It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything besides the editor’s note for the magazine and the other day I was thinking about why that is.
A year ago this month, my Husband and I (and many others) experienced a family tragedy that literally took our breath away. I wrote about that life altering event in the June issue of The Magic Happens and that was the last time I wrote. You can read that article here: Fade To Black
A few months later, another family emergency raised its hand and demanded that I take action. I will be writing about that later this year but for now, I need to keep it close. It has added in a big way to my inability to write because it was life altering in a permanent way.
That all sounds like enough to keep me from writing and yet, I didn’t think it was so simple as that. Yes, a lot has been going on but to my way of thinking, that should give me a lot to write about. And yet it didn’t.
Then it dawned on me. The problem is not what has been going on around me but rather what has been going on in my head.
The writing I do is always about my philosophical ramblings and I have allowed myself very little time to philosophical this past year. I have not been doing much in the way of reflection or asking my usual questions about our existence in this life. I have been completely focused on practical matters, both of a personal nature and a business nature. And I have accomplished a lot this year.
This year has been an emotional mine field; I’ve had a need to stay focused on what I need to do next without deviating because that is how I have gotten through this year. If I deviated – every time I deviated, I got sucked in to the emotional stuff attached to what I had to do. Once I went down that emotional sink hole, it would take me many days to climb back out.
Now I am not saying that it is bad to experience emotions. Emotions are important and we can learn a lot from them. My time will come. And what I’ve learned from this is that if times are difficult, it is best to stay completely in the moment. If there is a lot to be done, it is best to stay in the practical moment.
I believe that emotions are the result of thinking. What we feel is what we feel and that is just what is. Emotions are the construct of what we think about what we feel and it is usually attached to the past and the present. Feelings can only be felt in the moment.
Feelings are very basic – I feel good or I feel bad. It is a raw reaction to what is going on right now. Emotions on the other hand have the added element of thought. I felt good because… I felt bad because… The story has been added and the story begins to unfold. I felt bad because I believe I was wronged or someone was trying to hurt me. I felt good because she complemented me or I did something that I believe would make me look good. It is the ‘because’ that makes it a story and an emotion.
I’ve heard over and over the last year ‘how calm I am.’ That made me feel good; my emotional response has been pride. The truth about that is though, I am calm because I have stayed focus on what I had to do next instead of the story I could have been narrating in my head.
What I am trying to say here is this: If you have turbulence in your life, stay in the now, get what you need to do done and all will be well in the end.
If you get lost in the narrative in your head, it’s going to be a lot harder. The narrative leaves you open to being offended, to making stuff up and falling into the emotional pit of drama that we so like to create as humans.
And if you can’t seem to create the things you normally create, that’s ok. We don’t have to be our most amazing creative self all of the time. This life experience is about more than just our ability to create; it is also about our ability to navigate life. Navigating life in a useful way is a contribution to all of life. And contribution is the very best thing in life isn’t it?
It’s good to be back. 🙂