So brain just told me anyway.
We’ll get to that, but I’ve got to ask you something first.
Does your cerebrum do this to you: you’re there feeding the dishwater or loading the dog, and brain suddenly comes out with these weird aphorisms or propositions?
And you’re left scratching your head — and your hound — with a spoon in your hand, going What!!!
Mind does this to me all the time: something grabs my attention, which sparks an analogy that, naturally, veers off on a tangent, turns left at a digression, reverses up an aside, before spinning off on a premise, and finally alights at said aphorism or proposition.
Which then pops into my mental inbox.
I am intrigued by the Addison’s novel (to me) proposition that emotions are actually interpretations
That’s where I found, “You Can Make Your Own Mom and Dad, You Know!”
So now I’m wondering what it actually means.
Brain had been mulling over a terrific blog post by Addison, who lives way down yonder in Singapore, blogs as A Better Man, and recently started following my own blog.
The post Are you born with emotions or do you learn them? is well worth the read.
I am intrigued by the Addison’s novel (to me) proposition that emotions are actually interpretations.
As Addison sees it, our various physical reactions to our surroundings are preprogrammed. Human bodies work roughly the same everywhere, he says, “But how we interpret those reactions, which is essentially what “emotions” are, varies greatly from culture to culture”.
He goes on to say that emotions aren’t purely physical. They are interpretations of the physical. And they can change.
“If we realize our emotions are essentially constructed by how we interpret and label what’s happening in our bodies, rather than fixed physical reactions, we can control them better. And that can make many aspects of life, from work to romantic relationships, markedly better ….
And later on, he notes:
“And learning new concepts and words for how you feel can, in a very real way, help you feel and respond differently. And that power, used thoughtfully, can help you lead a happier, more successful life.”
Now there are some deep wounds that cannot be undone, but the injured party will never find healing if they continue to pick at the scars
It’s like that surge of adrenalin, where your hands get all sweaty and you’re full of nervous energy. Interpret that as bad, and you might feel really anxious; look at it as exciting, and you might bound off and do stuff, put that energy to good use.
So, same physical response, but different interpretations, and a different world view.
So, reframe your interpretations of the world, take control of them, and you will be a happier bunny.
Now I’m not one to dwell on cosmic synchronicity — unlike brain — but how else do you explain coming across this post soon after Addison’s, called Recalibrate The Universe from Yvette, of Weave The Future Magical fame?
In it, Yvette writes about the notion of reframing experiences to, again, take some control of your world.
“So, if someone cuts you off in traffic, you are extra generous about letting the next driver in. If someone steals your wallet, you donate some money. I love this! In these situations, the tendency might be to do the same thing, to cut another driver off or to hold onto cash more tightly but instead…you do the opposite”
You recalibrate your universe.
Kind of another way of looking at what Addison said about the benefits of changing how you interpret the things that happen to you for the better.
You recalibrate your emotions, and your universe!
Now I’m sure I could recalibrate and still cut off that driver trying to cut in at the last second …
But what’s all this got to do with making your own parents, you ask?
Well, let me give an example.
I’m thinking of a bunch of siblings, right, and how they might see their parents, mom, dad or guardian — and indeed each other.
They all have the very same mom and dad, and they all see them in the same way.
OF COURSE THEY DON’T!
And they also constantly reinterpret and recalibrate how they see their parents as they, the offspring, grow from child to adult — if mom and dad are around long enough for the cycle to be completed, of course.
That’s kind of what brain was saying about making our own parents.
Interpretations of them vary from sibling to sibling, and from moment to moment.
And these interpretations can be recalibrated. For good or ill.
We all know that sib whose mom and dad are just perfect, practically levitating with goodness and selflessness — maybe they should just keep taking those tablets, or let their counsellor unpack that locked away ambivalence, or even hatred for them — or the one whose parents are blamed for every bad thing that every happened, and has yet to happen, in their lives.
Personal responsibility is thus denied, even the possibility that it takes two to tangle.
Now there are some deep wounds that cannot be undone, but the injured party will never find healing if they continue to pick at the scars.
Know they are there, but don’t let them disable you.
Recalibrate, reframe and move on.
Yes, there are certifiably deranged caretaker personages, and ones who just aren’t up to the job for all sorts of reasons, but the rest belong on a spectrum between wonderful and woeful — or maybe even both at the same time!!!
Anyway, we’re talking interpretation.
And maybe repairing rifts, or just getting on better with our parents, is a matter of recalibration.
Otherwise known as growing up.
Maybe brain will fill me in on all this later.
I’ll get back to you on it
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My Word Of The Week for the #WOTW linky is “Recalibrate”.