Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Your Emo Footprint...

A few days ago I was discussing the carbon footprint and how we as individuals impact our environment by our energy consumption. I brought up an idea in that entry that I'd like to expand here.

What is your emotional footprint? How are you impacting the lives of others by the emotional state you hold? What is the quality of your interactions with others?

Ponder these questions:
  1. To follow the carbon analogy, do you have your shit together? If not, how is your shit affecting yourself and others?
  2. Are you stinking up the environment with your emotional garbage?
  3. Are you using up the valuable resources of love and compassion by emotionally vampiring other people's good vibes?
  4. Consider your past and present relationships. Have you/are you impacting that person's life in a way that is healthy? If others were asked about your impact on their life, how would they respond? How would they feel about the emo footprint you've left on their life?
  5. Are you currently working to forgive anyone in your life? Is anyone working to forgive you?
  6. Do you take responsibility for your reactions and responses to life or do you blame others?
  7. Can you identify your emotions as you're experiencing them and allow them to be? Or do you feel the need to suppress, analyze, judge or transfer them onto someone else?
  8. Do you seek out relationships to fill a void, to heal a hurt, to escape boredom or to avoid having a relationship with yourself?
  9. Are you in a place of being able to show/receive unconditional love?
  10. If you were to die tomorrow, what relationships would you feel needed healing? Who would you want to see and what would you want to say to them?
I think I've been pondering these questions for much of my adult life. Often, I've been attempting to heal the hurts I feel others have inflicted on me. When I stop to think about how I've impacted the lives of others it is humbling. On the flipside, here are some things I've learned:
  1. Make a difference in the life of a child. Not necessarily by having one, because I'm of the opinion that you'd better have a damn clear emo footprint before you procreate. No, I mean, take a child under your wing. See them. Really see them, not as mini adults but as whole beings unto themselves. Laugh with them. Cry with them. Honor their emotions. Hold their hands. Play.
  2. If there are relationships that feel squidgy in your belly when you think of them, sit with it and wonder what it is that is left unsettled. I've found that writing a letter (that I don't send) can help move the energy around unfinished business.
  3. Life is short. If you have the opportunity to tell someone you love them, do so.
  4. Be as honest as you can with yourself about why you do what you do. Take responsibility for your choices. Although you did the best you could with what you knew at the time, your choices may still have impacted someone's life in a hurtful way. Do what you can to make things right. Even if all you can do is offer up a silent "I'm sorry" to the universe.
  5. Learn from your experiences and when you feel you can, choose differently next time. Each day is another chance to make a different choice. Every breath is a "do-over".
Well, that's a start. I'm sure I'll blog about this more at another time. I'd love to hear your thoughts. Keep the emails and comments coming.

tall penguin

1 comment:

idgraham said...

I'm astonished no-one has commented on this.

I just coined the phrase "emotional footprint" out of a particular situation (i.e. I really don't think I'd heard or read it before) googled it, and found you.

You're maybe a bit 'Californian' for some people I might think of sharing it with, but thankyou. I'll drop by again now I've found this blog.

Ian Graham
Tawe Valley