Friday, August 10, 2012

Emotions come early.  Emotional intelligence and Self Awareness shouldn't start late

Being a father to what is now my one year old daughter, one of the things I am amazes at most are her fits of rage, frustration, and excitement. She is overcome with emotion if you take her fill in the blank from her. Her intitial reaction is to seize up and scream, cling and lunge to reclaim what was her enjoyed reality. She has a similar reaction. When she sees one of her other small cousins. Excitement encapsulates her and her blinders of acceptance and motivations of a good time she wears from head to toe. It's her natural instinct. She's too young to reason with social norms or emotional self awareness but she rasseles with the same natural instincts we do as adults. How we respond to different stimulus.
Each of us have pet peaves and hot buttons, some are quicker to anger than others but we all are aware whether we stop ourselves or cross that line that of self awareness, the one where we avoid the emotional equivalent and outcome  as countless toddlers who don't get what they want (frustration, regret, or resentment by you or from others).

The point I am trying to make is that often times we take defensive posture whe approached with self awareness, but should we? The most instinctual and natural things we do are derived from raw emotion. Unfiltered feeling that isnt processed by thought. And if that is the case and we all suffer from the affliction should we embrace the idea of self awareness with open arms. Shouldn't we teach this at young ages and seek to master it by our (potentially life ruining) late teens? I have always been an advocate for never apologizing for ones emotions for reason I mentioned earlier concerning how organic emotions are. I do though believe we are responsible to how we respond to our emotions, and there lies the accountability to grow and move us past our oldest bad habit. 

The Perspective Windshield

Recently on a trip from Dallas to what is now my new area of residence in Houston, my wife and I came a cross a classic Texas summer late afternoon.  You know, sun shining white bright no clouds close enough to consider a threat, sudden, hard down pour.  They feel like a Hollywood movie scene on a perfect summer day where water is rigged to an apparatus that pours down a forced and fake down pour of rain. So as we were traveling south on 45, like a beam from a uFO the sunshine and rain both find us. On come the wipers. As we soak this contrasting weather occurrence of heat and rain I noticed on the passenger side where my wife is sitting there are dark clouds, typical of what you would see accompanying the rain that is beading down the windshield. On my side to my left the sun, shining no clouds. 

Isn't this indicative of what perspective is all about? Regardless of the rain pouring in front of us we often times have the option to choose which conditions we believe we are experiencing. Are we in the middle of a storm? Are we fixated on what's coming? Are we choosing to see the brighter side of things? Basic glass half full or empty thought process yes, but when the rain is pouring which way do YOU turn? 

It was ironic that my side of the vehicle had the sunshine and my wife's the contrary considering often times this how we view challenges, but this was just another example of how important we can be to others when facing rain together to be sure to empathize with what they see and share with them an opportunity to see things differently. 

This from surprisingly (and sarcastically) a hopeless optimistic.

The First Year

Today my daughter turns 1. A big birthday within hours. Car seat forward, a cupcake (met with apprehension) without "no's" and concerned faces, better foods (welcome to chic fil a Mia), no more formula, milk. Whole milk. And for us? 
A reminder to cherish more moments and thank God for more blessings. A chance to be confronted with how to respond to attitudes, fits of rage (yes rage already, and numerous decisions on the other side of what has become an increasingly faster learning. Curve with less chance to adjust, troubleshoot and prepare. We also get the privilige of trying to describe as countless parents do what makes parenthood so enjoyable. The selflessness of providing? The organic charm and curiosity of watching them enjoy new experiences? The level of trust they hold in you? Wondering what good or BAD habits you passed genetically or by example (fixable)? Regardless I have no doubt time will fly while we try to figure which one we are enjoying or dreading most.

The next big birthday is 5 (kindergarten :)), 13 (teenager :/) than 16 (driving :I ) than 18 :(.

 I guess we just pray harder, hold on tighter, laugh and learn. With mixed emotions :)(/I