“Bob, look it’s a sunny day!” Mom would say when the shadows played in the porch with me and I would get frightened. Halloween ghosts would petrify me. The only good thing I remembered were the candy treats. Fear is a very strong emotion and I didn’t really know how to deal with it. I would cry until someone would pick me up or run away. I remember packing in sunscreen lotions and shades on my summer camping trips, but I couldn’t deal with the uncontrollable panic I carried from my childhood.
Life was still good in the early days despite the fears of unknown. My mom taught me to recognize and tag the weather and take necessary precautions for the same. “It’s raining Bob, carry your umbrella!” “It’s cold outside, don’t forget your overcoat.” Only if Mom had also cautioned me about the changing emotions of human beings, I would have know how to handle them as well, instead of throwing a fit for attention or running away.
I wish I could accept negative emotions like I accept the cold, the storm or the rain. I realize we must teach children to tag their feelings and become aware of them, to accept that they are part of the journey as a human and take necessary precautions to deal with them independently.
Fear, anger, lust, greed, jealousy , regret, guilt, shame, despondency and sadness are all part of the emotional weather conditions just like happiness, cheer, love, joy, pride and courage are. Both positive and negative emotion has to be dealt with. Both are impostors and we must not be swayed by either of them. If only we became aware of these emotions from the first time we felt it, we would learn to manage them better instead of getting lost.
I don’t blame my parents, they as adults were also going through the ravaging storms of their own emotional journeys. It is important, however, to create this awareness, so we can accept our feelings and be honest to ourselves.
Now, I label my feelings, accept them and deal with them, instead of throwing a fit around my folks and friends. I share the same with them, it has created much stronger connection between us. We confide in each other. We do not portray a perfect , all-good picture in front of each other. We can just be ourselves and still be loved for that.
It is Halloween time now. The night has fallen and the entire neighborhood is dressed up as zombies, I am staying indoors as always, enjoying the pumpkin snickerdoodle cookies made by Aaliyah. She never compels me to move out or dress up. It’s my choice and she accepts it. She, on the contrary, is becoming a witch with the most eerie costume she could lay her hands on and painting her lips black to my horror, but I accept her way of having fun as she does mine and that is what makes this bond so uniquely strong. I love her and am loved come rain or shine.