Our emotions are the result of one of our values being pressed. When we feel a certain way, it is our heart and soul alerting us that something important at stake. Something significant being provided or denied.
If we do not properly deal with our emotions, they have a tendency to pile up, pollute our perspective, and general make a mess of things. We try so hard to “control” our emotions – to feel the way we want to feel – rather than acknowledge the emotion for what it is worth and search for the meaning behind it.
Circumstances are just the arena in which our life plays out. It is the setting of the play. What we do, our choices and our behavior, is what makes the story what it is.
Our initial reaction to negative emotions is to try to shut them up as quickly as possible. We see negative emotions as a “problem” that needs to be “fixed”. So, when it arrives, we do not ask ourselves why we are feeling the way we are. We just try to get rid of it. We try to blame others, justify and discard, or pretend the emotion isn’t there.
What happens when we ignore negative emotions is they linger. They settle in us, just waiting, binding their time. The next time something triggers a similar value, we feel not only the emotion of that new circumstance, but also the emotion of the circumstance we tried to silence before.It is easy to see how this can get out of hand. We carry around with us layers and layers of un-dealt-with emotion. We react to today’s circumstances with yesterday’s feeling (as well as a new layer for today).
And the worst part is the emotion festers as it settles in us. It gets worse. The annoyance we felt with our spouse becomes resentment. The rejection we felt from our father becomes trauma we carry into every relationship. Even the test we worried about passing becomes a pattern of anxiety.
In turn, this makes it harder and harder to a) discover the value buried under all this rubble and b) deal with the emotion of today.
When we feel stress or anger or fright, the best thing to do is to allow ourselves the emotion, to explore the reasons behind it. In short, to handle it properly in its time so that it does not follow us around and compound on the next set of circumstances.
Your feelings are nothing to be afraid of, nothing to hide from. They are not the master of your existence. Emotions are a tool and an opportunity for you to know yourself better. To evaluate, understand, and live toward your values and vision.
By ignoring our emotions (or continuing to deal with them in an unhealthy manner), we make things much harder on ourselves. We drift further from the truth. Further from peace. We put ourselves under layers and layers of pain and then we do all we can to justify that pain. We also carry it with us everywhere we go; it colors our perspective of current circumstances and distracts us from the true vision of our lives.
The only way out is to start to address our emotions in real time, for what they are worth and for the reason they are manifesting. Freedom and healing come from acknowledgement, ownership, and making the best choice(s) possible moving forward.