Thursday, December 09, 2010

Emotional Surfing

It is amazing (no, it really is amazing) sometimes how the rawness of my emotions comes surging to the top.

I often tend to live at the edge of emotions - ask anyone who has spent a long time with me. Over the course of a day I can sway from happy to silly to angry to depressed - in a very real sense, sort of an emotional surfer on the waves of emotion, always looking for that one perfect wave.

Can I act like a thermostat instead of a thermometer? Can I regulate the environment around me? Sure. I almost never am so submerged in my own emotion that I cannot sense the situation around me and act as needed to either lighten things up or tone them down.

But the counterpoint of emotion surfing is much like real surfing: it only really works if you are on the edge of the wave. To go into or under the wave is to lose your board - the proverbial "Wipe Out". And so most of my day to emotions are simply that: surface level, first pass reactions.

The risk of any sort of thought or writing or interaction with certain individuals who make us think is that these can cause me to go beyond the surface level of my emotions, down into the parts that don't always make it to the surface - or haven't for years.

It's surprising to me what I am finding. Things I thought were dead and gone years ago come surging to the fore with as much emotional power and pain as they ever have. The roots of theme (The ever popular "Root Cause Analysis") apparently went much deeper than I had anticipated.

In a word, more often than not it's painful. It's not surfing; it's the long swim.

But the sun is up, the water is warm, the sand is white and sparkling, and the sky is that cerulean blue it only actually gets in pictures. So you get your board, turn around, and head back into the ocean where the waves begin.

Just because the waves are big doesn't mean you shouldn't surf them.

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