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I was just in a conversation about grief which was mostly about the loss of a loved one, or even the thought of their loss. As people told their stories of losses and griefs, I couldn’t help choking up along with their emotional feelings. I suppose that’s a proof that I am still alive and my mirror neurons are in good shape.

One of the ideas that came to the fore was that it was difficult to feel loving towards another person when in acute emotional pain oneself. It’s difficult to feel any of the milder pleasant emotions when in personal pain of any type.

As I wrote those words, I remembered a sad event …  My dog Slim lay dying after being hit by a car. I had carried him to his usual sleeping cushion and placed him there. He clearly had a badly broken back, but when I stroked his face he would wag his tail. I let him lie quietly, stroking him occasionally, but he died within the hour. It fills my eyes with tears, even though this event happened in 1967. We love our dogs because they love us, and we learn to love them more because we must assume the adult role of responsibility for their well-being. Being responsible for a dog is a responsibility that a child can handle, and it lays the groundwork for being a functional adult when that time arrives. Even at an advanced age caring for a dog can help a person become more fully human.

People living in an adolescent moment of development, that is, when they are self-centered and seeking a heroic image for themselves and among their peers, will sometimes use temporary emotional boosters. They learn verbal affirmations and may stare into the mirror while assuring themselves they are strong, beautiful, and intelligent. That is fine, but at the end of that session, and while still in an enhanced emotional state, it is important to take on adult activities. These include helping other family members and friends, including family pets, and going to their job and performing it well. It is best if while at their job they can take on positive emotions of being strong, beautiful, intelligent, productive, and doing a good job of creating value that people value enough to pay money for. This intentional procedure creates positive healthy habits.

The object of mirrored affirmations is to be able to face the adult world with a positive attitude toward other people and toward productive work. When in the right frame of mind it is easy to be positive towards others, and they are more likely to be positive towards you, and your relationship is easy and fun.

It’s easy to be loving when you feel good.

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