Emotional Generosity: The Best Gift To Give
"Human nature isn’t formulaic...
...there is no way to try and control it. Instead, we need to start submitting to the wildly complex and delicate nature of the human heart.
We move through life often unaware of the structures we’ve grown into, so kindly set for us by society. Every part of our lives is shaped by some set of rules that has been refined throughout human history, right down to our emotions. We grow to learn that there appropriate and inappropriate ways to emotionally respond to an event. Unfortunately, we’ve even come to define a strict response to heartbreak—and that happens to be one without any sense of emotional generosity.
I’ll never forget the moment someone told me to snap out of my heartbreak. Looking back now, I wish I could have said something like “oh, wow. I hadn’t thought of that.”
And those words are a pretty good representation of how society has decided we should deal with things. We’re supposed to party hard, go home with a stranger then take a vacation to do both of those things on an island somewhere—the whole point being to forget everything. Society has given us a set of options to select from, designed to make us forget our pain. God forbid we feel any pain.
And that’s where we fuck up. We easily dismiss the fragility of the human heart and how necessary it is to confront everything your heart is feeling. Confrontation, as difficult and vulnerable as it might be, is the way to properly heal.
There is this notion that time is a linear process of healing, meaning that each new day means you’ll be more healed. So, you start to feel like you’re doing something wrong when there are days you feel really great about life only to be grieving again the next day. That’s the thing, the human heart doesn’t live according to these rules. It’s decided to heal as it feels it needs to. Human nature isn’t formulaic, there is no way to try and control it. Instead, we need to start submitting to the wildly complex and delicate nature of the human heart.
No matter how much you try and free yourself from these stupid structures, the majority of the human population is always waiting to push you right back into them. When nearly everyone in your life tells you to “snap out of it,” you start to feel like a fuck-up. You start to think that you’re not doing something right.
That’s where emotional generosity comes in. Or rather, it doesn’t because most people don’t have it. But it’s where it should come in. Emotional generosity is the selfless empathy that one human being gives another, it’s the capacity to provide a safe space for someone to express themselves without any judgment, it’s listening to someone’s heart with unconditional fond regard. It’s listening to someone in the first place and reassuring them that not only is it okay to express yourself, but that it’s better for the soul to express itself than to suppress itself.
And expressing yourself doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll find answers because, well, there are no answers. Life isn’t black and white and our hearts certainly aren’t either. It’s kind of a mind-fuck to realize that the universe has been created to let completely opposite things exist at once. I think once we stop trying to find an answer for everything and stop defining life in black and white, then we finally reach a point of reconciliation with the universe. We’re more connected with her because we understand her. This means that we can feel happiness and sorrow at once. That I can look back on love with sadness for the lost joy and anger for the betrayal. I can feel healed and broken in one moment. Someone can be your world and a complete stranger in one moment. It’s hard to think about and perhaps even harder to accept because we want answers—there is safety in answers.
But it’s the road to being at one with the universe. I’m making my way there slowly but surely.