My friends from Sounds True tell me that my book has arrived on pallets from the printer and is ready to ship to bookstores and customers. Yeeha! It’s time to celebrate!
Here’s an excerpt from the final chapter:
EMOTIONS ARE YOUR NATIVE LANGUAGE
The fine art of a life well lived
Current understanding of human evolution places the first appearance of modern humans at about 195,000 years ago. While there’s a lot of argument about the dating of our acquisition of spoken language, current estimates trace it to somewhere between 40,000 and 50,000 years ago. During this time, humans evolved separately from other primates and created languages through which they could share their ideas about past, present, future, and even the purely imaginal.
With language, we became able to pass on our knowledge, our training, our experience, our ideas, our dreams, and our fantasies – and our linguistic intelligence created the foundation for all human cultures that followed.
If you do the math on the estimates above, however, you’ll notice that our prelingual period is three times longer than our current linguistic era. This doesn’t mean that we spent 145,000 years as dimwits. If you spend any time with animals or babies, you’ll know that we clearly communicated before we had formal language; we just did it by expressing information through touch, gesture, stance, eye contact, play acting, vocalization, humor, and emotion.
We still do.
Humans are an incredibly empathic species, and for most of us, our reliance upon our nonverbal and preverbal skills far outweighs our reliance upon the spoken or written word. Our love of the tactile, visual, and musical arts, our love of nature and sensuality, our love of physical humor, our love of animals and babies … all of these access our empathic and prelingual communication skills.
We were empaths first, and throughout our evolutionary history we used our empathic skills three times longer than we used language. It helps to remember this as you embark upon your own empathic journey. Emotions are your first language; they’re your native language, and they carry with them as much brilliance and power (perhaps more?) as the human languages that sprang from them.
You are an empath, and as an empath, you’re able to engage with emotions because you have the capacity to identify and welcome them as distinct and specific messengers. This means that you have endless amounts of information at your disposal. Your empathic skills won’t make you infallible, but they can make you more capable and resourceful, more able to work in the depths, and more able to live a brilliant, vigorous, and meaningful life.
When you can connect with your emotions, they’ll give you the capacity to fully engage, in an open and questing way, with whatever you encounter.
Yay emotions! Yay The Language of Emotions: What Your Feelings Are Trying to Tell You