Understanding Self

While enjoying my early morning Starbucks soy chia latte this morning… I continue my reading of …..The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies To Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind – by Daniel am Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson…When I come across the phrase “foster self understanding”

I begin to think….

We give opportunity for students to learn about each other, diversity and the
ways of society….but are we purposeful in giving students opportunity to learn about themselves… And not just about where they came from, or what foods they like… But instead looking at how and why they react or feel…
Experiencing a recent loss put things into perspective for me. I see young children exposed to a world of stress, lacking effective coping mechanisms, unaware of how to identify and manage their emotions…

My story of self understanding…

As some of you may or may not know at the end of June I travelled back to New Brunswick to celebrate the life of my grandfather….The reason why I am bringing this up is that during my brief 4 day visit I experienced a spectrum of emotions. My Grampy passed away in April during my practicum, and knowing his funeral was 2 months away I shifted into auto pilot… Not wanting or ready to react. I knew the time would come, but I also understood my triggers were in New Brunswick.
I feel I have a strong understanding of myself and managed with these emotions as best I could…I recognized what my triggers were and understood myself enough to know how I best coped with sadness and grief….

But I was not expecting this…

At one point during my Grampy’s service…I could hear his voice as if he were standing right next to me saying (pardon the language) “Jesus Christ! You are staring at a hole in the ground crying!”…..

At this moment my internal laughter began and I found myself holding in extreme hysterics, during the service (Standing beside my Great Aunt – his sister, I might add!) Fully knowing that this type of response would be completely inappropriate for a funeral I held it in, but not without my cousins noticing, who then had to hide their own laughter – at that moment in time, I had to remember him with happiness, it was either I laugh hysterically or cry hysterically…

The following day after my family was finishing up sorting through all of his belongings when my cousins/aunts and uncles left to visit their other grandparents in town… And the grief finally reached its breaking point.

I had my melt down – I had no grandparents to visit in town, my Grampy was gone.

Left at his house with my mom and my Aunt, they recognized that this moment was bound to happen.

I was finally alone…. alone with my emotions, and I let them release.
My friends back home provided brief YouTube clip distractions or stories from back home… I walked through each room, his bedroom where we watched judge Judy and I tricked him into eating, the kitchen where we played crib, his shed were he taught me how to carve, his chair where his spied on the neighbours…

This release brought me peace….

I am still learning to understand myself, as I grow and experience new things. Could I have handled my emotions in a different way, 100% – but I took this event as a learning moment.

Students need opportunity to understand themselves… And we can help

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About sedalzell6

Educator & Explorer
This entry was posted in Reflective Practice, Social and Emotional Learning. Bookmark the permalink.

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