Last night I was sitting on my bed and I realized something odd; I was doing my inner monologue in cave-man language.
Me Am Sad. Me Want Happy Now. Me Not Care.
I’m not sure why, but The Incredible Hulk came to mind. The Hulk is all emotional thinking; there’s so little logic in him that he’ll attack anyone that makes him angry, anyone that gets in his way. Besides his problems with self-expression, he’s an out-of-control physical being that lacks any sort of grace. Probably doesn’t have very many friends, either, and even fewer pairs of wearable pants and shirts to his name once he’s been out ‘hulking’ a few times.
And therein lies the message for me in the Hulk’s behavior: if you only think with emotion, you have a tendency to lose your temper, to affect others negatively, to lose control of your emotions and behavior, to distance or to lose your friends. And your pants.
Been there, done that, still do it. Trying to tame that inner Hulk and learn to temper the emotional thinking with logical, Spock-like thinking to reach that lovely balance in between, the state of being known as the wise mind.
I admit it: I’m not very good at reaching that balance. In fact, most of the time I over-think it and begin smoking out of my ears just before flames engulf my brain and the Hulk emerges. There’s a part of me that wants so badly to be in balance, to have some zen-like magical problem-solving happily logical Brainiac sort of function thing going on in that grey matter. But there are so many traps and pitfalls to the process of learning balance. Have you ever tried a balance ball? Terrifying things. Never have I felt more physically uncertain than trying to balance on one of those abominable horrors.
It’s like the Hulk trying to learn Swan Lake. It’s just may never happen. Some things, alas, may remain only an idea rather than ever come to practical application.
But that doesn’t mean he will fail should he make the attempt. Just because the Hulk might not get past the frustration of strapping on his ballet shoes does not mean that with repeated effort and guidance he might finally put on the tutu and go for it.
It’s about learning and the application thereof. Patience. Good teachers. And more patience.
That is the problem. For me, patience works on the long view, but not the short. In the immediate, I have very little patience. I have very little balance. I have a whole lotta Hulk.
But Oh, Little Sad Hulk. Without balance, without logic, without perspective, poor little Hulk is doomed to be battered by emotional thinking and its consequences. And while there are a lot of very good emotions, there are just as many bad, and any and all of them can be dangerous when you do not have them in balance. And I’m not talking about dumb stuff like ‘puppy love’ or ‘I’m sorry I sang Karaoke’ kind of emotions. It is raw anger than enrages Hulk, it is the confusion and misunderstanding that drives him to smash cars into piles of rubble. It is the lack of control that causes the wreckage. Ultimately it is that loss of control that saddens him.
So, it’s back on the emotional balance ball for me; I have to learn how to make sense of what I feel, to temper those feelings with a healthy dose of logic, to see the world in a balanced sense. I don’t quite have the hang of it yet.
Here it is, the Venn diagram that tells the whole story. I want to be in the middle, I want to be of the wise mind. The Emotion Mind hasn’t been the best guide for me. And while I can be quite logical, maddeningly so, even, I am rarely using my Logical Mind when it comes to my own thinking, my own life. And, my, isn’t the Wise Mind attractive: synthesis, compromise, aspiration, best course. What great words, what noble ideas. Yet so very, very difficult for someone who has been solely ruled by the Emotion Mind. The Hulk Mind.
Me Want Wise Mind. Me Want Aspiration. Me Want Compromise.
Yes, me want balance, me want happy. Me want relief from always thinking emotionally.
One of the things I need, too, is to concentrate on other things rather than the constant emotional barrage, the emotional ‘shelling’ from the Emotion Mind. That means learning to distract myself when things get overwhelming, to do something that takes me out of the currently unproductive emotional framework and places me into a more logical or wise-minded activity, like learning a new avocation, for example. And I think I have just the thing: