The Danger of Emotional Scripts

I have been away for several months for the very best of reasons.  More on that later for people who do not know me well.


A friend wrote me today about a particular situation that brought up some anger and how she dealt with it.  I think all of us deal with strong emotions from time to time.  I certainly do and I have been doing a lot of reflection from a Buddhist background and this was what came out.


What the human brain tends to do is to try to “explain” to ourselves why we feel the way we do.  Most of the time our emotions come from some incident, something that happens (a comment heard or even a small mistake) that seems to CAUSE our emotion.  But often, the strength and direction of those emotions come from far earlier elements of our life, things of which we are emotionally reminded by what happened now.


We then hold intense conversations within ourselves about how we will deal with the person who or the situation that offended us. This internal conversation can easily intensify our emotion and prompt thoughts about what we are going to DO to solve the situation, act quickly, get revenge, and lower the level of our emotion. We write scripts in our head about the things we will do.


To me, this is the main problem. While it is perfectly appropriate to sit with our EMOTION, it is never profitable to write the scripts. Your emotions ARE. Fine. FEEL them. You do not have to DO anything about them except to feel them. Are you angry?  FEEL it, BE angry. Are you sad? BE sad. Your emotions are worthy of respect.  But do not spend time planning what you are going to DO about them. Just be with yourself and FEEL your emotions.


This is intensely difficult to do in the moment, particularly in the middle of an argument.  It is profitable to practice with small things and remember “Time Outs”.  Those who are parents should remember them clearly.  But it is useful to accept one for yourself.  It is totally appropriate to say, “I am to angry (emotional, sad, etc.) and need a moment to my self.”  Then take the time to sit, feel the emotion, notice where in your body you put it (headache, back pain, stomach, etc.), allow yourself to experience it, but avoid writing scripts.


LOL, I am not sure any of this applies to us as members of the BDSM community, for Dominants and Masters are ALWAYS understanding and quietly communicative, and submissives and slaves are ALWAYS blissfully obedient.  But perhaps it may apply to us as humans.  We might understand far more about ourselves and make far fewer mistakes with other people.

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