Blue Mind, I’ll find out that water is very much representative of our emotions, since we came from the water, we are made up mostly of water, the earth is mostly covered with it, and we can’t live without it.

Not meaning to beat myself up here, just I’m curious. It seems that just because I perceive a slight, large or small, it doesn’t give me license to react in kind. That’s not very creative, nor is it ever really fruitful. If I trust that someone doesn’t want to hurt me, then I need to react with that as my basis. “That person didn’t want to hurt me, so maybe I’m just interpreting it defensively.”

Oh hell, I don’t even know what I’m trying to figure out. I just need to work harder at being who I want to be and at not being who I don’t. It’s simple. I don’t need to write a dissertation about it. Just to be sorry for it, which is the first step in making a change. Regret. Then remorse. OK, I got both of those. Then begins repair.

I guess it’s all a lesson. I guess I haven’t gotten as far as I thought I had. I guess I need to spend a little more time in introspection, and a lot of time thoughtfully being who I want to be until I manage to eradicate the strong unpleasant emotional reactions that I saw in myself yesterday.

We are all imperfect, we are all a work in progress. And, we are all just walking each other home. It’s good to remember that.

Love and light to all.

6 responses to “Emotional Responses

  1. I have to admit, I haven’t started the book – it’s on my reading list – so thankful for the glimpse. I would have to think about that, too. Our decisions are certainly influenced by emotions, maybe more than we realize. But my thinking brain does have a say. And my thinking brain (maybe my emotions, too) thinks you’re being too hard on yourself. Maybe because I perceived a slight, or rather felt slighted, by someone I love recently. We are human. We get to work on our issues together. We do this emotional stuff now and then, we fall back a bit and the water pools, maybe even gets trapped briefly before it starts to flow freely again.

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