One year ago my family moved. The house we purchased is in a great area, was large enough for our family, and had a wonderful yard -- but it sure had some quirks!
The house was built in 1947 as a basement house, and since then, has been “added to” several times. In fact, for some odd reason, the front door of the house does not open into the actual house itself. It opens into the garage. Go figure. So of course, we use the side door. We have to remember to tell people that, though, when they come to see us! In one of the rooms, the ceiling light flickers occasionally - goes dim, and then lights up normally. It happens periodically if the lights are on for very long. Obviously this is a problem that needs to be fixed. In order to fix it, we will most likely have to have the area rewired for electricity. One of the downstairs bedrooms does not, in fact, even have any electrical outlets. I guess they simply did not think they needed electricity in that room.
Let’s use this house as an analogy for some concepts regarding emotional health.
Each of us is a very distinct person. We are all different from each other. There are many similarities - but we have all had different experiences, and let’s compare that to the “floor plan” of a house. We all have “quirks”. As we have experiences, they “build” upon each other, which is almost like a constant remodeling of our house. Sometimes we have an experience that “closes off” a part of us. So all of a sudden, a door that we previously used now is sealed off from another area of our “house.” As we have experiences, we feel emotions. Our emotions are connected throughout our bodies, so we’ll compare that to the electrical wiring of a house. Sometimes our emotions “short out” and cause the brightness to flicker on and off. We can compare that to our moods. Sometimes we are happy - illuminated -- and other times, it’s more of the “flicker effect.” Sometimes our experiences might be so painful that we essentially don’t have any “electricity” available in that area of our lives!
Now, speaking of our family’s actual house - this house is ideal for our family. We live four blocks away from my parents - which has always been a desire of my heart. Despite its quirks (or maybe because of them) the house just feels “home-like.” We wouldn’t trade it, and we’re grateful for it. We’re excited to work with it as we have the time and money to do so, but meanwhile, we love it.
One of the most important emotional health principles is to realize the joy of just being able to be “us” and know that we can develop and change as we go along. We’re always in the “remodeling” process, because we’re constantly adding new experiences - and hence, new emotions about those experiences - to our lives. Our emotions are the “electricity” we use to power our lives. So it’s our challenge to wire ourselves correctly, and to re-wire if necessary, so that we can have the emotional energy we need. It can be done. It might require a bit of work, but that’s okay. We are definitely worth the effort.