Learning to pause

Emotions are running high in the US right now. With good reason. I’ve been trying to figure out what to say and what I can (and should) do or not do to support justice for everyone. Support #blacklivesmatter.

Add some personal drama into the mix, and this week has been intensely emotional for me.

In all of this, I’ve been reminded of two bits of wisdom I learned in high school/college. I keep coming back to them. Keep trying to follow them. To breathe.

The first bit of wisdom is from Father Chun. He was the Roman Catholic Priest at my high school that had been raised Buddhist. He taught the religion class for the juniors and seniors and taught a meditation class for seniors. He was always willing to discuss things with me and answer my questions about religions and spirituality, and for that I am ever grateful. But one thing he said really stuck with me:

ALL emotions are good because they come from God. It’s what you choose to do with them [free will] that is good or bad.

Even if you don’t subscribe to the Christian/Catholic God it still makes sense (for what it’s worth, I’m not Catholic). But what he said resonates strongly for me. Feel what you feel. The emotions are part of who we are. We can’t stop them or will them out of existence. Acknowledge and embrace/accept your emotions. But choose wisely your related/resulting actions. Act with intention and knowledge of your choice and its impact on yourself and those around you. You have a choice. We always have a choice.

The second is in times of strong/high emotion, take a breath before you speak/act. HALT.

H: Hurt/Hungry
A: Angry/Anxious
L: Lonely
T: Tired

If the way you are feeling is related to anything in HALT, stop. Take care of yourself first, then speak/act.

Both are things we have to learn to do, to incorporate into our lives and actions. I’m working hard to follow them both. Especially this week.


About slmcdanold

I’m learning to laugh at myself on a daily basis. I’m a librarian (cataloger) and I love it. My job involves all things metadata related in any and all formats. I have been known to cause a ruckus when necessary (aka troublesome cataloger) and make no apologies for it. I have a passion for continuing education and teaching. I’m a newbie coder (still learning). I like to cook. I’m a fan of rugby (go Australian Wallabies!) and ice hockey (go Detroit Red Wings!). I’m car-free and bike/walk a lot. I’m learning to love running one stride at a time. I own (and love) a very mouthy cat with a punk attitude and a slightly neurotic rescue mutt.
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