Holding on to things or clinging makes us feel as though we are in control but it’s artificial emotional intelligence. The unbalanced, overly cluttered, psyche is subject to dysfunction and irrational eruptions. There is no internal “headspace” for the next minor difficulty. For example, someone going too slow in the fast lane, your drive-thru order is wrong, the coffee is too hot, too cold, whatever the trouble is, you erupt beyond what the situation calls for.
Onlookers ask, “what is wrong with that guy? He’s blowing his top, and it’s only 7:00 AM?”
Beware of artificial emotional intelligence
Anger is a symptom — not the root cause. Whenever you are upset (overly upset) about an event or a person, the root cause is not the event or person. It’s a loss of true perspective. You see reality, not how it truly is but through a screen of accumulated thoughts and feelings. Cumulative rejections, jealousy, and resentment build as anger like pressure in a volcano, and you lose yourself in the situation.
The onlookers can’t see what the big deal is because they are not holding on to or clinging to thoughts and feelings. They are detached from all the clutter, the “baggage” that you are carrying.
Emotional intelligence is about knowing, understanding, and managing your thoughts and feelings before anyone else has a chance to witness your internal state. Awareness is self-protecting and will lead you directly to self-management.
Become aware of what you are holding on to what you are clinging to. Pause, contemplate, and breathe. Re-direct your wandering thoughts. Don’t allow them to become part of your sense of self. Focus on looking past transgressions. Follow William James’s dictum and bring back your wandering attention over and over again. This is at the very root of good judgment, character, and will.
Remember, awareness implies that you are not only aware, but you are aware of being aware. You are the onlooker of the patterns of your mind, the scripts it runs. Similar to the onlookers above, you might smile at the antics of the mind. See how meaningless and immaterial the mind’s activity is.
With practice, you get better and better. You begin to let life pass as you see it happening, unfolding right in front of you. You are fully aware, present, and enjoying each moment. You are becoming free.
You see your thoughts come, and you feel the corresponding emotion. You pause and restore awareness by reminding yourself; this, too, will pass. Life becomes lighter, less burdensome!
He who rules and controls his spirit is stronger than he who taketh the city.
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