Nancy Gosse ~ Journey of Truth

Under continuous evolution as I learn more ...

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Driven to Distraction

Today I was sitting in my partner's office, waiting for her to finish a piece of work. I sat in the chair facing the window so I could watch what was happening outside. I heard a child wailing and clearly voicing his distress. Then I saw a man walking up past the window. he stopped at a point where the inside counter hid the child from my view. I could still hear the child sounding upset, and then heard the sound of some rattling or something from a toy. It was obvious to me that the dad was trying to distract the boy from his upset; in the process scolding the boy for acting up. Dad continued walking with the stroller and the boy grew quiet. When they both came into view, I noticed that the boy was holding up a toy machine gun. He sat upright in his stroller, gun propped up proudly. It made me wonder...

Why is it that adults are quick to try to distract children when they get upset? Are we really trying to help them when they upset, or are we merely trying to appease them enough to make the outburst of emotion go away so we don't have to deal with it? Humans don't really want to feel and experience their emotions because to acknowledge them means having to look at what's really going on underneath them.

In my moment of observation, it seemed glaringly obvious that humans don't like the expressions of emotion. When strong emotions are expressed, it is our immediate reaction to try to cover them up, to quieten them, or otherwise just make them go away. The most common advice we often hear is "just let it go". But what is it that we are 'letting go' of? Aren't we just shooing away the symptom of a deeper problem? If we don't allow it to be seen and expressed, then we successfully don't have to deal with it. If we always merely side-step from what it is that is upsetting us, isn't it just like allowing a ticking clock to sit inside waiting for the moment for the emotional issue to flare up again? So what is really wrong with allowing ourselves to wail when we need to? Instead of intervening with a distraction, why not just stop, look, listen and ASK, "what is this trying to show me? What is this really about"?

So, here's this kid, wailing to get attention. He gets some form of attention but it is only to distract from what he perhaps really needed to say. Instead, he gets 'quietened' and sits with his gun in hand. Somehow, internally, he is being taught a lesson about how mature adults handle emotions; that the way to deal with strong emotions is to shut them up, push them away, and use whatever means necessary to not expose the real issue. We use outside distraction to twist ourselves because we are never allowed to express our true emotion as they come up.

POWER...CONTROL...MANIPULATION...DENYING one's own inner emotions...

YUP, these are the lessons we are teaching our children; the leaders for tomorrow!


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