Let’s talk a little more about emotions. Do you see them as something to fear and avoid, or experience and enjoy? Do you view emotions as positive or negative? Do you allow yourself to fully experience all of your emotions, or do you pick and choose which ones are acceptable?
It’s natural to want to gravitate toward emotions that feel good such as joy or happiness, but does that mean that the “less than desirable” emotions such as anger or sadness don’t serve a purpose and should be avoided at all costs? No! Emotions are what make us alive and allow us to connect with the world and ourselves. Our full range of emotions serve a purpose and can teach us a great deal about ourselves. Before we can learn what is beneath our emotions, though, we have to sit with them long enough to find out what is at the core of their existence. And the only way we will likely sit with them is if we learn to not fear them. Emotions are designed to be felt not feared.
For many of us the thought of sitting with our emotions of sadness or anger is too scary, and so we seek means to distract ourselves (and not always in a healthy way). All too often we cut ourselves off from the emotions we perceive as less than desirable, which means we are cutting ourselves off from a crucial part of our life experience and knowledge about ourselves that could lead to a major shift in personal growth.
So, before you react the next time you feel sad or angry just give it a try—sit with your emotions—still your mind, and listen to what the truth is behind them. Look inward and reflect. What are your emotions covering up? Loneliness, hurt, fear, insecurity, pain, feelings of being unworthy, weakness, vulnerability? Connect this concept with what we talked about last week. The emotions you feel, although it may seem on the surface that they are about others, are often really about you.
I wish you a wonderful week of emotional exploration!