It’s a universal custom. One that needs no explanation. It transcends language. Whatever the location. Whatever the quality of establishment. We simply know what to do.
And yet, there is always a card explaining.
Hang them up and use them again. On the floor and they will be replaced.
The card not only informs us of the required positioning for laundering, but helpfully reminds us of our green credentials by complying. We have done our bit for the planet, we are energy efficient and we can feel good.
You probably knew that though, before I said it. Up to reuse, down to be replaced.
What if emotions were like this too?
When we’ve done with an emotion, we could hang it up to be used again. Emotions tidied away on the rail. Folded neatly and shelved for the next time they are demanded. Hung with care on the hook. Drying, ready to be doused in human interaction once more, as needed.
If we didn’t want them again, or needed replacements, we could discard them on the floor, willy-nilly. Cast them asunder as we go about our business. Drop them where we stand. Pile them up, like a well formed trip hazard. Toss them recklessly, in heaps of soggy emotions of various size and shape.
Oh hang on. We already do.
I need to shop for food today. Saturday isn’t a normal shopping day for us – too many people in the aisles. The aimless people.
Anyhow, it occurred to me, what if I could shop for emotions? What would be on my list? What do I want more of and what do I have enough of in the cupboard?
Do I want more joy? More caring? More trust? More serenity? Do I need a little more sadness? A big pot of empathy? Do I need to refill my anger? Maybe I would like to take some lonely back to the shop?
Am I baking a relationship cake and need some extra courage? Some more selfishness, a little daring, some strong, rather than medium, fun? A big box of compassion perhaps, a soupcon of adventurousness and a large tin of hurt? Plus a garnish of warmth?
Maybe I’m about to change role and I need to stock up on thrilled, thoughtful and excited, buy a refill pack of embarrassed, but also purchase some ashamed and not good enough seasoning?
Or maybe I’m being forced to change role and need some hope, a little vindictiveness and a splash of inadequate, to go with the large supply I have at home of feeling used?
What would be on your emotions shopping list?
I’m in pain.
A sleepless night. A trapped nerve in my shoulder.
It’s hard to concentrate and hard not to. I can’t think and I can’t sleep. The pain is my focus.
Physical pain can do that. But so can emotional pain.
Feelings can dominate your very being. Consume you. Just as much as physical hurt.
I have painkillers now for my shoulder. They should soon help the physical pain. Chemicals in tablet form that I acquired from the local pharmacy. Even though I’m in a fairly remote location, I can get help with physical pain.
Emotional pain is harder to treat.
Yet just as debilitating.
Maybe more so.
Harder to get help.
Harder to cure.