In yesterday’s post, I shared how I train children to feel, honor, and take responsibility for their own feelings so that they can, to that same degree, have empathy for others’ feelings. I intended to emphasize that: The wise parent builds his child’s life upon the “rock”… of solid self-empowerment and mutual respect. The “Golden Rule.”
Today’s post will help us begin to explore the realm of our Self. How do we delete improper foundationalization and correctly re-parent our self? Again, I will be utilizing personal experiences.
I have lived my life as a continual student, seeing every one as my teacher and the earth as the greatest classroom. As I have raised my children, I have found every way I could to bring into their lives examples of those throughout history who have achieved mastery of various character traits. Several years ago, after reading a biography of Amelia Earhart with my children, I found a documentary of her life at the public library.
Watching it one day with them, I was especially moved during one particular scene. The film showed Amelia taking the First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, for a flight in her plane. According to the story, Eleanor had been ecstatic during the experience and heartily declared that as soon as they landed, she was going to get herself a pilot’s license.
However, that was not to be. After landing and enthusiastically sharing her dream with her husband, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the movie relayed that he emphatically insisted that no, she would NOT! She “was too valuable to the American people to risk her life flying.” According to the story, Eleanor acquiesced to his demands and her dream was never realized.
That night after viewing the movie, while washing the dinner dishes, I shared with my (then) husband and sixteen year old son some pivotal highlights from Amelia’s life that I had garnered from her book and movie. When I got to that point in the story, Tyler said, “Well, gee, mom. You don’t have to get angry about it.” I was stunned by and began to ponder upon his remark. Was I really angry? Anger was an emotion that I had not really allowed myself to ever explore. Yet he was picking up that I had strong emotion regarding this issue. Hmmm…
When the kitchen was back in order, I picked up my toddler to carry her into the bathroom for a bath before bedtime. Carrying her through the house, I noticed a peculiar sensation. On the left side of my cheek, near my lip, I had what felt like a slow twitch of some sort. As I focused in on what I was feeling, the nerve seemed to contract for a few seconds before releasing. In… and out…. It did this several times while I was making my way through the house and to the bathroom.
Sitting my little one on the counter, I then looked closely in the mirror so I could watch what was happening to my cheek. As I did so, I felt my “inner councilor” ask the distinct question: “Do you want to keep that?”
What? Oh, this twitch or whatever it was that I was experiencing? Hmmm… Do you mean, Do I want to have this as a permanent wrinkle on my face? No, no, of course I don’t.
“Then learn the lesson, but let go of the energy.”
As I pondered on this principle, “Learn the lesson, but let go of the energy,” I realized the profundity of it.
My body was actually creating a literal blueprint of each of my experiences with emotion and my choices in life. Any wrinkles, for instance, reflected judgments I had made.
This was profound!
I pondered much about my body’s reaction which revealed buried energy lying within me. This experience allowed me to see and examine buried emotional territory which had been “triggered” through watching the movie of Amelia’s life. I then gave myself permission to consciously explore this issue, dealing with it in a healthy manner. As I did so, I released my hidden emotional energy and learned much from it. I will write more about this issue in the future. My lesson involved mans’ attempts (in this case, a husband’s) to control and subjugate women. This had been a central issue of my life and my subconscious was giving me witness through emotion that I was now ready and emotionally mature enough to deal with it and heal.
Yet, there was another important and significant insight revealed for me.
As I continued reflecting upon this lesson I was being tutored in, I then saw the beauty of *allowing one’s self to live life, *gathering the wisdom and understanding from one’s experiences, *feeling and *safely expressing the feelings, but *immediately letting go of any judgments and the energy felt, *always maintaining a deep peace. Yes, peace would always be my trusty barometer.
“Learn the lesson, but let go of the energy.”
That last paragraph contains valuable insight. I encourage you to consider its wisdom. I acknowledge your humility in even being drawn to my website. Not everyone is yet emotionally mature enough to choose to take control of their own emotions. Yet, it is a profoundly integrous move and will yield tremendous benefits… for You, and each of us.
Again, here is the “recipe” for dealing with life’s emotions:
- allow one’s self to live life,
- gather the wisdom and understanding from one’s experiences,
- feel and
- safely express the feelings, but
- immediately let go of any judgments and the energy felt, in order to
- always maintain a deep peace.
Buddha and other sages have known this principle. Although many throughout the globe today are “drunken, but not with wine,” anger has tormented humanity throughout the ages. (Isaiah 29:9: Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink.) Truly, one poisons himself with the toxic effects of the neurotransmitters that race through one’s system accompanying anger. Many today are drunken, not with wine, but with adrenaline, cortisol, and norepinephrine, an elixir that is damaging and damning. It has even become common parlance to pass the blame: “Such-and-such *MADE* me angry.” Please hear this: NO ONE has the power to pour any cortisol or adrenaline into another’s bloodstream.
Although a situation can trigger anger, feelings (as vibration) move; they are intended to register, giving us a sensation we can learn from, while flowing on through. A bitter cocktail is indication enough to stop drinking. Uggh, gross! Spit it out and wash one’s mouth out with a neutral substance. To continue to re-generate a feeling that is dis-tastateful or harmful to one’s self and others is a choice. A dangerous and immature choice. To place the blame on another, “She MADE me drink a whole gallon of that poison!” translated as “I couldn’t help myself! It was HER fault I kept thinking that angry thought, drinking that poisonous drink! SHE made me angry!” This is the epitome of immature thought and reckless mental behavior.
Consider the old-fashioned recordings of music on vinyl records. I remember accidently scratching my record as a youth, and thereafter, each time I’d play that recording, as it came to that scratch, the needle would continue on and on in the rut, round and round, never progressing to the next phrase, playing that same group of notes over and over and over again… until I would manually lift the needle and set it down beyond the scratch.
My last marriage, as precious and profoundly deep as our bond was, allowed me to witness up close and personal an all-too-common situation. I became a witness many times to what I came to term “mental masturbation” (stroke, stroke, stroke… ERUPT!!!). As a child, lacking correct parenting in many areas, David, a sweet and otherwise tender little boy, received training to become an aggressive and impulsive “fighter.” His impressionable mind was taught that he received parental approval for mental and physical aggression. This was what brought him his parent’s attention. To him, attention equated to validation and self-worth. In this way, he literally was groomed to look for opportunities to fight, inventing wrong-doing when none existed.
Although Dave had thought he had out-grown those tendencies, he had not. Today, a faulty psychological premise is that aggressive teenage boys will eventually “grow out of it.” They do not. Unless properly and vigilantly re-programmed, the child gradually learns that others do not give the same pay-off as mommy did, and learns to re-direct or cover-up this impulse with more socially appropriate behavior… as the anger is submerged. They have NOT “outgrown” their propensity to anger and fighting, they have just dealt with it in other less-noticeable and socially offensive ways. It is still igniting in situations, simmering, and smoldering.
As I wrote in earlier posts, David learned to re-direct his undealt with energy through aggressive physical activity and by playing the piano. These are healthy seeming releases, by they do not deal with the root issue. By not addressing his emotions head-on, he continued to get and feel angry, over time developing a face full of wrinkles and suffering often from headaches physically and loneliness and depression and… anger… emotionally. These symptoms could have been perceived as his body’s warning signals of impending doom, IF he had known how to read them. However, by keeping a ready supply of pain-relievers, he fooled himself into thinking he had his life in order while he maneuvered on through life’s experiences, emotionally blind and spiritually poor.
Because of his improper childhood foundationalization, and being unable and unwilling to learn this concept of taking responsibility for and maintaining complete control of his emotions, when there was an experience that seemed to threaten his (false) ego, Dave’s programmed-in mental needle would go round and round and round in his neural pathways, each time etching deeper and deeper as he gathered more and more volatile energy, convincing himself with each further go-round that his anger and actions were justified and that HE was a “victim.”
What usually began as a completely innocent question by me, found a neural glitch that did not want to be exposed. My statement became a “trigger,” scratching a “tip of the iceberg,” that exposed to him buried discomfort. Mentally, he replayed in his mind this uncomfortable feeling that my question had triggered with greater and greater energy (e-motion) as it gained volume, tension, and dis-cord until he erupted into a ballistic, non-sensical “mad-man,” spewing gross and mean emotional seed all over himself and the environment. In such a state, the ability to be reasonable, compassionate, humane, Intelligent was nullified and he truly became insane: “drunken, but not with wine.”
One “adrenaline junky” on this planet is one too many. Yet, we must each choose for our self when WE are ready to “learn our lessons but let go of the energy” surrounding our experiences, taking full responsibility for our own emotions. In addition to markedly affecting anyone in the vicinity’s experience, aggression has detrimental consequences also for the one that dominates the interaction. They become emotionally more hardened, more volatile, wrecking havoc upon all who venture near those same vulnerable depths.
However, interacting on a mere surface level, engaging in only interactions which are judged as “approving” and “validating” with an “anger junkie,” one might not ever know or even suspect they have an addiction. This is the state of those who are diagnosed today as “covert narcissists.” Relationships of a platonic nature may seem totally benign. One may appear even charming and naturally peaceful and happy. Yet, this is superficial behavior. Their inability to maneuver through emotions of any significant depth leaves them lonely, alienated, prone to “headaches” or other bodily symptoms otherwise meant to be helpful feedback.
My former husband has told me that since I left, his headaches have been a non-issue. Of course! He has since been dealing with, again, only surface-level, placating, relationships and have not been triggered into the deep cisterns of buried childhood emotional traumas. If he can live out the rest of his days living without deep emotion, he may never again “mentally masturbate” or have another aggressive melt-down! Yet, a life such as that, as he is also experiencing, is a life of loneliness and misery, shame… and mourning the hope and taste of what he could have had.
Because of the tremendous closeness of our intimacy, Dave is bound to be miserable all the rest of his days… except on superficial levels. He will never again know the tender and blissful joys of bonding with one who has the depth and breadth of love as I do and was able to take him to the exquisite heights that we went. The contrast will leave him wanting forever more… UNLESS he makes a concerted choice to re-parent himself, applying the remedy I prescribed consistently and determinedly enough to effect a complete healing. This will then allow him to emotionally mature and grow up to match his physical age, erasing his wrinkles, eradicating once and for all his headaches, while giving him wisdom, compassion and his missing emotional empathy.
This is the plea and the promise of Jesus: “Come unto me all ye who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Not only rest, but “Come unto me (master your emotions) and I will take you to heaven,” to the peak of one’s emotional/ spiritual mountain. It is there, at one’s summit, that one is capable of maintaining emotional mastery over every situation. There are no longer triggers because there are no longer buried childhood wounds. There is only emotional wealth in direct contrast to the “poor in spirit” that one registered in the valley.
Truly, as we choose peace and wisdom over any debilitating feeling and its “poison”…
as we realize that we actually BECOME our biology, imprinting our choices and our emotions literally upon and within our very flesh…
as we set up a vigilant and aware “babysitter” over our emotions, giving them power to oversee and stop our self-sabotaging poisoning and drunkenness and, instead, flood our systems with health-benefitting and peace-promoting oxytocin and serotonin… WE become the *Master* of our own life, reigning in our own mental *Kingdom* in peace.
Remember Number Two of “The TRUE Ten Commandments.” (See link to the right.)
2) Never become angry at ANY person in ANY situation.
(Matt. 5: 22: But I say unto you, he that killeth in any manner and for whatever reason lieth in sin; and whosoever is angry with his brother for any reason shall be in danger of the same judgment, because the anger in his heart might lead to the death of his brother; and whosoever shall hold his brother in contempt or ridicule shall be in danger of the law that hath been given by the council which rendereth the law; but whosoever shall say to his brother for any reason, Thou fool, shall be in danger of a hell like unto fire, which shall burn in his soul because of that which he thinkest of his brother.)
Feeling anger is one thing. There is no wrong in feeling anger when witnessing someone (or one’s self) being harmed in some way. HOWEVER, there is a difference between feeling the emotion (anger in the case) and choosing to keep that emotion stirred up within one’s self or acting out upon it. Remember, feeling is a vibration which gives us helpful feedback to a situation and how in harmony (or not) it is to one’s divine and empowered eternal state. In contrast, emotion is the state of generating more of that feeling (energy) within one’s self and sending that energy out, possibly with words or actions.
Commandment number two is profoundly wise. Becoming angry is so often justified by those of low emotional maturity. Again, BECOMING an emotion (in this case, “angry”), is in contrast to FEELING an emotion (receiving guidance regarding one’s interactions and letting that guidance/ energy flow on through us as we return steadfastly back to peace).
A very wise truism attributed to Buddha is: “Holding onto anger is like drinking a poison and expecting the other person to die.”
I now leave with you this jewel of insight from my life. It has deeply impacted me and my choices. I invite you to be affected and changed by it as well.
In my pursuit of Real Truth, I have given up everything. Crawling through the “eye of the needle,” I have learned the *mysteries* and am now giving my life to assist YOU to dis-cover Who *YOU* really are, along with your unique gift to offer humanity. As you learn to seek (in the right place and with purified intent), you WILL find treasures of lasting value, along with every promised reward. Together, we will establish a society of humane beings and live life ALIVE, on PURPOSE, and with a sociality unequaled… because we will each BE and view each other as equally and profoundly DIVINE! Please… catch this Hope and Vision and join with me.