If there was one thing that I could get my kids to keep for the rest of their lives, it would be their emotional agility. My daughter can be upset, bawling her eyes out and then out of the blue, suddenly start laughing and giggling at something I’ve said.
You may think she’s been distracted by something, or worse, that what she was feeling wasn’t real, wasn’t as traumatic for her as it would be for someone much older to cry that hard over something important.
(I assure you, the things we feel as children are as real as the things we feel as adults. They may not make sense to grownups, they may have absolutely no basis in reality at all. They may be silly, like a broken hot dog (a classic) or appear as petty, insignificant things.
When someone breaks your heart, where is the blood? When someone close to you dies, where is the wound in your skin?)
The things our children feel are valid and yet, their troubles seem to pass over them like the wind over a river.
This is because our children know something we don’t or rather, something we have forgotten. They know instinctively that they only need to feel what they feel, while they feel it, and then they can let it go.
The rest of us learn over time that in order to appear consistent, to have our feelings considered valid, we must hold onto them. We must go on a journey and show progress. We must hit milestones. We do not allow ourselves the luxury of emotional agility. We must suffer through, or else we would appear crazy to the outside world.
And yet, I cannot help asking myself who the crazy ones are in this situation.
Today, I hope you remember that part of you that as a child, instinctively knew what to hold onto, and what to let go of.