When the Message Gets lost in Emotion

Wallace's verbal skills have grown tenfold over the last few months, but to the same degree that he's able to communicate effectively, he's able to fly off the handle, and sadly his message gets lost in translation.  This leads to additional confusion as I can no longer understand a simple toy request when it turns into a full-body freakout.  As an emotional Pisces, this pattern is all too familiar, as I have spent much of my life communicating ineffectively by way of hurt feelings.  

It wasn't until I was in my mid twenties that an old boss brought this personality flaw to the surface when he explained that it's simply hard to hear the message through the emotion.  At that time, I was cry-communicating to desperately get him to see my side.  I am sure I was right, this job was not difficult, and I was the oldest person that worked there (not a humble brag), so his reluctance to back me up was extremely frustrating.  He explained that it didn't matter where the blame fell, at the end of the day, yelling wasn't allowed, so I got written up.  It was unbelievable.  I was correct and I was doing something that was good for the company but that fact disappeared behind the angry veins in my neck.  Correct was overshadowed by crazy.  

This makes me think of what is going on in our country and all of the emotions that are coming out in defense of the greater good. With groups like Antifa and other protesters who are all showing up to resist hatred, while simultaneously getting into altercations, it's hard to hear the message behind the mask.  Intentions aren't tangible but violence is.  It doesn't matter if you're showing up for peace if people on the same side are causing war, blame is cast.  This fact was extremely evident after Charlottesville, when the murder of a peaceful protester became less significant than the counter-protestors who showed up without a permit.  Somehow a permit made everything okay for Neo-Nazis, a reality I will never understand.  We are experiencing a time when one side sees blue and the other sees red.  The area of overlap in the Venn Diagram has completely disappeared and the opportunity for common ground is being replaced with disdain for our neighbors.  It is a scary time indeed but if we show up with even a hint of aggression, we will be found at fault.  With peace-signs on our hands and flowers in our hair, we cannot meet anger with anger.  It doesn't work with my toddler and it won't work with white supremacists, bigots or people filled with hatred.  Instead of walking into the dark, we must shine bright and show them the light.  This is the only way for the message of love to be heard.  

As humans, we are constantly being tested and how we handle those tests will determine how we are seen.  If we are calm and cool behind closed doors but overreact in a crowd of people, those people will all reduce you to that moment.  If we walk with peace in mind, but create conflict, we are reduced to that conflict.  In regard to Wallace, I hope we get to a place where losing a Superman toy doesn't ruin our day, but I am accepting each of these lessons as an opportunity for growth.  I am teaching him mindfulness, a practice that has helped me calm down a lot and I hope that he will be a solid communicator throughout his life.  If you're also feeling upset in this time, try to use that energy as a positive force to create more light for those around you.  As a person who has justified irrational behavior with feelings nearly all of my life, I know firsthand how counterproductive this can be.  I hope the resistance movement evolves in a peaceful way because with such a great message, it would be a shame for it to get lost in emotion.