I am learning to be quiet when my son suffers over his performance at a Little League baseball game. Oh how strong is the temptation to "fix" his emotions with words, a touch on the shoulders, or pointed eye contact. When he really just wants to be left alone to feel what he is feeling. If he is putting himself down, I cannot get in the way. He must learn to be kind to himself, I cannot do it for him.
My son has choices, and at eleven, he is starting to do so much more consciously. And I have less and less control over what he chooses to do, and whether he listens to me.
Sigh. It occurred to me that I have a program and sharing it with him might be smart preventative medicine. I only shared step one of Emotions Anonymous. He was willing to hear my simple explanation of what it is to be "powerless over my emotions." I told him I saw each of us as having a river of emotions inside us, that we can accept or try to control. Control ultimately fails, just like the mighty Mississippi and the levees at New Orleans. The only sustainable powers we have are acceptance and choice. We can notice the natural course of our emotions and we can choose to act ways that keep us from being taken totally off course from our real purpose by the force of the river within us.
From Smitty, who believes that with Willingness, there is a Way.