A question came up while chatting with a friend a few days ago. She asked, “Can a child ever be older than his mother?”
“I believe in miracles,” I responded.
Earlier this morning, one of my mentors, Seth Godin, threw me the mail below. The mail came as a miracle as it addresses exactly what has been on my mind since last night. I am reproducing it below (verbatim), believing that you will find it to be illuminating:
Fear, loneliness, anger, shame & hunger.
They drive us. They divide us. They take us away from our work, our mission, our ability to make a difference. And yet, sometimes, they fuel our motion, leading to growth and connection.
When a variety of FLASH shows up, it almost never calls itself by name. Instead, it lashes out. It criticizes what we’ve made or done. And mostly, it hides behind words, argument and actions, instead of revealing itself.
As you’ve guessed, correcting the false argument is futile. Logic doesn’t work either. You can’t reason with FLASH because it is, by definition, unreasonable.
Worth repeating that: We’re rarely reasonable. Most of the time, we’re afraid, lonely, angry, shameful or hungry.
Sometimes, we can address those emotions by seeing that reason can help our problem, but mostly, we start and end with the emotion.
Pause to allow it be seen and heard.
And then, if we’re willing, we can dance with it. We can put the arguments aside, the demands and the expectations and sit with the emotion. Not get defensive, because the emotion isn’t about us or our work at all.
Then, maybe, we can begin to bring civilization back into the conversation, the story of us, the opportunity for growth and connection, and ultimately, the power of thought and reason and forward motion.