Emotion

It has been said that vulnerability is strength; however, this sentiment is largely given by those who do well with emotion, so we see the conflict.   Being vulnerable is difficult, and no person knows this as much as those that aren’t emotional.  But everyone, emotional or not, biologically understands the reality surrounding emotion: In the animal kingdom, it signals weakness and invites destruction.

Objectively, vulnerability is not strength.  If this world were a fair place or an ideal place, perhaps we would be compensated for emotional intelligence and rewarded more than penalized for it, and we know a good portion of our work will be replaced by robots with less emotion than almost any businessperson.  We know emotion is not valued highly.  We move to: Can there be strength in vulnerability?

Childhood:

I have alluded to my childhood being a train wreck.  Specifically, unorthodox.  The hitting wouldn’t stop until the crying stopped.  Tears were a show of lack of control; we were proof our protector was in control and we were.

What resulted is I didn’t know how to cry. I also looked down on emotion heavily, and gravitated toward people that would bring back the familiarity of my childhood for nostalgia and comfort.  Feeling worthless or defective felt better than right, it felt good.  In my childhood, no matter what I did, it would still bring instability or rejection; that’s par for the course.  I also chose those who were battling out their own familial patterns, as there is a depth brought about by loneliness and pain that is hard to find.  But I did more than that, I also became the perpetrator, as we often play out our childhood in many ways.  So mindfulness is not just a nice idea, but the well-being of ourselves, others, and by extension, society, depend on our attention and adaptability.

Wanderers are people who have been chewed up and spat out in childhoods of deficiency.  They built dream worlds as children to escape – and take these habits into adulthood.  But what are dreams and well-thought out theories if we don’t regularly test and refine them against reality?  More liability than inspiration.   A part of intelligence is application.   A part of seeing broadly is seeing the point in detail.

Imbalance:

Introspection can easily devolve to hypersensitivity, and overthinking to crises.  Balance in all things. To swing from childhoods of rejection to complete acceptance, even of the unacceptable, from no emotion to unbridled emotion — extremism of any form requires a price no society or individual wants to afford.

If you have had a difficult childhood, it is on you to:

1. understand your parents’ childhood, and forgive if you can – it can be easier if you know personality typing

2. recognize where the patterns are playing out, namely by focusing on the childhood section of the Enneagram in a decent book

3. make sure your premises aren’t grounded in confirmation bias, based on your parents’ opinions or your anecdotal evidence

Anecdotal evidence is haphazard and is not a thorough way of filling in knowledge.  We’re often wrapped up in experiences we could learn the most from, that it is unlikely we’ll deduce accurately.  Experiment with sound theories, but perform the experiment, don’t be the experiment.  Test scientifically: methodically, putting aside bias, with relative control.

4. weed out loathing and guilt

5. don’t focus on the bad, but shift habits

6. find balance as best you can, for yourself – between action and thought, between observing and participating, between giving and taking

7. accept that you don’t have to prove your worth — reject emotion that makes you feel that you do

Interpersonal and Intrapersonal Intelligence:

To the original question, is there strength in vulnerability?  Interpersonal (reading others) and intrapersonal (understanding yourself) intelligence are important, though not valued by the majority of society.  What the majority of society focuses on is logical, linguistic, and existential forms.  But that is not to devalue the kinesthetic type (learning by doing) and the emotional types of intelligence, but rather to state that any intelligence by itself is imbalance.

Emotional intelligence in combination with other forms of intelligence provides more well-rounded experiences and insights; therefore, emotion strengthens an argument and living.  Balance is great in all arenas.

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “Emotion

  1. I am new to you. I just discovered you a couple of weeks ago.
    I appreciate you posting this. I have been looking for this test. I just couldn’t remember what it was called.
    I am loving all of the tips and advice you are giving to your readers.
    I am very late to the game of getting my act together. I have spent so many years as a damaged person, and now I am trying to turn it around to try and create a more positive and balanced life. I am trying to set an example for my daughter, who may be on a path that she should not be on. If I can be a model for her, maybe she will be able to make better life choices.
    I feel a connection to you, because I can relate to the way you think.
    Thank you again for your positive contribution to help people like, who want a change, but don’t have any idea where to start.

  2. Hi Melody. Thank you for sharing this. It helped me connect with the pain and misunderstanding I felt in childhood and also later. Long comment ahead:

    I related to a lot of what you said. I’m only recently starting to see that I survived everything- but didn’t feel most of it. I quite literally was not allowed to. I remember being rushed to school not too long my mom died (I found her dead). Apparently everyone else was “done” grieving, so I needed to be too. Only one of many examples of how I was taught that feelings were bad. No one in our family was allowed to feel or show anger, except our abuser.

    I’m now learning to ask myself, “How did [whatever it was] make you feel?” and listen for the answer, without reasoning it or describing the surrounding circumstances (or being “adult me” and defending the adults in the situation). Seeing it from an adult perspective comes easy enough since we’re adults now. But our child selves didn’t see those things, and their feelings are all that matter in some ways.

    Rationalizing the behavior of adults (who have not grown or changed since the incidents) transports me right out of the feelings I never was allowed to feel (but so desperately need to, so I can heal).

    I like how you talked about finding a balance between the dreams that got us through childhood and actions we can take now.

    It can be comforting (for me at least) to hear about others’ experiences and know we are not alone, even thought it felt like it and still feels like it sometimes.

    Have you read Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle? Her philosophy is to rush toward the pain and learn (sometimes for the first time) to feel it fully. The healing and release comes after that. She says our story is in our pain. She says pain is a “traveling professor” that knocks on everyone’s door. She says she tells it to “come in and don’t leave until you teach me what I need to know.” She says when we can do that, there is no longer anything to fear. “First the pain, then the rising.” Easier said than done lol. She also talks about shame a lot, which is a huge thing for victims of abuse.

    Thank you for sharing some of your childhood and for sharing these strategies for healing with us. I so appreciate you. I also greatly enjoy your channel.

  3. Hi Melody and all,

    I think what you say about your childhood is fairly common, unfortunately. As the British poet, Philip Larkin once (famously … in the UK) said, “They &^%$ you up, your mum and dad” … whether or not it is intentional or not.

    I’ve only started really getting to know and like my own father since my mother died a few years ago. Before then he was impatient, judgemental, and (to me) not really a father I wanted anything to do with. Now I feel our relationship is far better than it was. He has mellowed in the period since, and this is good in the sense that he has now a sense of mortality and is more sympathetic, and empathetic. However, it is also extremely bittersweet since this only happened because my mother passed away. I don’t believe it would have changed otherwise.

    Recently, I have come to understand that I am more like him than I previously thought, and that he probably has suffered with the anxiety disorder that I am cursed with … although to a smaller degree. So I have come to terms with some of the problems I had with him throughout my childhood by being able to see some of myself in him.

    It can take a long time to deal with issues of childhood, and if you don’t have the time, patience, energy or want to do so, they may never get solved. Sometimes, you may only get there due to outside sources. Though you should, if at all possible try to rationalise how things were when you were a kid, and try to see the adults as fallible people like we all are. Maybe sometimes this isn’t always or entirely possible, but it is an ideal we should all strive for. Compassion may breed compassion, as abuse may breed abuse.

    Anyway, thanks to you and everyone who shares their childhood stories. I know how hard it can be to do so but it is good to be open about such things.

  4. ps great job on the tv mount, by the way. Doing it on your own must have been seriously tricky. Hint: get an electric screwdriver, if you haven’t got one already. It will save your life, and your hands … 😀 (one of the greatest inventions ever in my book!)

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