I just returned recently from burying my 85 year old father. I’m happy for him, as the future he faced was going to get worse, not better. I may say more later, but for now, I want to capture some thoughts that occurred to me during the process.
Being around death tends to soften us. It may immobilize us on some levels, but it sharpens us in other ways. We often become more aware of the insignificance of what we might normally attach significance to. Coming home at a time when politics gets pushed to the front, I’m reminded of how often our species looks for others to blame, be in charge, save us from ourselves, or simply protect us from others. Death reminds us of the need to be our own Emotional Geniuses.
Our emotions are what we try to avoid, and they are the very things we need to embrace. When they show up, we most often go back to what we didn’t receive when we needed it; meaning, unless we are conscious, we tend to keep avoiding the messages our own being is giving us.
The process of becoming an Emotional Genius is up to you. If you need more parenting--do it yourself. You have everything you need:
- Sadness comes up when you hold onto something you could let go of.
- Anger comes up if you were emotionally hurt.
- Fear comes up if you were physically hurt.
- Grief comes up when something is lost and you will never have it again.
These are rich, rich tools available to ourselves everyday. We don’t need to be at the whim of them; we don’t need anyone to interpret them. We need to listen to them and we need to take responsibility for them. We need to maintain our own Boundaries.
Boundaries should be strong enough to handle anything, but not look like it. You want an edge to yourself--it is to alert you. It is about defining, but not defending yourself.