The positive thing about being a control freak – can you smell the justification already? – is that I consistently and proactively find solutions as soon as I detect things are not in order. In other words, you could say that I catch myself early when things are not the way they’re supposed to be, according to my standard-obsessed ego of course. When I gained 8 kg during Basic Training (more on that story in Emotional Eating: Been There), I made sure I lost them as soon as I returned home. When, at 24, I racked up $875 of credit card debt, I crafted a plan to pay it back quickly and never went down that road again. When I missed my Acadian boyfriend who lived 1,600 km away, I bought a car to visit more often.
Naturally, this modus operandi was very effective…until it wasn’t.
People Are People
As long as the “things” that were not working in my life were “things” I could control them; they were fixable. Obviously, that was not the case when the out-of-control-thing had two legs and a mind. I’m sure you’ve noticed that people, even the ones who really love you, do NOT appreciate your answers to their problems. Same here. I had to find a substitute strategy to my compulsive solution-making and intrusive implementation plans if I was to maintain the relationships.
For a time, I was at a loss. I was simply oblivious – aka unaware – to the notion that someone would not welcome my generous and well-intended help. Blindly, I thought the problem with their overt resistance to my lets-get-this-under-control schemes was in the nature of the solutions I proposed. So, as the mother of the Energizer Bunny, I went in as many creative directions as necessary to find better solutions.
It still didn’t work.
The Gift of Emotional Awareness
Because I cared enough for those people who brought turbulence into my life, I chose to go looking for that new modus operandi. Unintentionally, they propelled me on the journey between my head and my heart – the most arduous and rewarding trip ever. In the process, not only did I meet compassion for the first time, I also met powerlessness, acceptance, disgust, empathy, sadness, trust, anger, and love. They stretched my emotional scale to extremes to which I could never have pushed myself.
Eventually, though not soon enough for those dear souls I was determined to help, I realized that there was nothing and no one to fix. They were not broken and they were not my puppets. In fact, they were gifts. They were the shades of gray that balanced the aseptic white I so fearfully clung to. Unlike I, they non-apologetically expressed the pain they harboured in their mind, hearts, body, and soul. They were the contrast I needed to grow intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually.
It was along this expanded spectrum that I discovered my Passion and Purpose: helping others develop emotional intelligence through greater awareness and capacity.
Passion and Purpose
This week, I took a big step in living my P & P by realizing a project I humbly believe will help humanity. I overcame my shame of asking for money to produce Emotions in Action, an awareness-building video that shows what emotions have to say. I think that once people understand emotions form an Emotional Guidance System, much like a GPS, they will finally see how empowering it is to connect to them rather than trying to control them. I believe our short film is the beginning of a new emotional paradigm which has the potential of leading to positive outcomes for emotional eaters, warring families, dysfunctional work teams, efficiency-seeking governments, innovation-driven corporations, and violence-prone children, perhaps even nations.
With a dear friend and colleague, Theresa Dunn, we launched an Indiegogo campaign yesterday and have been amazed not only by the generosity of the contributors but also by the comments about how our project resonates with them. We thought we were onto something. Now, we know we are.
Today is my birthday and it’s been the best one in my whole life for the simple reason that I’ve had enough out-of-control-people gift me with the awareness that was key to finding my Passion and Purpose and the courage to live out the dream they inspired. I thank you and love you!♥
PS: If you want to be part of a community who is ready to become proficient in its use of the Emotional Guidance System, please consider giving to FEELINGS TRUMP LOGIC at http://igg.me/at/emotionalawarenessvideo/x/11667582.