When You Can’t Control This, Emote Empathically

Self-Care Tip #172 – When you can’t control this, emote empathically.  Be a friend to yourself.

A couple of days ago I wrote about being transparent with ourselves and others when we are not in control of things.  (Say, “I Can’t Control This” When You Can’t.)

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It got mixed responses but all worth thinking about.

Jennifer responded on Facebook,

The 3 C’s help me all the time; I didn’t cause it, I can’t control it, I can’t change and or cure it!

Isn’t that wonderful?!

  1. Cause
  2. Control
  3. Change

And it’s helpful to remember that claiming these 3C’s still may not remove us from the stressor.  We are however more present with ourselves and others despite the stressor.

Another reader BeeBlu’s, brought up that famous “fine line,”

I agree that it’s healthy to have this attitude to certain things in our lives, but as you say, it is also no excuse for bad behaviour and letting emotions go into free fall at the expense of others. I think there is a very fine line between the two. bb

…And her signature, “bb,” – awesome.

A line that is thin implies insecurity, danger and something precarious that may end up all wrong.  I wonder about that line.

On one side we have the 3 C’s:  cause, control, change.  On the other side of the line we have responsibility for the boundaries of others.  I wonder if there really is a dividing line after all or if it is just bad lighting.  If there wasn’t, there would be no need to thicken the line, to defend, or to pick sides.

Emotional health makes shadowy lines disappear.  It takes someone who has emotional health to be able to say their 3 C’s and still consider the internal and external milieu of others.  It takes someone who has done their self-care and put money in the bank; someone who has reserve built up that spills over into empathy.  We can’t emote empathically so well when we aren’t emotionally healthy.  The less of that, the more real the line becomes.  The less of that, the more precarious we are.

Gaining emotional health may take medication, exercise, sunlight, granola, grandma’s kisses and all sorts of things.  Each of us has to figure it out for our own selves and just do it.

Questions:  What do you think about this business of shadows, lines, and living cautiously?  When you have been healthiest, how have you been able to embrace both the 3 C’s and emote empathically at the same time?  Please tell me your story.

4 thoughts on “When You Can’t Control This, Emote Empathically

  1. After becoming more confused than usual by the musings of the oh so articulate DQ, I turned to the Internet for help understanding tonight’s blog. As I have realized, my issues and misconceptions are usually not unique to me and may be shared by others. Although, I am a bit embarrassed and feel a bit foolish, I want to share my mistake in that others may learn from it and better understand. Perhaps I will find a common bond amongst the group and we can support each other. Well…everyone should read this because it does change the entire meaning of the blog… Emotes were not the small furry creatures in that Star Wars Movie. Those were Ewoks. Emotes can be found here http://www.emotes.com/ and they look nothing like the Ewoks. I would like to apologize, on behalf of this blog, to both the Ewoks and Emotes. Thank you for your support.

  2. The serenity prayer has never given me any serenity. I have never had this alleged wisdom to know what I can or cannot change but I have developed the ability to know that after I have tried to change something for the 938th time without success some of that wisdom seeps in and it is time to find something else which will trouble me. Huh?

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