Turbulent emotions are not always about what is actually happening. Yet they can transform a situation from benign to charged.
If you feel something escalates beyond your control, see if you can reign in the emotions that are driving the chaos. Regardless of if where this occurs, listen to all the players and reach them from your heart not your head.
When I was young, I wasn’t particularly interested in analyzing how people aged.
I was fortunate to have a close relationship with my Nana. Every few weeks I would drive or take the train to her home in Brewster and hang out on her back porch to swap stories.
But eventually my NYC life swallowed me up and the impulse to visit her evaporated. This coincided with Nana’s increasing frailty; her home became a familiar prison. Brewster has hills and Nana lived up a steep one, a formidable walk to the few shops. She didn’t drive and all her friends who did eventually died.
The cruelest blow occurred when Olive Pugsley ran a stop sign with Nana in the car. A teenage driver collided with them, and although no one was injured, Mrs Pugsley lost her license. After that, the walls closed in on my Gemini Nana.
Nana was tiny but fierce. When she was put in a hospital because she fell and needed to be monitored, she escaped one night and tried to walk home. Even though she had no idea where home was.
Nana viewed leaving her home as a threat to her survival. Yet she slept on the first floor and the only bathroom was up the steep stairs. Eventually my mother and her brother were able to move Nana to a place of safety, but it was a process.
Now I am intimately involved in analysis of the aging process; I traveled with my father through the world of dementia and I now oversee my mother and mother in law’s care. I continue to learn about aging and healing and Grace.
We all come from familial stories that shape us. You can change certain behaviors through self-awareness, but this is difficult. Just when you think you’ve nailed it, something else comes up.
However, to continue self-examination is infinitely better than not. Because when someone avoids self-awareness for a lifetime, the careful persona eventually unravels.
So no matter if you are 25, 38, 46 or 58, look at how you react to a situation today and say to yourself: “is this who I truly am?” If your behavior or emotional meter is not exactly in line with how you’d like it to be, consider modification.
You might feel an impulse to speak up and you suppress it — or you might want to blurt something out without heed to the consequences. Whatever your impulse, ask yourself: “is this who I am?”
Habits can be comfortable but they are not necessarily your core essence. Sometimes we have to really dig to get to the soft underbelly of the unfettered essence.
Dig deep enough and the core essence is love.