I have many friends who live with a physical disability.
I’ve always had great empathy for others, but since my late husband’ illness and passing, I have added knowledge to my empathy. That may explain a great new number of people that have come into my life suffering some form of loss.
Every day I learn from one of my friends what it is to live with a disability. The struggle doesn’t end with the acceptance of the loss. There is self-esteem, reinventing a life, and there is the constant health struggle.
The great poet and theologian Rumi, said “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.”
That’s the gist of Anne Naylor’s post. To find ourselves at an evolutionary point where feelings are neither good nor bad; they just are.
Having feelings and emotions is part of being human. Being dominated and controlled by them is neurosis. We cannot stop feeling and we cannot become different people. But we can allow the emotions and thoughts to exist without bowing down to them.
If we don’t underline and hang on to the negative emotions we actually have the possibility to turn pain and discomfort into something more fulfilling. Grief, the ultimately negative experience, if allowed to exist can teach us about empathy, compassion and letting go.
When I lost my husband I kept thinking that pain and loss could not be all that was left of him. As I allowed my grief all the space it needed without clamming to it and berating myself, I found the wisdom of acceptance.
Loving acceptance of our vulnerability and insecurities bring us emotional freedom. And with that compassion for others.
Can We Be Emotionally Free?
By Anne Naylor
What would life be like without emotional burdens like anxiety, depression, guilt, rage, self-doubt and shame? What does it mean to be “emotionally free”? Is it possible? Is it even desirable?
Part of the tool kit with which we human beings are born are our emotions. They must serve a purpose, or we would not have them. So far, so obvious. What would life be like without love, passion, enthusiasm, joy, excitement, exuberance, compassion, empathy or frustration, anger, resentment, envy, jealousy, greed and fear? Positive emotions serve to move us forward and expand our horizons. Negative emotions can trap us in a miserable downward spiral of hopelessness and despair…Continued
Love is any of a number of emotions and experiences related to a sense of strong affection and attachment. The word love can refer to a variety of different feelings, states, and attitudes, ranging from generic pleasure to intense interpersonal attraction. The word love can refer to a variety of different feelings, states, and attitudes, ranging from generic pleasure (“I loved that meal”) to intense interpersonal attraction (“I love my girlfriend”). This diversity of uses and meanings, combined with the complexity of the feelings involved, makes love unusually difficult to consistently define, even compared to other emotional states.
As an abstract concept, love usually refers to a deep, ineffable feeling of tenderly caring for another person. Even this limited conception of love, however, encompasses a wealth of different feelings, from the passionate desire and intimacy of romantic love to the nonsexual emotional closeness of familial and platonic love to the profound oneness or devotion of religious love. Love in its various forms acts as a major facilitator of interpersonal relationships and, owing to its central psychological importance, is one of the most common themes in the creative arts.
From a scientifically testable frame of reference, love is a type of interpersonal relationship where mutual assumption of good faith results in a state of emergence, i.e. constituents individually perceive the group’s social evolution as both beneficial and greater than what could be achieved by the sum of the relationship’s parts.
Biological sciences such as evolutionary psychology, evolutionary biology, anthropology and neuroscience have begun to explore the nature and function of love. Specific chemical substances such as oxytocin are studied in the context of their roles in producing human experiences and behaviors that are associated with love.
From the perspective of evolutionary psychology the experiences and behaviors associated with love can be investigated in terms of how they have been shaped by human evolution. For example, it has been suggested that human language has been selected during evolution as a type of “mating signal” that allows potential mates to judge reproductive fitness. Miller described evolutionary psychology as a starting place for further research: “Cognitive neuroscience could try to localize courtship adaptations in the brain. Most importantly, we need much better observations concerning real-life human courtship, including the measurable aspects of courtship that influence mate choice, the reproductive (or at least sexual) consequences of individual variation in those aspects, and the social-cognitive and emotional mechanisms of falling in love.” Since Darwin’s time there have been similar speculations about the evolution of human interest in music also as a potential signaling system for attracting and judging the fitness of potential mates. It has been suggested that the human capacity to experience love has been evolved as a signal to potential mates that the partner will be a good parent and be likely to help pass genes to future generations.