Regarding managing emotions, I count myself among many other people who struggle with this particular part of life. I had a graphic that I was going to post, but it seems as though it has gone missing along with so many other things I can’t seem to find in my house when I need them.
Anyway, the graphic goes something like this: As human beings we are vessels filled with all kinds of emotions, which is a good thing, in my humble opinion. It is the way we express our emotions and whether or not they are appropriate at the time/place we express them is the issue of the graphic.
An example: A parent with a 5-year-old child attempts to reason with their child about an action they have taken which the parent considers to be wrong (dragging the cat by one leg across the floor or by the tail; shouting at parent or other children; hitting or otherwise hurting another child are some examples of this). Of course, the child will be automatically on the defensive when/if the parent confronts the child about this behavior. The parent, in this instance has to choose what kind of emotion to display to their child: outright anger, which may lead to punitive punishment(s) or patience and calmness leading to a dialogue with the child which is done on their level of understanding so that the child understands that whatever action they have done was wrong and ways to figure out how to not make that mistake again. A parent may think that when this dialogue is done that their child understands and that the issue is done and that the child won’t make that same mistake again, however, that parent would be wrong. Studies have shown that the frontal lobe of the brain, which is the place where impulsiveness and understanding of the consequences of our actions live, does not fully mature until the mid- 20s. Here is a link to an MIT article explaining how this works. If and/or when the child repeats the same mistake over and over again can make the parent extremely frustrated and angry and this anger my overtake any previous ideas of speaking calmly with their child. The parent may resort to outright punishment (this may include time outs, spankings, or escalations of any kind of violence towards the child). (My belief is that any kind of violence towards a child, even spanking, is sort of a “gateway” to more and more mistreatment of the child. This is why I choose not to spank. I used to use time-outs, but that just fostered emotional distance between myself and my child. So, now, we use “time-ins” where we both sit quietly for about 5 minutes and talk about what we are feeling and what we can do that can further a healthy relationship between ourselves. Also, we discuss what behavior is inappropriate and what is appropriate depending on the circumstance. Always remembering to speak to my child in way that she can understand. Otherwise, I’m just speaking into the air, which provides further frustration for me and my child.)
Before any violence or yelling takes place towards the child (or any other person an individual may be having problems with), it behooves the person who is trying to manage their emotions in a healthy way to stop and take a breath or even walk away for a few minutes to try to get some perspective on what is really happening instead of having a knee-jerk emotional reaction. I’m not saying that emotions are bad. We were given emotions for a reason and in the right time and place,displaying one’s emotions is great and appropriate. For instance: I can’t watch two people get married, whether is man/woman, man/man, woman/woman or any other kind of marriage without tearing up a little or outright crying. It’s not that I’m sad. I just feel so happy at weddings and that is the way my emotion at that time is displayed and I feel that this is appropriate as long as I don’t go into some kind of loud wailing or do something else to take attention off the wedding and onto myself. That would be totally inappropriate.
Mostly the emotion I’m speaking of here is anger, but this can also be applied to thoughts which take us down the spiral into depression. When I worked in a Christian street ministry and taught bible study, I referred to this as “taking every thought captive to the obedience of the Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5) Even though, at that time, I used this method in a bible study setting it does apply to every day life even if one does not espouse the Christian faith. When a thought comes along about my past, for instance, I can choose to either entertain that thought or cast it aside and opt for a more positive and/or more healthy thought pattern. Sometimes we choose to wallow in depression. I can’t say that I haven’t done this. I have. I tend to have the most trouble with this at night after my daughter has fallen asleep. Since I don’t have anything to distract me, it’s easier for those damaging thoughts to creep in. Again, the challenge here is to choose which thoughts to entertain. This can be a very hard process and it takes some time for a person to recognize certain thoughts as damaging and/or unhealthy before that person can begin to stop the cycle and take hold of their thoughts and choose to move toward a healthier place mentally and emotionally.
I am challenged with this on a daily basis several times a day. It so happens that my biggest challenges are dealing with anger, depression and anxiety. I want to model healthy behavior for my daughter, but am not always successful. So when I am not, I have made it a priority to try to explain to her, in a way that she can understand, that I am sorry for my bad/inappropriate behavior and that I will do my best to get better.
I don’t think I’m alone in struggling with this. In my humble opinion, managing one’s emotions is one of the things our society as a whole is seriously lacking. We don’t have very many models to go by. In our culture of instant gratification, if we (as a collective) perceive that we are not getting what we want we tend to lose our collective shit and jump right over the fence into proverbial left field.
This brings me to Donald Trump. This person is not a good model for managing emotions. He displays such a lack of emotional control that he can seem to be petty and childish at times. I don’t watch him speak very often as I try to stay away from the “news” because it depresses me, but seriously, my five-year-old has better control of her emotional outbursts. I’m not going to get into Trump-bashing, but suffice it to say: I did not vote for him.
A few days ago, on February 4th to be exact, there was a call for all witches or anyone who practices the magickal arts to perform a hexing and/or a binding on Donald Trump. I did not participate in that and here’s why.
- I subscribe to the belief of the universal law of “3 x 3”. Meaning, whatever energy you put out you get back times three, be it positive or negative. I don’t believe in “black” or “white” or “gray” magick. I believe it is the intent of the person performing whatever spell or ritual is done that makes it either dark, light or gray. Everyone has some darkness, some light and some gray areas. So again: intent is what matters here. If I had done a hexing or binding on Donald Trump, I would have invited that energy to come back and basically punch me in the face. Hard.
- I recently learned, after performing many binding spells, that whatever you bind is bound to you. A few years ago, out of desperation and fear for my life, I performed a binding ritual with a mirror or “bounce back” effect in it. Meaning that I bound the person from hurting me or my child and should that person attempt any harm towards me or my child that all the energy that was put into those actions or thoughts would, in effect, “bounce back” on that person. It’s sort of like a hex, but not overtly so because it all depends on how much negative energy that person puts out towards the caster of the binding spell. Now, after about 4 years, I realize that this person hardly ever leaves my thoughts. The hard part is that I do not want to think about this person, because I don’t want to draw that person’s thoughts towards me or my child. After some serious meditation on this issue and doing some research, I realized that as long as I keep this person bound with the spell, this person is bound to me because of the spell I did. I think it goes without saying that I do not, in any way, wish to bound in any sort of fashion (spiritual or otherwise) to Donald Trump. So, I left that alone.
- Whether for good or ill, Donald Trump is our president now. I believe that if he wasn’t meant to be in that position for some reason or other, that he would not be there. I don’t believe in coincidences or “luck”. I believe everything happens (or doesn’t happen) for a reason. I may not always understand that reason, but I don’t want to mess with what the universe has planned for Donald Trump. Also, and this may sound like it came directly from my mother, I believe that very soon he will have enough rope to metaphorically hang himself. I prefer to let him make his own messes and lie in his own bed rather than call on the spirits to do it for him. Again, I don’t want that energy to come back at me. I’m not judging anyone who participated. I think people, in general, should have the freedom to follow their beliefs. I follow mine. You follow yours. Live and let live.
- Finally, I don’t wish Donald Trump or his family any harm. I will, however, stock up on popcorn in anticipation of the day he makes his bed and then has to lay in it.