Opinion: Wisdom Workout 


A Modern-Day Dilemma   

Susan Valesquez

I just returned from New York, where I attended a special Sweet 16 party for my granddaughter, Kendal. It was a joyous event, beautifully planned and as full, rich and sensual as a celebration could be.  

I have daughters, grandkids and great grandkids in Riverside, Texas, New York, New Zealand, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Las Vegas and Utah. I love when they come and visit but the norm is still “here today, gone tomorrow” and I know I’m not the only one who has “globe-trotters” since mobility is a part of our modern world. 

I appreciate that I can stay connected through Facebook, Tic-Tok, Instagram, e-mail, and texting, but hands-on visits are few.  

Here is the dilemma. My senses are thwarted. They are put in a straitjacket and relegated to solitary confinement of the limited senses of seeing and hearing. I don’t know when I will be able to wrap my arms around them and real-time use all my senses to know them on deeper levels. I hate it and it is sad. 

It isn’t debilitating. I can walk, talk and function efficiently. You wouldn’t know that I have a powerful companion named sensual deprivation that is visible only to me. 

This may all sound over-dramatic, but I am expressing this as strongly as I can for a reason. 

Technology has brought us many gifts that have opened new ways of communicating globally. I am grateful for the opportunities. At the same time, I am experiencing the full force of one of the major downsides. It can be summed up in two words. Head-trip. 

As long as I live in my head and keep a tight rein on the voice of my heart, I can glide through important life events by seeing and hearing what unfolds around me. That is an important part of the equation, but my other senses of touch, taste and smell are locked in a vault with no opportunity to participate. 

You may be tempted to solve my problem by reminding me, “That is life as we know it today. Be grateful that you are at least able to see them,” or whatever else you come up with to keep the topic of sadness at bay. 

This isn’t a problem to be solved. Instead, it is a reality that I believe many of us are experiencing. I am telling you about it to give my sadness a voice. A platform.  

I am sharing this because I intend to legitimatize this kind of sadness that is a bit difficult to name because it is unique to our times. We are inundated with copious amounts of data yet limited in our ability to live a sensual life that is alive and potent. 

Why? Because our essence gets locked into a head trip, divorced from our feeling nature so that we can cope. Instead, I intend to have all my senses engaged whenever I can and at the same time be aware enough to know when the environment can only support my seeing and hearing with no opportunity for my heart to engage or my other senses to be involved.  

This phenomenon of having our five senses restricted or marginally engaged may be why we are constantly confronted with over-the-top sexuality and out-of-control base humor. Lots of superficiality and devoid of those tender experiences that allow our emotional intelligence to be nurtured.  

Lack of fulfillment on a deeper emotional level may simply be a backlash from our silenced senses that are restricted from normal opportunities for appropriate expression in our faster-than-the-speed-of-light interactions with others. 

Susan is the author of the emotional intelligence resource book Beyond Intellect: Journey into the Wisdom of Your Intuitive Mind. Reach her at susanvelasquez.com.

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