Growing emotional…

It is the end of a long day; one of those days when many small things have seemed to go wrong and a few bigger things cast dark shadows on your horizon. You are tired…not the pleasant kind of snuggle-up-in-bed-with-a-book tired either, but the kind that begins to question and ask ‘why does it have to be like this?’

It comes to most of us at some point; that emotional bone-weariness. Chances are, you are too tired to even begin looking for answers and past thinking about them if you fell over them. But you are going to find things that look like answers wandering through your mind just the same.

Under stress, they will probably be the wrong ones. Anxiety and fatigue cloud thinking, and what may appear to be a perfectly logical train of thought can begin from a single skewed idea, from a slight misapprehension or misunderstanding. Pursue them and you could end up very far from the truth and casting blame in all the wrong directions, even, perhaps, where there is no blame at all. Life just throws things our way sometimes.

Why does it have to be that way? The most likely answer is that this is a path we have chosen for ourselves. Not, perhaps, with any conscious volition, but through the gradual shaping of our worlds over a lifetime, allowing it to become what it is today. Some events may be beyond our control; there may be no choice in whatever it is we are facing at any given moment. But how we react to it is a choice and one we may have been unconsciously making for a long time.

Our very earliest interactions with the world around us begin to shape how we will react throughout our lives. The nurture or lack of it that we receive as we grow, the people in our lives, our circumstances, all combine with the raw materials of who we might become to make us who we are. Our reactions to any given event are born from this accumulated and integrated input of experience. Our character and the way we walk through life devolves and evolves from the life we have lived so far and therefore we shape many facets of our own lives in what has been called a mechanical fashion.

That is a cold way of expressing it. We could equally and simply say that our reactions are determined by who we have become. It may sound like a negative assessment, yet it is not necessarily so. Reactions that lash out at the world in hurt or anger stem from here, but it is also from here that the means to express the generous impulse is born; the act of kindness and empathy, the outstretched arms… We all know someone who is, or perhaps hope we are, that person who instinctively reaches out to others when they are hurt or in need. What is that if not reaction?


For those who seek to understand a little more of how they themselves have come into being there are many systems, beliefs and paths available. Within the Silent Eye we use the enneagram, placing upon it archetypal figures that express the basic ways in which we function… the chief impellers of our choices. These are not cold caricatures…they cannot be, for all we do stems from emotion. Whatever is behind our public face, whether we are creatures of laughter and tears or intellectually focussed, emotion is the prime mover at the root of all we are.

Imagine working backwards from the very tip of a branch, retracing the intersections from the finest twig, back to the bough and eventually to the heartwood of the tree. The deeper we consider what moves us to be who we are, the fewer possibilities we are left with. The closer we get to the source, the more I am convinced that even from a purely psychological standpoint, love can be seen as the root of all we are. Whether we know it or lack it, feel it or feel its absence and a yearning towards it, whether we feel it must be earned or deserved, or run from it in fear of the demands it might make… whether we clothe it as a need for admiration and respect… even whether or not we feel love for ourselves…Whichever way you look at it, love seems to be the central fact of our existence.

From a spiritual perspective, many have never doubted that this is so. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin once wrote, “The truth is, indeed, that love is the threshold of another universe.” When you see that the Source of all Being, and the source of our being as one and the same, it changes the way you see the world, yourself and your fellow man… and leads you towards a threshold of understanding that surpasses knowledge. And perhaps it is here we will find our answers.

27 thoughts on “Growing emotional…

  1. Days like this are like being nibbled to death by tiny insects. No big bites. Just endless little bites and a lot of itching and scratching. I really am doing the best I can, but I can very tired. Stupid stuff. Trying to remember a password or a username or a pin number — and I wrote them, so I should be able to remember something. But, I don’t. I remember nothing.

    Sometimes, I think trying to do the right think for 70 or so years would wear anyone down. Even when you try, you never get it right. You always make mistakes, you always feel you coulda shoulda woulda done it a little differently, that would have been good.

    It’s like raising children. You do the best you can and half the things you do turn out to be the wrong things — or at least, things they don’t like.

    Next time around the wheel, I’m not going to try as hard. That way, when I get it wrong, I won’t be so tired.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I don’t think we are supposed to get everything right… if we did, there would be little point in being here….but both trying to do so and failing is how we learn.


  2. So well expressed, Sue. After I emerged from a low point in my life (catalyst grief) I became even more of an empath. I believe we learn more through adversity. Love, emotion and hope are all. x


  3. Perhaps one should add the modifier ‘Selfless’. Because love alone can take the form of loving that which gives gratification, and that can lead to negative behaviour.


    1. Our use of language leaves a lot to be desired when the word ‘love’ implies anything other than selfless… Unfortunately, the word has been debased by confusing it with desire and ownership.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Something Marilyn said rang true for me today. That maybe we try too hard to not only find the answers but remember them, resulting in sheer exhaustion. I reached my tipping point yesterday and wallowed in self-pity all evening. This morning, however, I have moved on. Determined to soldier on regardless of impending whatever. Life can do what it wants with me, but must catch me first!


  5. So many different philosophers and religions all emphasize that “the greatest of these is LOVE.” If only we all recognized that truth, and worked from that premise; we’d all be less tired and a lot more joyful. ❤


  6. Hi All, I tried to go on the post today, but had to end up going to the original on The Silent Eye as there was nothing to be seen on the posting page. I was able to see it on The Silent Eye though, and I love what is written here. Just beautiful in every sense of the word. When I think of the word love, I think of being accepted as we are, and as we are not. And yes, likely selfless too, though that one can carry different meanings for each of us. Selfless reminds me of the famous nun who recently passed away and who had gained worldwide fame. Her death gained her a moment in time of fame and recognition, and I wonder if that is truly love, or just dedicated servitude.

    I am honestly not sure what love really means anymore. Being a full-time caregiver certainly requires a certain amount of selflessness, and I don’t think it is necessarily a good thing even when we truly love the other person. If we become so tired and so ill because we have given everything we can, then it is not good for us because we cannot be ourselves in that condition.

    These are eternal questions like what happens to us when we die, and we may never have the right answers if there is such a thing, at least not in this lifetime. I have tried to do the right things since I was a little girl, and I don’t know more now than I did then as far as what the “right things” are. I can only do the best I can in any given circumstances and then no more. My mind is functioning fully, and it doesn’t feel like I have to suffer quite as much, but there are so many things in this life that are beyond anything I can imagine or “fix” in my mind. I am glad to be here and alive for as long as I am supposed to be here, but the things I have to deal with on a daily basis are often more difficult to deal with than anything I have had to deal with in the past, and I am very tired of trying so hard to “get it right.” Perhaps in the end result there is no “getting it right,” ever. We can just accept that life is not meant to be easy; it will always be a challenge until and perhaps after the end. Thank you very kindly for the thought-provoking post.


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