Enjoy Your Own Company
Emotional intelligence, in essence, is the ability to be in and understand our emotions. When we are aware of our own thoughts, feelings, and behavior. When we can see ourselves in others, and in so doing, gain an understanding of others. That is to say, empathy. When we can hold a thought and a truth of our own, but still understand another, in conversation with colleagues, partners, and family. When we can see ourselves from the outside. When we can see and understand emotions like shame, anger, fear, and sadness; how much they control us and what we do to escape them.
Emotional intelligence is when we can guide a child through their feelings and validate them. When we can see our basic needs and serve them in a simple and wholesome way. Understandably, there are not many who possess a high Emotional Intelligence Quotient. EQ. Partly because it hasn’t been practiced, and partly because we are not directly taught about it.
We sometimes say to children: You have to focus.How could they, if no one offers them tools to focus? The same goes with love. We sometimes say to each other: Don’t be so hard on yourselfor You have to love yourself!How? How can we possibly love ourselves or anyone else when nobody taught us how to? Or is love innate? If so, what happens along the way?
What does it mean to say, for example, that all love has left Donald Trump. What happened to make his EQ so low? Does he come from a loveless home? Did his parents not see him? Did they punish him when he expressed his feelings? What is it that makes him unable to see himself in others? Why does he exclude himself from others? What is it that makes him ruled by his fears and manipulate his way through life? Why does he believe in his thoughts without realizing they are madness? Why is he possessed by his fear? He seems to be in the ultimate form of denial. He could be something we call totally unconsciously incapable.
“I got no limbs, I’m like a feather on the wind
Well, I’m not sure if I want to be up here at all
And I’d like to be back on the ground
But I don’t know how to get down”
– Kate Bush
On one side, we have consciousness. A person who is conscious is empathetic, inclusive, understanding, boundary setting, truthful, candid, and possesses immense integrity. A great example is the Dalai Lama. What is it that makes him a conscious individual? Is it innate? And what, then, has he done to retain that love, both towards himself and others. Has he practiced? If so, what and HOW?
How do we become conscious of something we are not aware of?
How do we know if we are in an unconscious state? Most people are unaware of their unconsciousness. This could be translated as living in denial. That is to say, we do not know that we are denying different feelings, states, thoughts, or behaviors. We may even have used denial as a strategy to survive something unbearable. We are then in need of the denial. When someone threatens this survival strategy, we can be willing to exclude or even dismiss these people, for the moment or maybe even from our entire life. All this takes place on an unconscious level.
When we are unconscious, something aggravates us, but we don’t know what. When we are driven by our unconscious, we feel restless. We resist life. We feel stressed out, uninspired, listless, and powerless. We may even deny any or all of the above, in turn denying our feelings. We are therefore not in contact with how we feel.
Sometimes we combat these unwanted feelings by escaping into romantic images. New house, new partner, new car. We dive into imaginary worlds on the internet, in dating, at parties, in the future, through travel. And think: once things are the way I want them to be, I’ll be happy. It’s best to focus my attention on getting exactly what I need to be happy.
We show resistance to being bored, unhappy, tired, for time to disappear, for living a meaningless existence. We are usually unaware of our resistance and we are unaware of what that resistance creates.
We find things in our lives that stand in the way of happiness. Boredom and pointlessness at work. An unmanageable colleague, a parent’s passivity, a depressed sibling, an unempathetic boss, an unfaithful husband, an angry wife, a former friend. All these things afflict us in one way or another. We are unaware of our responsibility in creating these situations and fall victim to the circumstances we are powerless to face.
We seek affirmation in the form of love, work, sex, to such a degree that it controls everything in our lives. And we are unaware that it controls our lives. We find it nice to drink alcohol and take drugs because it diminishes our thoughts and problems. We are unaware that we are fleeing. We self-medicate against anxiety, hormones, energy, or fatigue. We think it’s normal to be on antidepressants. We are unaware of what they do to us. We want to be content and happy. We are conscious of what we want to feel but unconscious of how to achieve it.
By meditating, we gain control over the mind by letting go of control. Mindfulness is a technique and a way into meditation.
Unaware if you’ve been escaping yourself or not?
Close your eyes and sit quietly for 10-20 minutes.
Did you enjoy it?
Did you experience a sense of harmony?
If so, congrats – your self-care and self-awareness muscles are strong.
Didn’t enjoy your own company?
Did you experience a sense of boredom and restlessness?
Boredom is associated with a lack of connection. This silence exercise is designed to observe your emotions and to look at them curiously without judging and escaping them. Your emotions are not here to harm you and are not dangerous. They are here to tell you something about your self. See if you can invite curiosity and create awareness around your restlessness and boredom. Are you aloud to feel bored? If not, why?
Too easy for you? Looking for something more advanced?
Let us know by commenting below. And please stay tuned – guided meditation techniques are on the way!