I was going through something, and I remember stopping and thinking, “mind your own emotional business.” By the time your mind is dropping intellectual bombs on you randomly, even it’s tired of your bullshit.
So here, I am going to explore the idea further. Hopefully, we will come out of this quarantine with even a tiny improvement in our emotional health.
If you’ve interacted with me during these times of COVID-19 and curfews, you know I am NOT qualified to speak on this from an “I am better than you” standpoint. So, don’t feel free to drop me a message about potential hypocrisy. Between the excessive drinking (WHO called it), questionable life choices, breakdowns, tears, and fights, it hit me I needed to get back to minding my own emotional business and running a tight ship.
Now, your issues don’t look like mine. If anything, you are probably more well put together. Logically, you’d wonder what this mess has to say to you. Well, let’s take a walk, shall we?
I’ve learned A LOT during this journey with mental illness. You don’t have to have it, but there are universal truths we can explore. So here’s the five-step program I’m using to mind my emotional business.
Step 1: Can you address your denial, please?
If you ever think or even say out loud, “you made me feel-” to xyz, please. Stop. Just. Stop. Is the person in your neural pathways sparking off the chemicals producing the adverse reaction you’re having?
(I don’t know if that’s how it all works, and I can’t be bothered to research, but you get my point)
Nowadays I spot, address, flip, and expel any negative emotions toward another person quite fast. Are we good at this? No. But have I stopped sending people long messages and being passive-aggressive? Mostly. Have I known to love people from afar? Corona and quarantine are helping me perfect this art.
You can get upset, want to snatch someone’s weave, and ask yourself out loud, “Is this human being stupid?” What I’m talking about is the act itself of holding on to a negative emotion for longer than is necessary. Here is a cool infographic you can consider using when starting the process. Thanks for sharing Nyams!
In short, call yourself for as many meetings as you can until it’s out of your system. The focus shouldn’t be on how much someone triggered/ triggers us; it’s we who ought to deal with the emotions within us. So, please, let’s not delegate emotions and subject others to bad moods, short texts, and blue ticks. I am talking to you, Maureen Wambaire King`ori.
PS: Looking at the phone ring is quite alright. Consider taking a time out, especially when you’re not feeling alright emotionally. I am all for having close friends, family, and partners to help us through difficult emotions, but again, that’s a form of delegation. Ponder and calibrate, then when you get stuck, ask for guidance. Thanks, Doreen, for the lesson.
Step 2: READ.
Like, yo. Why do I have to say this, and it’s 2020??
You know what, open an incognito tab. Search what brings about people pleasing, why you have a hard time saying no, why you feel a coldness towards your parents, why you hate your job- you get the point. There’s a ton of information online written by professionals who will shed light on the inner workings of your subconscious mind where all the murk is hidden.
The reason I’m insisting on this is because demons come out to play. You can dress it up, money it up, success it up, but your demons always show. Slay them one at a time, and release yourself (and us) from it. I’ve hurt and pushed away people I loved and vice versa. If I’d started the inner work much sooner, life would be a lot different.
Step 3. ASK. FOR. HELP.
I can’t credit everything to my “seeing the light” and starting the journey. God, Jesus, The Holy Spirit, my mother, Doreen and Portia (my dear, dear friends) where all part of it. Other friends too- don’t come catching for me, please. So were an uncle and aunt who are like my guardian angels because they came through when I needed the most support. And I’ll finish this salamuz segment with acknowledging the mental health professionals who’ve been with me along the way too.
Step 4. Take care of your body
I breath heavy these days. That ish is NOT sexy. I sound like I ran a marathon. And what is diet? This is good advice; I’ll take it for myself too. Maybe I can make it through a Sun Salutation A today without collapsing. Gee!
Step 5. Accept it’s a lifelong commitment
You’ll be dealing with your emotions till death.
Pause, go back one line, reread.
Yea. So why not focus on minding that emotional business of yours? Like now?
Life can be simple when you figure out how to manage emotions, especially those causing distress. I’m also realizing they are not who I am; if anything, they are getting in the way of the ME.