Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to recognize one’s own and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different feelings and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior.
E.Q. (Psychology) emotional quotient; a (notional) measure of a person’s adequacy in such areas as self-awareness, empathy, and dealing sensitively with other people.
I’ve heard that your E.Q. (or E.I.) is more important to achieving success in life than your I.Q. It isn’t just the information, per se, but the practical application.
I’ve always had an interest in the practical development of E.Q. especially in the interest of emotional health. Particularly in rejecting negative thought patterns in favor of positive ones and developing healthy self-esteem.
Many of us experience some type of emotional/verbal abuse in childhood that had a tremendously negative affect in they way we view ourselves (shame-based) and life (fear-based).
Classic example would be a person who has struggled with her weight/food for her entire life and that struggle was caused by hurtful comments by their parents. Maybe the parent(s) had weight struggles and was honestly trying to help by putting an 8 year old on a strict diet. Maybe the Dad was just being thoughtless when he teased the little boy about being pudgy. When the child probably would have self-regulated food intake (maybe with some helpful guidance) and grown up with a healthy body image if the comments/actions hadn’t been made. But the act of shaming propelled that person into an unhealthy relationship with food and a very poor body image.
So often the devastating things people have said to us is actually more indicative of their own issues. People tend to project their issues onto others. The woman made to feel chubby and ashamed of herself make look back at photos of herself as a child and realize that she wasn’t chubby at all.
Part of growing as a person is realizing that some of the shame and issues we carry really aren’t ours to carry at all. Many hurtful things said weren’t even about us, but a warped reflection of the person making the comments.
So many of have these hurts from our childhood and these labels that were put on us by loved ones. A big part of healing is forgiveness. ‘Hurting people hurt people.’ It doesn’t make what happened o.k. It means you can have perspective and compassion. I realized being a parent does not automatically make you a better person. It actually can bring out the worst in you. It forces you to deal with your own issues so you don’t perpetuate that hurtful cycle of ‘projecting’ your own fears and insecurities on your own children. When you see your own parents as flawed people, a mix of good and bad, (like everyone else) you can extend grace and forgive them for their mistakes. You can identify false labels as such and refuse to let them shape your sense of identity anymore.
“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.” 1 Peter 1:18-19
This verse addresses that generational cycle that gets handed down. There is real healing and life transformation through the resurrection power of what Jesus did for us.
Jesus loves us. He is for us. He loves us right where we are, in the mess and everything, but he loves us too much to let us stay there. There is healing in letting the love of God in. Let him tell you who you are. He did, after all, create you.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2
God promises to draw near to us when we draw near to him. James 4:8 When we meditate on the Word of God it renews our mind, transforms our thinking, and frees us from negative thought patterns that bring destruction. God is trustworthy- see that? His good and perfect will for our lives. Not easy, per se, but in Him we find who we truly are. We find life more abundantly than we have ever know it. We can let go of our fears and embrace life as we get to know the perfect love of God, a love that is personal and is supposed to be felt to the very core our wounded souls.
“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” Jeremiah 31:3