Emotions are like waves. There are times when they have us moving in all different directions. Oftentimes, we follow them wherever they go, even when they take us into a storm. An emotion is triggered. A thought follows. Then another. Then another. Before we know it we’re caught in the midst of something that feels quite valid. Yet, more often than not, isn’t.
Those emotions, and their subsequent thoughts, are fictional in the sense that they are not based on anything for which we are certain. There is a good chance that the emotion that was triggered is linked to a fear. In my experience, fears come with a whole slew of what if thoughts at the ready. And because of our human conditioning those what if thoughts rarely lean toward the positive.
Due to such, we could easily damn fear-based emotions. After all, they are difficult to endure. They are intrusive. They are painful. They appear out of no where, and fall upon us like a tidal wave. Next thing we know we can’t breathe. I don’t believe this ever goes away, not fully. But I do believe we can become skilled at breathing while under it all. And, stronger at swimming.
Try to remember dear reader, that their force does not prove their validity. But what is valid is that they reveal a very important belief that dwells within us. Instead of burying us, they are offering us the chance to bring something into the light. Our thoughts bury us. Not the emotion.
The emotion is bringing to the surface something that needs your attention. An area where we lack faith, and area where we are harboring a piece of brokenness; an unresolved hurt or perceived failure. Nothing within us stays buried. We may work hard to suppress and cover up those things within us that cause us discomfort, but they will resurface. And after time, they do so with force.
So dear reader, if you find yourself dealing with an emotion that has left you feeling uneasy or sad or defeated – pause. Before letting your thoughts run rampant, ask yourself – in the most honest, raw, unabashed way that you can – why am I feeling this way. What is at the root of this? Joy is your natural state of being. Not fear. Not anxiety. Not defeat.
Days in which you have to confront your emotions and their underlying cause can be exhausting. But they are important. And in time, as you gain balance, as your spiritual muscles grow, so does that of your emotional being. Those emotions become less turbulent. Instead of triggers you have memories and experiences that allowed much needed insight into yourself and why you behave as you do. And instead of being ruled by them you become enlightened due to them.
We never become whole unless we embrace the whole of who we are. This means embracing that which sits in the light and that which rests in the shadows. It does get easier. In time, we are surprised less by our thoughts and actions, and rarely swept under the waves of our own emotions. Rather, we glide along the top. We know what is above and we know what is below. We released our grip of the boat, because we no longer fear falling in.