Here is a link to an article that is a good story, and here is the model mentioned in the first article. I want to bring your attention to a couple pieces of this model. On the blue third you’ll see that one of the aspects of knowing yourself is recognizing patterns. When it comes to recognizing emotional patterns, I’ve learned to pay attention to what the imperative is that drives the pattern. The questions to ask myself are, “What emotional need am I filling behaving this way,” and, “Why am I reacting the way I am?” This requires real openness. I might encounter parts of my life I would rather not deal with. This takes courage.
Over on the red bar, the part of choosing yourself, one of the aspects is navigating emotions. It is difficult to successfully navigate emotions when I can’t recognize them, and the reactive patterns they have fallen into. One of the tools that is excellent for developing emotional literacy are the Mixed Emotion cards. They are designed simply to help a person develop emotional literacy, so I can identify what at times are myriad feelings, with some clarity, which better help me see the patterns and their imperatives, and also then to be able to navigate my emotions.
This can be challenging work. It might take some time to come to that place on the green portion where I am empathetic because that means I can actively be involved in someones emotions and clearly know mine and navigate mine without becoming identified with emotions that aren’t mine. This was a counseling tool we were taught back in school, and doing it on the fly when someone lays out a tragedy of abuse is hard to do. But it can be done. Because that part of the circle is about giving myself: my love, my compassion, my wisdom, and my silence. Sometimes what someone needs are just two arms.
Read the article, and leave a comment there, and/or here. I’d like to hear what you have to say about it. Thanks to 6Seconds.org for posting it.