At sixteen I fell in lust and mistook it for an everlasting love. It wasn’t. Not uncommon as the following Doug Savages’ cartoon depicts.
Emotional fitness thoughts
#EmotionalIntelligence deals with managing feelings wisely. To act wisely on a feeling you need to name it accurately or as Dr. Phil, who I do not always agree with so rarely quote, says “You have to name it to claim it.”
But feelings are not as easily decoded or properly named as we like to think.
EMOTIONAL FITNESS TIP
When a feeling creates one or another problem, it is time to start thinking about what other feelings might be in the mix. As noted above lust is often mixed with love. What other feeling get mixed together and create problems?
One group of theorists think fear, hurt, and pleasure of the three main feelings. This certainly helps me decode what might be driving a host of other feelings.
The tip: When dealing with a troubling feeling, I ask myself the following questions:
- Is pleasure leading me astray? Think of addiction which is pleasure run a muck. Also think of lust masquerading as love.
- Is fear a problem? Fear, as worry is often based on the possibility of a future hurt. But as Mark Twain noted “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”
- Is fear’s sibling uncertainty (not knowing what is happening or what will happen) driving another feeling. Jerome Kagan the guru of cognitive theory believes angry comes when we can blame someone else for creating uncertainty; think hatred of any religion by those who hold to a different faith. He believes depression is resolving uncertainty by blaming yourself. Despair is uncertainty that cannot be blamed away.
- When hurt is the problem and not fear, I ask “How bad a hurt?” I also ask if the hurt is self-created by negative self talk and twisted thinking about what has happened.
Slow down when strong feelings push you to act quickly. Doing so is being emotionally intelligent. Many of my easy emotional fitness exercises can serve to slow the urge to act.
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This post was sparked by the following Daily Prompt: Sweet Sixteen which asked to write a post inspired by your sixteenth birthday. That was when I met Lee, the first true love of my life which ended when I was twenty because he sent me a Dear Jane Letter from an Army post in Germany. He married I hope had a good life. While I wept, I was secretly relieved and from the perspective of age, know we never should have married. When I finally married lust was in the picture, but also shared values, missions, and goals important aspects of moving lust to love.