Emotions are the oddity of creaturely life! Emotions are the 'unseen' that paints our behaviours and our lives. Emotions can be beautiful, they can display the love, compassion and true connection for others and our world, the part of us we call 'the heart'. At the other extreme, the display of hatred and anger when understanding is hampered and the only emotion which comes forward is fear, which blocks all other feelings. In the middle is a vast array of other colours and shades that form our character, temporarily or permanently.
Emotions are working on us all the time, 24 hours a day. The emotions that we pay most attention to are the ones that have intensity. The most recent, in my case, and as an example, was that of fear, not the aggressive kind, but the one that puts butterflies in your tummy. We refer to such times as 'nerves', and yes I was nervous. When I'm nervous, I pace, which actually amounts to good exercise too ....... who knows how many calories I burn off!!! (laugh!) Luckily, most of those around me found it amusing and in doing so, helped me keep my sanity. I love making people laugh and, part of my brain kept switching to 'fool' mode and, for brief seconds, switched me back to normality. Others were sympathetic which demonstrated I was being 'held' and that was good too, as 'playing the fool' is sometimes inappropriate. It didn't calm me down, nothing was gonna do that, but it did demonstrate understanding.
What is important here is how our reactions to the behaviours of others can make all the difference!
When we identify emotional extremes in others, our reactions to those extremes demonstrate our connectedness. We show others what we desire for them. Our reactions are 'key' to the marks we place on relationship. When you place this trail of thought onto the 'bigger picture' we all have the power to send people along a particular thread on the web of life. Again, using my recent experience as an example, because I was treated so lovingly during my nervous experience, I was enabled to recognise my own nerves and laugh at them, and even accept them as part of what was happening, as it was a big occasion. In turn, this meant that as the event I was nervous about took place, it was for me to find my own centre and experience it to the best of my ability. In other words, those around me had given me permission to be myself and allow the outcome to be in my hands. The thread I would have been sent down is the one which held the positive outcome. Had I experienced adverse reactions to my nervousness, my nervousness may have increased and so, not only the event, but the reactions of others would have added to how I was feeling, possibly leading me to lose sight of what I had to do and then the experience itself, had it gone badly, would then have coloured my self-esteem, even inviting levels of blame. The thread I would have been sent down is the one which held the negative outcome. In both cases, I'm moulded, effecting how I respond the next time I feel nervous.
Fundamentally, we are rarely aware of our reactions, we 'do' by instant reactionary impulses and don't 'think it out'. Because these things happen so naturally, we display, without intention, 'who we are'. Isn't it a natural human need to be seen as loving and caring and be liked and loved? Yet, we can affirm or dispel these positive thoughts towards us, by others, in a split second.
Most important to all of this is how we are all part of the web of life, not just our own part, but we are interweaved with everyone around us. We are so connected and yet 21st century life seems so individualistic, disconnected. Our aims are, so often, purely to do with our own wants and needs that it becomes far too easy to forget to check ourselves for how we respond to one another. If we could all remember just how amazing life is and that we are so much part of each other's lives, even to the most fleeting of interactions, the guy on the bus, the woman in front of you in the queue at the supermarket, the salesman, the taxi driver, the doctor, etc, etc, etc,. We leave marks on everyone we meet. How amazing is that?!!!
Speak slowly and hear the words coming from your mouth.
Speak slowly that you have enough time to recognise the impact of what you say.
Speak slowly that you are sure your words will have the effect you wish for 'the other'
Speak slowly that you are sure your words will colour you in loving kindness by 'the other'
Speak slowly and precisely.
In the words of Max Ehrmann "Speak your truth quietly, and clearly"
May we meet each other on the web of life at the point of 'loving kindness'.