Emotions are inescapable. They are there when we wake up and there when we go to bed. They are there whether we know we are experiencing them or not. They are there whether we like it or not.
Out relationship with emotions is complicated. What we call bad emotions – anger, worry, sadness – can cause us a lot of stress. On the other hand, we might find it suspicious when someone is always satisfied, positive, or joyous, labeling it as a lack of intellectual sophistication.
We might believe that we should avoid emotions completely and be terribly disappointed with ourselves and others when we see emotions displayed. We might believe that happy and successful people are only supposed to experience good emotions and despise ourselves and others for having anything other than.
We deal with our emotions differently as well. We might have been taught to suppress them or deny them or cope with them. In the western culture, understanding, patience, and acceptance of our emotions is not emphasized and not taught in any systematic way. We deal with them the best way we know how. Generally speaking, we deal with our emotions the same way we’ve been dealing with them since we were children.
Unfortunately and unless we are really motivated to study them, emotions always remain something that is beyond our control. We find ourselves at the mercy of bad ones and disappointed by the lack of good ones. Is there really any use to emotions, except for those fleeting moments of joy and satisfaction?
Emotions are a part of the human design. They are just as important as our physical body, our thoughts, and our spirit. When our emotions are consistently not pleasant, it is a sign of imbalance. Emotions can provide helpful guidance on where in our life this imbalance lies and give us important clues on what we might do next to investigate the root cause of the imbalance.
In other words, emotions give us a road map to find where in our life we need a tune up or a complete makeover. But before we get to see this map, we must take the first step – we must be willing to recognize our emotions and accept them as a valid expression of who we are in the moment and who we desire to be tomorrow.
Recognizing a pattern of sadness might lead us to a realization that we never processed a deep loss that happened a long time ago. Seeing that we are prone to anger might help us understand that we never learned how to regulate our emotions and instead of working through them, have been suppressing them. Admitting that we worry a lot about things that we can’t control can help us develop a stronger bond with our spirit.
Emotions are always with us and are always there for us.