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#72 - Emotional Intelligence is a Super Hue-Man Power
You, me, and everyone else will be pummeled by waves of emotion until we learn to surf.”
—A Lady at the beach
Right now, go over to your bookshelf, and find something you haven’t read yet. I know I have a few titles to choose from.
Stand the new-to-you book up on a table, and walk to the other side of the room, at least 15 feet away.
What do its covers look like? Could you summarize its story? What does its texture feel like?
Take a few more moments to observe every detail about this book you can, from across the room. And then make your best guess how reading it might make you feel.
Now, walk over to the book, pick it up, and investigate again.
How does your ability to discern if the book is worth reading evolve based on your new perspective of it?
This example presents todays idea. How your perspective of things changes, based on how you view them.
People will help you test yourself.
Sometimes relating with other Hue-Mans in your Life presents challenges you'll need to overcome together, in order to move forward.
I am guessing you can remember a time when you were in an argument with someone, and you felt angry enough to say something you later wished to take back. I can certainly remember my own.
But whatever happened that day is now in the past, and if you keep focusing your attention on the emotion of the event, you're going to continue re-living it until you stop.
Whoever tested you—you should thank them, because they helped you assess and build your Emotional Intelligence. And they helped you in a way which lasted longer than those moments of tension.
If you choose to look at your interaction through a non-judgmental lens, you will see how you and that other person were training partners who taught each other valuable lessons about patience, poise, candor, empathy, and even humor as well.
They helped you learn through experience, so you'll know better next time how to guide yourself through whatever happens.
Things look different from a higher perspective
Having high Emotional Intelligence means you are able to consciously raise your perspective above the emotional churn of a situation to act with chosen intention.
If you're on the freeway and suddenly find another vehicle erratically tailgating you, of course you're going to feel an emotional response. It's natural, especially when someone endangers your life.
But what you choose to do next is what really matters.
If you instinctively hold your breath and clench your butt cheeks when your acute stress response fires, then the emotion of the situation will sweep you away, and you'll curse the car in your mirror as you hit the brakes to prove a point.
And don’t get me wrong, brake checking someone who is endangering you, because you're mad at them, does provide a twisted, but temporary sense of relieving pleasure. But it sours quickly as it fades.
It only takes a couple breaths to shift your perspective to see how brake checking creates more danger for you, and everyone near you on the road. And how your little tailgating problem could easily become a deadly car accident, in a flash.
When the stress response hits, you could instead draw a deep breath, and then another. And during that brief pause where your awareness rises above your emotion, perhaps you may see your highest path with more clarity.
And after your perspective shift, you might wonder if that person behind you is rushing for a reason.
Perhaps they're in grave physical pain, trying to get themselves to the hospital as fast as possible.
Heck, or maybe they're just being downright rude, which you ultimately can’t do anything about.
But in the end it doesn't matter, because your resulting action is the same. You simply take a couple deep breaths, and move a lane over to let them pass.
And the best part is you get to continue living your life without inserting any unnecessary suffering for yourself or anyone else due to an emotional reaction, which, from a higher perspective, is completely manageable.
Your perspective governs everything
Remember the book you grabbed at the beginning of this article? Once you held it in your hand, you were more able to discern how reading it might make you feel.
What then happens to your perspective of that book after you actually spend the time reading it?
You and I are both books too, you know.
From across the room, or even in another vehicle on the road, our appearances and actions tell stories about who we are, but only from the cover level.
And yet, even after I tell you my stories, I have to recognize you will receive them through your own living perspective, based in your experience. How the meaning you assign them will naturally be different than mine.
Which is perhaps one of the big reasons why we’re all here together at this time. To recognize our collective Hue-Manity by sharing our experiences with patient empathy for one another.
And to piss each other off sometimes too, when necessary.
When you really think about it, your perspective governs all meaning you attribute to anything. And you understand how your perspective changes based on what level you choose to view your life from.
I am working on a heartfelt piece about dogs for next week, so until then, don’t forget to breathe!
Be well, Homie.
Juice and I are hitting the road soon, and we’re bringing cameras. Subscribe to our youtube page because we’ll be producing more beautiful work in the coming months.