I have been told I wear my emotions on my sleeve. I am not afraid to say when I don’t like something or when I think something is wrong. I am also not afraid to say I agree with someone who I don’t normally agree with. But that is just, in the moment material. When thinking about the future my mind goes blank. I am starting to think that the people who live in the moment, who wear their emotions on their sleeve, have no idea where to find their heart. It gets lost in translation, somewhere between getting immediate satisfaction of expressing yourself and finding out what you need from the situation.
Every person has a story about when they were a kid and they tried to run away. I remember backing up my little pink Barbie duffle bag, putting on my favorite rain coat, it was blue with orange and white flowers on it, and walking down the block. I made it three quarters of the way down the block and turned around to see if anyone was following me. They weren't. I walked further and turned the corner. At this point I couldn't see if anyone was following me. So I walked back to see. No one was following me still. I kept walking and walked myself all the way around the block. I stood right in front of the side walk leading to the door of my home. The tears had all gone. The humiliating part had to be walking in the front door. But when I did my family didn't even bat an eyelash, I realized that my emotion filled decision hadn't affected anyone. It was as if they knew the whole time I was coming home even when I didn't.
At six years old growing up in a family filled community, my family knew I was coming home. When you think back to the days of wanting to run away from home you laugh but why is that any different than when we are an adult and we react to things by our emotions; leaving a situation rather than fixing it. Kids pack their bags, leave their homes and walk down the block, immediate satisfaction. Walking in the house with no one bothering to address the situation right away is a way of kids finding out what they needed to get from that situation.
I don’t even remember why I wanted to leave home, I probably wasn't allowed to do something but I packed up my valuables: favorite teddy bear, some clothes, put on my favorite jacket and left. I guess the lesson I learned was I already knew what was important to me. Not getting what I wanted wasn't the point of me running away it was showing me what things I already valued. Starting with packing up my bag with important things and finally returning home to a family who knew all along I wasn't going to make it far.
So maybe there is a connection. Maybe there isn't a digression between our immediate reactions and what we want from the heart of things. For those of us who wear our emotions on our sleeve maybe it’s that these emotions guide us back to what our heart always wanted. The reaction comes first to protect the things the heart really wants.