As the spring sun hits the high Rockies, snow begins to drip down the mountainsides, growing into trickles and then into rushing torrents by the time streams reach the swollen, thrashing rivers on the valley floor. It is heart-pounding to stand at the edge of the mighty Colorado River during this time of year. Rushing waters scour the riverbeds – nature’s spring cleaning – and move giant boulders downriver. Sometimes you can even hear the muffled thunk and crash of nature rearranging her river furniture.
I’m not entirely sure how the fish survive this dramatic onslaught of spring whitewater but they do. Just as we survive the sometimes unimaginable emotional turbulence of our lives – the death of a family member, the emotional roller coaster of living with addiction or abuse, financial hardship or ruin, living with war or political chaos, famine or drought.
There are other, less intense dramas that we also experience every day. Our car is hit in a parking lot; our teenager stays out past curfew without calling; we fight with our partner about something silly; our boss blames us unfairly at work; we miss a deadline. Unlike the poor trout caught in a river torrent, we can choose how we respond to the drama in our life. We can step out of it and take a wider perspective. If we view it in the context of an archetypal or mythical story of human existence, we can begin to see past our personal emotions and no longer be held in drama’s constrictive grip. Disengaging emotionally and widening our perspective can release us from turbulent passions and quiet our judgmental voice. We may not have the power to control what happens in our lives but we certainly can control our response to it. What freedom and empowerment come with this tool of emotional discernment!
Lila Tresemer will explore her concentric circle model of emotional discernment during the Women’s Inner Wisdom portion of Women’s Empowerment Workshop. This tool is one that you’ll use every day of your life!