Flipping Your Lid
Often when we flip our lids it’s because we need to release a huge emotional buildup we have been shoving down and ignoring inside ourselves. Some remarkable people can meditate and process all those emotions, perhaps even learn from them. Others accomplish the same thing through physical exertion or artistic performance. Most of us simply blow. All too often we wait until the pressure is so great that we lose control of our own eruption. Friends, foes, and strangers can all end up as casualties. When it’s all over we usually feel a little better and a lot worse. My father was a steam engineer. He taught me how blow off valves let just enough steam escape to keep a vessel from exploding. The valve needs to be calibrated to protect the vessel from harm by blowing off the appropriate amount while preventing the blow off itself from creating any damage. Here’s a thought, instead of flipping our lids, as in blowing our tops, what if we merely tipped our lids back just a bit to let a little of our amassed emotions out, slowly? They can still be authentic and real. We can let them out for the purpose of sharing them and viewing them, and for making enough room inside for us to have the emotional and critical wherewithal to evaluate from a place that isn’t based solely on fear. We might even learn from them. If we suppress our emotions and then uncover them in a way that causes them to explode thoughtlessly, later when we do think, we will see our behavior for the tantrum it was. Don’t get me wrong; tantrums have their place. But that place is often either when we are alone, or when we label our behavior before it begins to the assembled audience letting them know it is our freak-out to help us calm down before we begin to figure it all out.