Our emotions are closely linked to character development.
Or maybe it’s the other way around: character development is closely linked to emotions.
The more we come to understand our emotions, the easier it will be to see how important character traits like virtue, honesty, integrity, and responsibility matter.
There is a wonderful article in the Deseret News newspaper, published on Sunday, March 4, 2018, by Boyd G. Matheson. It’s entitled: Reverence: A vital virtue, or a solution?
One of the tragic realizations in the recent school shooting incident is that the shooter did not know how to understand or resolve his emotions. The shooting was really a response or result of the turmoil and feelings that person felt “inside”. He was not able to draw on the values of character, integrity, and responsibility as a result.
So as we think of solutions and what our response should be, let’s consider how to help our children understand the value of developing character. We must begin by teaching those values in our homes, as parents, and then extend that to community organizations also. All of us can commit to re-focusing on the importance of developing inner character and strength.
We can use “the gardening principles” to help our children understand many abstract concepts. I often refer to specific aspects of gardening as I talk to my children (or they talk to me) about important life questions or dilemmas.
There are so many ways to use the Gardening Principles with children, as you help them interpret and make sense of life’s experiences. Children need parents who can help them see meaning in their experiences, and who can help them learn how to learn that it isn’t always about what we want “in the moment” (another gardening lesson).
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I have taught leadership classes to youth for years. One of the games we play at the beginning of a new course helps us get acquainted with each other. Everyone stands in a circle. I have a ball of yarn, and I take the end of that yarn and hold it. I tell one thing about myself. Then I toss the ball of yarn to someone else in the circle. They in turn hold on the strand of yarn, tell the group something about themselves, and toss the ball to another person in the circle.
Many of my clients who come for craniosacral therapy tell me that they suffer from anxiety. It is a real problem for them. What I notice, interestingly enough, is that most of them have very tense muscles, and their body feels very, very tight.
There is a true principle: Emotions lodge in the body.
Somehow, we have come to misunderstand what fear is.
Remember the principle: A feeling PLUS a thought equals an emotion.
F + T = E
Fear is the meaning we assign to a situation as a result of a sensation or feeling.
Noise heard in the middle of the night = waking up with racing heart, and fear.
Being told that you are being laid off from a job = fear based on the belief: We will run out of money and starve.
The question is: How do we deal with fear?