Of course in the general sense you will know exactly to the time, day and date when you were born. When you arrived into this world. Do you remember it? Of course not, yet as soon as you are born your mind is a sponge, taking in every sense and emotion.
There is an old saying. “Give me the boy until he is seven and I will give you the man.”
So I ask at what point, that singularity when you became self aware? For most of us the moment is at best hazy. There are moments I remember from my very early childhood but it wasn’t a “my history starts here” moment. Thinking about it logically, the brief moments I do remember early on I suspect are connected with a strong emotion that I felt, yet going so far back I can’t even remember the emotion but merely the moment. That being said there are single moments of early childhood that I recall with clarity but only as a snap shot. I don’t recall the lead up to it, nor do I recall the aftermath. Isn’t the mind strange, that I can remember a single moment but not the prologue or epilogue.
I suspect and this is purely my own opinion that emotion and how it makes us feel is a constant. Only life experience as we get older teaches us how to deal with those emotions. Love, joy and unfortunately tragedy feels the same whether you are seven or seventy. That is the human condition because also in my own opinion, we have a heart, a soul. It operates, survives on emotion (and by the way that word really doesn’t cover it), and reason plays no part in its operation.
Only as we get older, as we constantly learn to deal with those “feelings” that sit deep within our chest do we start to make sense of why we feel the way we do. Some feelings are irrational, some are not. As we become mature adults then only then do we differentiate between them.
Yet some adults never grow up and have difficulty in separating the rational from the irrational. We often refer to people as to their mental age. Some would argue their is also an emotional age. Again in my opinion I would profer to disagree. Emotion in its purest form is emotion. Its that connection between the head and the heart guided by life experience that teaches us how to react to that emotion.
A quick analogy for you. Having never done any exercise before you run around a running track as fast as you can. Your heart is beating as fast as it can, you feel dizzy, sick and about to give up. Compare that with lets say Mo Farrer. He will run the same track. The only difference is that he will do it in a world record time. Everything else is the same, he feels just as sick.
And so, whether you are experienced or inexperienced in feeling your emotions, that feeling is just the same.
Here’s another interesting thing I have discovered. When I was at primary school I had a crush on a girl called Angela Walton. She was gorgeous. Many years later I bumped into her, both of us obviously older. As soon as I saw her that feeling that I had until that moment carried with me disappeared. Not because she was unattractive but it wasn’t the memory I had carried around with me. It was like hitting the reset button. Now don’t get me wrong. I carry a residual memory of Angela and to this day still do but she was not the girl I remembered and carried in my heart.
The important thing being that “my system reset” and I never felt the same way again about her again.
Here’s another interesting thing. When I was a young boy we played cowboys and indians or cops and robbers in the school playground. We would spend several very detailed minutes before hand deciding on who would be the good guy and who would be not. We even discussed the scenario and the outcome. The good guy always won. There were no surprises and it was what we would describe today as a “safe learning environment.” Life gave us time to experience our emotions and then deal with them. That is how we grew up into the adults we are today.
Unfortunately compare that with how our children grow up today. Still the same emotions but making sense of them through the X box and a prisoner in their own bedroom. That is where the problems start. No real interaction with other human beings and ultimately as adults they are inexperienced in dealing with the same emotions you, I and everyone else throughout the ages have had to deal with.
Remember I said earlier about how I hit the reset button? I was able to do that because I met the person she was now and not the person I remembered her as.
Yet many of our memories in which we attach very strong emotions to will never be resolved. And so, in essence this is where this blog is going.
There are many that have never hit that reset button; many that have not had the time and experience to comprehend their emotions from the time that they remember them; and for some are still living into their middle age with the outlook of that boy or girl in the playground.
I am approaching 48 years of age. I am still that cheeky 15 year old I always was, in my heart. In my head, having experienced what I have had, I am probably closer to 65.
Hitting that reset button without a interpersonal prompt takes courage, bravery and wisdom. But more than that it takes faith in oneself.
So whether we are dealing with our own demons or deal with people dealing with their demons just remember, whether they are able bodied or confined to a wheel chair with 24 hour care; demented through mental illness or simply not having the luxury of our own upbringing; minds may be at a different place but our hearts share the same place. They always have done and they always will.