Who Hit You With a Sock Puppet?
Ever have a day where you seem to feel out of control emotionally? Not because something bad happened, but out of the blue. Or, maybe something bad did happen, but it's been some time, things are better, and this bad day shouldn't be.
It is. It is an emotional day. Something has happened. Nothing bad. Maybe something so good, the emotions are spilling over. Someone seems to have hit you in a tender spot with a sock puppet.
I was looking at photos of my grandkids online. They are on a summer trip with their mom and dad while their dog, Cooper hangs with me. Of course, I am a typical grandmother. I can't get enough of my grandkids. In my opinion, they are the cutest, smartest, best grandkids on the planet. I feel the same about my kids cause I'm a typical mother too.
Today, I was looking at a specific photo of my grandson wearing a Daniel Boone hat with the raccoon tail and all. (I didn't kill the animal, and neither did he. Let's get real. Daniel Boone did wear raccoon skin hats.) He looked so much like his father at that age that my heart melted. Yep. I got hit with a sock puppet. I've been emotional since. In a good way.
When it comes to PIES that I have been blogging about lately, this is about the E, the emotional aspect.
What is the state of your emotional well-being?
Not too long ago, mine was in the dumps. For years, I had been very sick. As I finally started getting better, other aspects of life hit me like a freight train. Even before I got sick. It all got to be too much. Frankly, I was suicidal. Did I attempt? Almost. I didn't even finish the attempt. I was close enough that I knew I needed help and got it. It did help.
My emotional state of being was the most important reason why I needed to get on a PIES program. Remember, I am not advertising it. This is just my experience.
For it to be a part of PIES, it has to be measurable. How do you measure emotional well-being? In two directions. One: How healthy is your own emotional state? Are you in control of your emotions, or are they in control of you? Two: How do people feel when they leave your presence? Neither of these two directions are measurable. They need to be broken down further.
Do I like myself? Yes. Why? Because I have proven myself to be resilient. Shit hits the fan, and I keep making steps forward. Sometimes itty bitty little steps, but steps forward add up to progress.
Also, I have made strides to learning how to respond to things instead of react to things. In other words, I have learned how to curb the knee-jerk reactions that used to rule my days when everything was an emergency. I still have days like that. Emergencies do exist. Not everything is a catastrophe.
A great way to "measure" emotional health is to gage self-esteem and self-respect. For example, are you a people-pleaser? a people-avoider? do others avoid you? do you wish you had said no to that school project?
In self-examination, I discovered I both avoid people and have difficulty saying no when I can't avoid them. Neither is healthy. I am actively working on both these scenarios in these ways. I am reading books specifically on emotional health such as things on positive psychology, Brene Brown, Malcolm Gladwell, books on communication and leadership even though the only one I have to lead is me, and relationships. I make a point of going for walks at least five days a week where other people walk and make a point of looking people in the eye, smiling, and saying hello. That was hard for a while. And, I studied boundaries and set them with other people. I find the people that resent the boundaries the most are the people who need them the most.
If you are going to set boundaries, make sure you research what boundaries are first. They are not punishment. They are not for banishment. They are not for control of another human being. They are for your own protection. That is all. This post isn't long enough to explain. Please, research and watch what resources you use. What is a healthy tool can be used in an unhealthy manner.
Next, how do people feel after they have been with you? To answer that, I switched around and asked myself how I view other people. I found I went from being too trusting of others to being not trusting enough. We all need a healthy balance.
Brene Brown, in her book Rising Strong, asks a powerful question that I think should be asked more often. "Do you think that, in general, people are doing the best they can?" The caveat to that question being: with the tools they currently have, not the tools you think they should have. My answer is yes. I have always leaned towards believing people are doing their best. That doesn't mean their aren't better options they may or may not be aware of, or may or may not have access to. They have what they have. They know what they know. I believe most, not all, people are doing their best.
Am I? I turned it back on myself. My answer was yes. I can look back with 20/20 hindsight and see where I wish to God I could go back and do things different, better. But, I have better tools and more knowledge now I didn't have before. I believe I am doing the best I can. I believe you, reading this, are too. Steven Furtick says it this way. "Don't judge yesterday's decisions with today's knowledge."
If I believe people are doing the best they can, then I can see them in a positive light. If I don't, then I am looking on them with judgmental condemnation. Who wants to be around someone who looks down on them? Not me.
Along with that, I learned to stop thinking I know what the other person is thinking. Nope. Wrong almost every time. None of us are mind-readers.
Two more very important aspects to achieve emotional health: forgiveness and gratitude.
Forgiveness is key. I already talked about it in another post. Let me repeat: forgiveness is key.
Gratitude. I find the first and best step to emotional health comes in the form of daily journaling three gratitudes at either the end of every day or the beginning of every day reflecting on the previous day. I prefer the end of every day.
My own personal journaling is much more extensive than the three gratitudes. I start with recording what I did for PIES that day, then a quick synopsis of my day, the three gratitudes, and then I finish it off with manifestations where I list off in present tense things I want to happen or how I want to be in my life. The first manifestation every single day is, "I am Sunshine." I found after a few weeks of journaling every night before bed, I started sleeping better, and my anxiety decreased.
There is so much more to emotional health and cannot find the space to share what I have learned; but, what I have learned isn't even the tip of the ice berg. It seems like such a daunting task to learn. The size of the task doesn't matter because there is no end to it anyway. It's a lifelong endeavor. May as well get started. The secret is to learn and practice it every single day.
So, do I find myself emotionally attractive? Even with the days I fail, yes. For one main reason. Since I believe I myself and those I encounter are doing they best we can with the tools and knowledge we have in that given moment, I find myself more compassionate and forgiving of them and me. Imagine the world if it had more compassion and forgiveness in it?
Thanks for reading,
Humor In Chaos
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