A more sophisticated strategy for affect regulation

This sacred space between souls

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Most of us are so unregulated emotionally that we use everything from food to alcohol to sex to work to drugs regulate our feelings.

And that’s why it’s such a challenge to contain our desires and be uncomfortable for a minute or, god forbid, a whole day. It’s far too miserable.

And so, we try to find in things what we are afraid to ask for from other people.

But if there’s anything we should learn to reach for, it’s each other. That’s how people orient ourselves in a healthy and human way. Connectedness becomes the frame in which we learn healthy ways to regulate our emotions.

Becker once wrote that the self can only be developed in transacting with other selves. That man must be built upon the basic human encounter, only becoming whole not in virtual of a relation to himself, but in virtue of a relation to another self.

Perhaps this sacred space between souls is where science and spirituality intersect.

Perhaps we discover our own divinity within other people, and not from the heavens above.

Work is a common example. When we notice feelings of fear or sadness or anger welling up, maybe instead of running to the office kitchen to grab another bag of candy to meet our emotional needs, we might turn to the person next to us and ask if they have a few minutes to chat.

It’s certainly a riskier and more sophisticated strategy for affect regulation. But developing a healthy dependence on other people’s support is what will deepen our connection to the human community.

Whereas eating or drinking or smoking our feelings will only deepen our risk for heart attacks.

Have you accepted the people around you as your greatest assets in coping?

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

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