We get to make decisions about how we react to unpleasant or unfortunate news. For some, that means getting angry and holding onto that emotion in order to focus the anger into ‘productive’ work energy. For others, it can lead to deep frustrations and a sense of being incapacitated. And in yet other cases it might involve both of those reactions — anger and frustration — that is quickly followed by letting go and appreciating the positive aspects of often difficult situation.
Letting go is strangely both easier and harder than either of the other emotional reactions, largely because it entails confronting why those emotions are being felt in the first place. Anger and frustration tend to represent outward manifestations of our own fears, concerns, worries, or other personal traumas. Engaging with them internally means dealing with those demons, whereas using them as energy or letting them consume ourselves externalizes such emotions in ways that prevent us from dealing with our own traumas.
At least one challenge is that social norms often inform us that it’s ok to just be angry. Just be frustrated. And that such emotions are normal and needn’t necessarily be ‘moved on’ from. It’s those situations, where those you’re encouraged to return to that trauma zone after it’s been dealt with, that can be the most challenging; those are cases where the puerile desire to experience our worse is often most challenging to rise above. Rising above it, however, is a kind of active work that promotes self-reflection and self-revelation. It’s not easy, but it’s perhaps some of the most important emotional labour that we can undertake.
Inspiring Quotation of the Week
“Concern yourself more with accepting responsibility than with assigning blame. Let the possibilities inspire you more than the obstacles discourage you.”
– Ralph Marston
Great Photography Shots
The idea of routinely capturing the same location, and tracing change, is something that is incredibly attractive to me. I often find myself pulled back to the same locations to see them at different times, with different light, and different natural coloration. And, so, I was incredibly impressed with Jani Ylinampa’s photos of a Finnish island through the seasons.
Music I’m Digging
Neat Podcast Episodes
- The Daily – A Crossroads for the Democratic Party
- (BBC) The Documentary – Virtual Mothering
- The Current – Why the soaring cost of vanilla could put your favourite ice cream flavour off the menu
Good Reads for the Week
- Encouraging Boys to Talk About Being Men
- My Inbox is For You
- Learning for learning’s sake
- Soften the Edges for Better Communication
- I was Jordan Peterson’s strongest supporter. Now I think he’s dangerous
- Screwing Your Vocal Minority
- Between Two Worlds
- Social Deconstruction: Why Photography Should Always Be for You
- Nation of shoplifters: the rise of supermarket self-checkout scams
- What It’s Like When Elon Musk’s Twitter Mob Comes After You
- An Ambitious Person’s Brutally Honest Take On Work-Life Balance