Guest Blog by Bluesette Campbell, of B-C Ranch near Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada and HMI Certified Educator Trainee.
There’s no need to describe that the times we are currently living in have transformed the definition of ‘normal’ for everyone of us. For months we have been taking every day, one day at a time. Some have been affected more directly than others, but we have all been affected in some way. These changes manifest themselves in many different ways and often come out in the form of emotion, sometimes without us even realizing that’s what is happening.
I think it is really important to make this distinction now because so many of us want to discount emotion or deny that we even have any. Showing emotion has somehow, over time, been perceived as a shortcoming or a sign of weakness. I beg to differ. Actually, I would like to suggest, in my own experience, acknowledging emotions can bring me closer to a solution or resolution of a challenge much faster than if I attempt to sweep it under the rug or pretend I don’t have any. Once I accept the emotion for what it is, the road to ‘letting go’ and ‘moving on’ is more smoothly paved and easier going.
Throughout my day, I have been making a conscious decision to check in with my own experiences. What I have discovered is everything is requiring a little more energy, thought, and time. Just a trip to the grocery store, with all the added precautions, can be very time-consuming. Making plans for our upcoming brandings, with all the unknowns about large gatherings, requires more thought, conversation, and consensus-building at our management meetings. This can get cumbersome and frustrating. Upon reflection, this frustration is heightened due to indirect changes in our world. My personal struggles are tied to the greater whole and I am experiencing emotion because of it. This realization has allowed me call it for what it is, attach the emotion, and carry on.
To keep things simple, let’s take a look at four key emotions: Anger, Sadness, Happiness, and Fear. Because it rolls off the tongue nicely, we will call them: Mad, Sad, Glad, and Afraid. (Indulge me for a few moments and agree that any other words of emotion that you can name would, in one way or another, fall into one of these four categories.)
During the last three months with all the disruptions to our normal routines, there have been quite a few changes, perhaps some disappointments, and maybe some joys. To help you reflect, I’ll list a few that may trigger your thoughts. Ask yourselves if you have been acknowledging them in your day-to-day lives or if you have been ignoring them. I am not suggesting that you have to do anything about it. Some people function very well with struggle and prefer to keep it that way. If you are not one of those people and want to move past your current struggles, maybe by identifying some of what you are experiencing and attaching it to an emotion, you can move on. Take a look at a few of these examples, try them on for size, change the wording, or brainstorm a whole new list of possible experiences that fit better with you and your circumstances. The idea is that if you can identify with these experiences and attach them to an emotion, you will be well on your way to letting go of what is holding you back.
Take a glance at the table and see if anything resonates with you. If you catch yourself silently nodding or shaking your head, saying, “Hmm..” inquisitively, or find your eyebrows in an elevated position, something is definitely speaking to you.
|Mad||Why can’t things just get back to normal? People aren’t taking Covid regulations seriously/are taking Covid regulations too seriously! Boxed beef prices are so high and producer prices are so low! The Gov’t made me miss my Grandpa’s funeral!|
|Sad||I can’t visit my sick parent. People are hurting, going broke, dying or are less fortunate than I am. I wish things could just go back to normal. We decided not to bring the vet out for the cow/dog/sheep.|
|Glad||I am so fortunate to live where I live, do what I do, or have what I have. My family is healthy. The snow finally melted. Calves are dropping on green grass.|
|Afraid||What will the re-opening of society look like? I might get sick/get someone sick. We might not make it financially. What if I’m breaking the regulations unknowingly? Why are family members fighting all the time and what does it mean?|
Take a moment. Think about the emotion that is attached to your experience and then decide if you want to do anything about it. It is entirely up to you. Keep in mind, however, that acknowledging your emotions could be the way forward. Might I suggest that if you are struggling at all, in any way, even if it doesn’t seem to be related, it just might be connected to a much larger whole without you even realizing it? It might just be your emotions knocking at your door, ready to help you to the paved road of Easier Going!