When the winds of childhood blow too strong, you must bend to survive. Staying bent, however, deforms. The trees above cannot stand straight, even when the wind stops blowing. The ill winds blew too long and too hard.
To leave childhood, you must stand against ill winds. Sadly, however, not all were fortunate to endure only occasional storms. If you are lucky enough to know mostly gentle breezes, be grateful. Otherwise, you might not be able to move upward, until you have made some sense of the storms that did visit.
You might think this post if for teens, but it is not. It is for all. Examining the winds of childhood strengthens all and is a process that is part of moving forward through each stage of your life.
Emotional Fitness Tips
Tip one: Understand not only the winds that shaped you but the ones who shaped those who raised you. Best done by understanding the things make us who we are. Current research points to: (1) our genes; (2) our personal experiences including traumas, blessings, and the voices surrounding us; (3) the beliefs we create from our genes and our experiences; (4) what happens when we act on our beliefs.
You are you because of these four things. The ones who raised you, including parents, siblings, other family, teachers, and preachers are who they are because of the same four things.
Moreover, these four things commingling, twist around each other, and blow you hither and yon; they can up root you, or lift you toward the light.
Understanding the winds that shape all, is an important Emotional Intelligence skill. It allows us to forgive, to make sense of life, and also to stay safe.
Tip two: Part of everyone’s genetic survival makeup as a child is to believe what is is normal. A beaten child thinks beatings are normal. An overindulged child thinks his or her wishes must always be met.
Another part of our genetic survival makeup is curiosity about the new and different. However, curiosity in some of us is strongly controlled by fear. What is known is safer than the unknown. Only the very bold rush fearlessly into the unknown. Are you bold or shy or in between? In between is best, for either extreme impedes learning.
Tip three: Question everything, but with a quest for what sustains life, yours and all others. Two beliefs need re-examining. First, the more passionate ones, particularly if they lead to doing things you regret. Second, the beliefs that were shaped by the winds of childhood that do not blow passionately, but are always quietly determining who we are.
Tip four: Search for the good but do not deny the bad. In the quest to be their own person, too many adolescents throw out all the good taught by parents and teachers and other adults. Doing so means re-inventing the wheel, a waste of time and energy.
Tip five: Exchange truth for opinion. Yes, there are what some call “Brute facts.” These, however, are not necessarily scientific truths. Think of the solid paths we walk across – floors, cement, hard packed dirt, rocky cliffs. What seems solid might be anything and could in an instant cast you down.
Faith is another example. For all the quarreling about an ultimate being, the truth is faith means believing what cannot be proved.
Then there are the political arguments.
Believing the paths we walk are solid need not be challenged, but seeing many of the beliefs quarreled about as opinion opens the door to peace and is better than endlessly trying to get someone to agree with your opinions.
It is more enlightening to listen to five dissenting opinions than five who who agree with you. But doing so takes efforts, for some opinions make us doubt ourselves and our beliefs.
Tip six: As always remember what matters. Our survival and our children’s survival depends not on denying evil, or knowing it exists and doing what you can to fight it’s deforming power. That means fighting the ideas that lead us astray and down paths of hatred. s
Thank You For All You Do
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This post was inspired by this WordPress Daily Prompt Wind
LINKS OF INTEREST
These links are for those not familiar with Emotional Intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness.
Emotional Intelligence (en.wikipedia.org)
The five components of Emotional Intelligence (www.sonoma.edu)
Emotional Fitness Tips for Parents (parentsarepeopletoo.com)
An Emotional Fitness Program for Parents(amazon.com)