The cat is purring loudly, the fire is roaring once again with Emma roaring outside the shuttered windows. I am sat with a lovely box of chocolates and a set of drawings, visuals and plans for our bathrooms, dressing room and bedroom.
Now that is indulgence!
But I can’t concentrate on them. As I pop a chocolate in my mouth, my mind is not on the plans, but thinking about some of the things I heard today, that resonated with me, that helped more cogs clunk into place. Emotional agility… flexibility… humility.
As I drove back from a snowy school run, I listened to radio 2 and a pause for thought that was explaining how humility can and should walk hand in hand with loving yourself. She answered a riddle I hadn’t been able to. Humility, isn’t not about loving yourself, because that is allowed and should be embraced in order to look after yourself, so that you are at your best and brightest to be in service to others, to help others with your skills. Click! And Clunk!
When I arrived back home, in amongst the stripping of beds, the preparations for 2 nights away, I flipped over one of my cards. The topic was flexibility, how the rigid branch will break under a strong wind while flexible seaweed will survive a powerful ocean swell. “Be so flexible so that no storm can uproot you.” It was a reminder that I can stay strong to my values, myself and passions, but be open to new ideas, new compromises, new paths. The storms and swells push you in directions you would never have dreamed of, but find you end up on the most beautiful of shores. Click! And Clunk!
And to close the day, as I drove back to school, I started a new book on emotional agility. I didn’t get much time to listen to very much of the first chapter, but what I did hear, helped me respond in the right way to conversations later on, earlier this evening. Our emotions are human lighthouses, guiding us away from danger or towards safety: fear to warn us away from harm, joy to bring us towards the light. Check. Got it. Un-numbed my emotions are back in force. Listen to my emotions, my gut feel, my intuition. But then there is the mix of my emotions, that are clouding my judgements, based on past and painful memories. My emotions have blinkered me from reality, but then have also made me see more than is really there. Her answer to emotional agility, the ability to respond, rather than react is to process your feelings, experience your feelings, understand the intricacies of them and how you can use them to move forward…. Her answer to emotional agility, is journaling.
So in a conversation, hanging on to the bars of the aga, when we talk, as we do openly and with flagrant honesty, we discuss if we would have made the same choices 16 months ago. Would I have continued to journal so publicly? Faced with the consequences we both face because of both our actions, the ripples of all the many decisions, actions and words all intertwined, would I?
My answer, always, still the same. Yes. Without journaling, I would be in a mental institution, wracked by the emotions that would have had me crashing on the rocks. Without being totally and openly vulnerable, exposing myself, I wouldn’t have felt the support I have, given the strength I needed. Without sharing, I would never have known that I am not alone, that others survived, that we are all strong in our own storms, our own swells and hurricanes.
And anyway, I am over playing the ‘what if’ game. You can’t change the past. You can only accept it. Admire the ripples. Ripples are beautiful, calming, perfect, eternal. And when your ripples bounce off the ripples of others, they intertwine, making them even more awesome, mesmerising and stronger together.