Chapter VI – Part 7

$ Now it was simple: we are sitting here in your nice office, I can simulate a little that I feel relieved. It’s different in the real world.

$ Do you mean: you’re not entirely responsible for the way you feel?

$ That’s what I mean.

$ In your opinion, what you feel what does it depend on?

$ On what happens to me. On information I get. E.g. I’m at work, everything is fine, I’m calm and my son is calling from school telling me that he has been vomiting and having a diarrhea. He doesn’t know what to do. And I’m getting nervous. I keep smoking. I’m frantically thinking of a solution: go and fetch him on my own? tell him to get a taxi and go home? send my husband?

$ So if I’m taking this right, when you are calm and get a message about your son’s sickness, your calm disappears on its own and nerves come on their own instead.

$ Yes, the child’s sickness is an objective reason for every mother to get nervous. Are you suggesting being calm when my child is ill?

$ I wouldn’t dare. Two things. Firstly, do you remember such days when the weather was nice, everything was all right at work, all family were fine and in spite of this you felt anxious, not calm.

$ Yes, a strong feeling at the pit of your stomach with a whisper at the back of your head: it’s certainly the silence before a storm. For sure something bad is going to happen soon.

$ Does it mean you didn’t feel adequate to what was happening to you nor to information you were getting?

$ Exactly. Really, there is no consistence between feelings and events.

$ I’m happy you could see it. Secondly, imagine that you’re driving your car. You are focused on the road and one of your ears is listening to the local radio. They are talking of a school that caught fire. The fire alarm installation was faulty, they didn’t organize the evacuation correctly, one child fell down with the staircase into the fire. You’re not listening carefully, so you miss the piece of information what school they’re talking about. However, your imagination is working. Thousands of ideas of what to do about it are coming to your head at once. Call my son at his mobile? And if I get down to the voice mail? It can mean that he switched off the phone in the classroom or… Call the radio station? Check the local news on the Internet? What are you feeling?

$ Fear, panic, I feel like crying.

$ Imagine that half an hour later your son is calling saying that he is vomiting and having diarrhea. What are you feeling?

$ Relief. Joy. I’m crying for happiness.

$ Look: the same diarrhea, the same vomiting and how different your emotions were.

$ I don’t agree with you. That’s not the same diarrhea nor the same vomiting. In the first situation my son drags me away from my work and complicates my day. In the other one, any information from him is evidence that he is alive.

$ From my observation, if I hit the bull’s eye while working with a client either they drive through like a hot knife through butter or they resist with might and main.

$ Why would I resist if something hits the bull’s eye?

$ There can be many reasons. E.g. a regular resistance to change, even to a change for better. Or reluctance to work, to make an effort. It is similar to the way people react when they get a diagnosis and look for a second opinion or when they weigh and it turns out they are over 120 or 140 and they start looking for another scale. They need to deny something because it is not comfortable to be aware of it: it forces you to react.

$ There’s something in it.

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