Prophylaxis

prophylaxis (n): the prevention of disease

“I’m reading about raising an emotionally intelligent child,” she tells me.
“Oh?  What are you learning?”
“How important it is to validate feelings.”
I smile.  “I’ve been telling you that for months.”
“I know.  But this is in a book.”
I laugh.
I’m happy.  She’s finally getting it.
Question:
Why is it so hard for most of us to see feelings as friendly?
Because we’re trained to see them as not.
We socialized to see them as a threat to peace, order, politeness, respect, discipline and self-control.
To distrust them, judge them, fear them, avoid them, and try to prevent them in ourselves and others.
Forgive my language, but this is all terribly fucked up.
Because a free flow of feelings is the single most important component of psychological and emotional health.
Also the best way to prevent mental illness, addictions, abuse, bad comunication and unhealthy relationships.
Also the single most important emotional lesson any parent can learn and/or teach.
So I really don’t care where this parent’s finally getting it.
I’m just grateful she is.
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3 responses to “Prophylaxis

  • Leslee

    I read your blog religiously and share it quite often. I really appreciate you clever presentation. It is the most accurate perspective on addiction and control I have ever found. I have been involved in therapy and recovery for 30 years and know of what I speak.
    I find the f-word really offensive and feel that it carries violent connotations, especially toward women. I really wish that the f-word wasn’t used so often in our culture.
    Just my thoughts.

    • Steve Hauptman

      Re: the f-word, point taken. In therapy it puts some people at ease knowing it’s okay to curse, so over the years I’ve probably come to use it too freely. Thanks for mentioning it. Leslee.

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