Taking Care of Our Own Emotional Junk Empowers us Not to Take Care of Theirs

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Yesterday we started a narrative series on understanding where emotions and behaviors come from:

  1. Emotions Are Contagious
  2. Our own Emotional Junk (today’s post)

Yesenia and Rob chorussed,

Yes! I am worse when Yesenia is not doing well. Who can cope around that!?

Yes! Rob is making me sicker!

Saying emotions are contagious is not the same as explaining causality or fault. It’s talking about an influence. I didn’t want Rob to misunderstand me. Saying emotions are contagious is information to use to empower us; not to make us feel like victims. It is to help disclose our own vulnerabilities, our own needs and our own quest towards healing and presence.

But how to be present with “falling knives,” as Cindy described this in yesterday’s comments?

It starts and ends with Me. So getting back to Me simplifies things and short-cuts our confusion.

It’s easier for us to be around so much charged air when we have already gone toward our own flaws, pain, emotions and anxieties. It is easier for us to not make something personal that isn’t if we have already stayed in our own nasty space for a time, did that process over and over, and each time stayed long enough to see what is there/what will happen until we realize – not much. (That was what I like to call a “super-sentence!) Taking care of our own junk helps us be available for other people when they are spilling theirs. We are less controlled by shame and fear.

This may not happen when complicated by our brain disease. Personalizing things may be inevitable if we do not get medication therapy. Being present with our own journey might not happen without medical help.

Sometimes when we are ill, we feel like we are spectators of our own life story, standing off to the side, just watching the show. With healing, we join with that living active self and can be present and whole. With healing, we don’t have to personalize someone else’s emotion-spills. With healing, we can improve our quality of life. When they don’t fight for brain health, such as taking needed medications, or whatever it is that would have been friendly for them to do – we don’t have to make it about us.

And! And if we choose to, we can be with them. We can be with the people we love! Isn’t that great?! Even when they don’t do their own self-care. Even then. Or not. But we are choosing now rather than reacting defensively.

Kaily said it yesterday like this,

Now, when I notice that my mood is starting to mimic the negative mood or negative atmosphere around me, I stop myself and realize that just because those around me are negative, stressed, uptight, etc., I have the choice and the power to stay positive and at peace within myself. Just because everyone else is jumping off the cliff doesn’t mean that I have to follow.

Self-Care Tip #268 – Taking care of our your own emotional junk helps you not try to take care of theirs.

19 thoughts on “Taking Care of Our Own Emotional Junk Empowers us Not to Take Care of Theirs

  1. Important insight that we can stop mimicking the mood around us and that there are
    strategies not to allow that to happen. We do have control so not to be mere spectators as ourown lives evolve as you present. We just have to learn that we have it. Another dimension of the intersection of junk in a relationship is not only can we be caught up and manipulated by the junk of others is that we fuel off each other’s behavior to the point that the destructive behavior is strengthened and accelerates as we now co-pilot this airplane of dysfunction. A past relationship of mine had to be severed, as intimate as we were, because we both realized we were playing off each other’s positive or negative junk and thrill seeking and risk taking dynamic that the probability of an injurious collective explosion of some nature was in the future if we stayed together.

  2. Inspirational. I am encouraged and hopeful. Being peacful can be contagious too? Your last two lines really struck me.

  3. I guess I have emotional junk, but I find it more satisfying to help others with their own junk. It makes me feel fulfilled giving bits of advice and watching them struggle with the information as they learned to work it into the weave of their own lives. I have said before, I had walked away from people who affect me negatively, the “toxic people”. I don’t search for my own “emotional junk”. I guess I just wait till it shows up, and then make a decision whether to practice Mindfulness or Radical Acceptance. Marie.

        • ok. r u into this? if so,.. (dot dot dot) take this typology test and read your results. think about if they seem to fit your idea of yourself. take the test again a few times, each time reading on the resulting typology and comparing them against your own insight. after about 3x’s or so, it should b clearer. let me know! can’t wait.

            • The results are: ISTJ. I=78%, S=12%, T=25%, and J=22%.

              Very expressed introvert.
              Slightly expressed sensing personality.
              Moderately expresses thinking personality.
              Slightly expressed judging personality.

              Doc, maybe you can make sense of this. All I know is that I am painfully shy, who like to help sometimes. 3> Marie.

              • hm. not sure but i need to get to know u better. maybe u’d b willing to take the test a couple more times, read the descriptors each time to help clarify. then for a 4th time, have someone who knows u really well answer the questions for u and see what they come up w. each time, reading the descriptors and distilling yourself out of them… let me know! hugs

  4. I am definitely susceptible to the moods of others, and I cannot often shake them off as easily as I might prefer. This can be good, and bad. One way that I have learned to use this vulnerability to people’s moods is to go toward music when I want to feel a particular way. Music is so emotional to me, and so contagious. Some songs are on my “can’t play” list because they will take me immediately to a place I don’t want to be…but some music can calm me, bring me back in touch with myself, or open me up to other possibilities.

    I get and appreciate what you are saying about not making everything other people do be about us. That makes sense. It can just be so difficult! And no matter how much I tell myself not to let someone affect me, sometimes it still happens even when my guard is up.

  5. I don’t like to be around “emotional vampires” or “toxic” people, I am learning how to surround myself with love and light to prevent them from coming into my space and Karma. Having some boundaries is wonderful – if you can do this. I am a typical people pleaser so this is hard to do. It is also hard if your spouse is going through a difficult time and you have to be around them all the time. Great post,.

    • Jackie! u r such a sweetie to send all your “likes” and vote of confidence. thank u. …that was off topic i know but had to b said!
      thank u for sharing this bit of your story too. i hear u on the people pleaser bit! keep on.

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