Life is full of moments where we are meant to feel certain things.
The demand starts
in early childhood:
it’s our birthday – and we are meant to feel happy.
Dad is going away
for two weeks – and we should feel sad.
Our school has won at team sports – and
we should want to join in with a celebratorysong.
Adulthood continues the injunctions:
We should feel devastated at funerals,
touched and hopeful at weddings, enthused and moved
by our families, carefree on holiday – and,
in bed with someone we like, exclusively focused
on the act and its pleasures.
But in truth, our thoughts are seldom exactly in sync with
它们倾向是凌乱的 脱离现实的 难以驾驭的
outward events. They have tendencies to bevagabond, unfaithful and unruly.
We rarely feel exactly what we’re meant to when we’remeant to.
Our emotions follow the script of
life with the lag and distortions of a badly subtitled foreign film.
Yet there are a host
of good reasons for this:
– There’s a lot more ambivalence in our hearts than we
are ever allowed to own up to in public.
We may love certain people deeply but at the
same time harbour profound and understandableresentments and rage against them.
No wonder we don’t always cry as deeply as we should at funerals.
aslo to get through life, we need
to grow a tough hide;
we have to learn not to feel and not to register certain things
that pass through consciousness.
Those amongus who’ve suffered the most, especially
at an early age,
have had to grow masters of the art of occasional non-feeling.
then that, when the time comes for vulnerability and openness,
we might not always so easily be able
to access our more tender emotions.
– Happinesscan be extremely worrying to register.
are creatures who defend ourselves
through anxiety and can not always readily give up
our vigilance, simply because we have a few days
off work and there’s a line of palm
trees ahead. – We may have grown suspicious
of large groups and fear their capacity for
intolerance and cruelty.
It may therefore be tricky
for us to join in in any uncomplicated
way with communal cheering and celebration.
We may have some well-founded background resentments
against collective demands.
– Finally, ouremotions tend to move far more slowly than
do events in the outer world.
The so-calledright feelings may well show up, but rather
later than one might expect.
We do eventuallyfeel grateful at the way the holiday went,
but three months after we’ve returned.
Wedo register that we are in love, or devastated
or in mourning or scared,
but not as soon as the world outside us might like.
clock has its own rhythms and seasons that
won’t easily obey the outer calendar.
we often aren’t ‘ in the moment ’,
because we have the wrong map of what should be thought
normal at any given moment.
It’s our expectations,rather that our emotions, that are at fault.
To help ourselves,
we should create a culture which better accommodates the weirder truths
of the way we work:
that does not have such a strong script about what should be felt
– and where we are more ready to
accept the greater complexities of our minds.
who isn’t always there in the act might return
if they aren’t pressured to do so
too actively; someone who isn’t happy
on holiday might grow a little more so if we
don’t demand that they smile all the time;
someone who isn’t delighted at a wedding
anniversary could eventually celebrate ifthey were first allowed to be (understandably)
a bit sad as well.
We should have greaterrespect for the way we’re built.
able to be in the moment isn’t a sign
that we are strange or defective, but that we have
started to be rightly faithfulto ourselves.
Our wisdom display cards explore what it really means
to be wise and how we can strive to
become more enlightened in our everyday lives.