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.

Connecting to Others is a Condition of Freedom Rather Than Loss of It.

Sitting on this land, fenced and gated I felt small.  It was different from my home.  Here I lost my connection to beyond the fence.  The string that attached me wasn’t long enough.  At my home, without thinking about it, I thought my self was bigger.  Small yet as large as the large connection I had to all the life that stretched out.  I hadn’t been in that place for a long time.

In the distance I saw the strange mountains, snow-covered, scoops of freedom and thought, “I must get there before I disappear.”

That’s what internet, (blogging, Facebook, Twitter) has done for me.  Taken me there.  No fences, no neighborhoods or zoning.  Suddenly my home became the great outdoors again and although I became smaller in it’s largeness, I became bigger by connection.  I had died a little in my isolation.  Designed in temperament and by human nature to get my energy from connections, I was weakening and alone.

I did not know.  I did now know a name for my condition.  I did not know the nature of my weakness.  I did not know what would happen when I took it down.  And I was afraid.

Tomorrow I’ll talk a little more about what conditions us to disconnect.  But for today I only share the openness around me with you.  It surprised me and wasn’t my conscious goal originally when I set out writing FriendtoYourself.  But as all true gifts come, It came to me from Love, not bought by labor or coin.

My land has changed.

Self-Care Tip #142 – Use the internet as a way to connect with others to be a friend to yourself.

Question:  What have been the connecting forces in your life?  Please tell me your story!