Don’t take it personally? (It’s personal)

You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive. James Baldwin.

One of the great self-development leaps we make that catapults us out of childhood and into being adult is when we realize we should not take things personally.

Apparently.

We get a rejection letter in response to the submission we sent – not personal.

In the past we used to throw ourselves on the couch, weeping and leaping to all sorts of conclusions about our self-worth (and the lack of it).

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The myth that we have to ‘rise above’ emotion is corrosive

The myth that we have to ‘rise above’ emotion is corrosive. Where is emotion ‘kept’ such that we could disentangle from it?

Emotions are complex biochemical events triggered by and that trigger internal and external reactions. There’s some evidence that specific molecules regulate certain emotions – oxytocin with empathy, serotonin with happiness  – although this is an emerging field and we really don’t know enough.

But its a long outdated idea that thoughts and feelings float around in space separate from the body – they are embodied within it.

Many psychologies, philosophies and spiritualities teach that emotion is inferior to reason, but this idea of pure reason is a myth. The fetishisation of reason creates damage because people waste energy trying not to think or feel as they do.

Being emotional doesn’t mean having unbridled outbursts. That’s childish. We can learn to control impulses and must to live respectfully amongst others.

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