I get a daily “meditation” from Aish.com, a Jewish website. I often find them uncannily relevant, so, even though my religion/spirituality is in an amorphous place right now, I still read my daily thought. Today I got:
“In thinking about serenity and realizing its great value, we would love to be serene all the time. But this is not possible in the world in which we live. In the totality of our lives we will experience a wide range of human emotions, not all of them the ones we would choose for ourselves if we could have total control over our feelings.
So now we have a choice. We can acknowledge our emotional reality at any given moment and from there work our way to true serenity. Or we can deny our true feelings. We may deny our insecurities, anxieties, worries, frustrations, disappointments, etc., and think that because we want to be serene, these feelings do not exist. Let us state clearly: Only by being in touch with your feelings will you be able to truly experience serenity.”
It is not easy for me to acknowledge my emotions. I spent most of my childhood denying them, focusing on other people’s emotional needs, and trying to “overcome” my own. When I did have emotions they would come bursting out of me, and crash around like a bull in a china shop. And I was left feeling like I was the broken china.
Sometimes I try to wait to feel my emotions for a time that is more convenient, like when I am alone. Or I push then away, thinking they will likely dissipate if I have distance from whatever is causing the emotion. Sometimes I berate myself for having them, “emotions are for little girls, I’m stronger than that.” I definitely don’t trust them, because feelings are not facts, and only facts can’t be denied.
I do a lot of things with my emotions, but acknowledging them is rare. It would seem that the stars have to align just right for me to listen and then respect my feelings. Or I could make friends with my emotions, just friends, no strings attached, just stop for a bit and check in and see how I am feeling, and acknowledge it, without committing to anything. I have a “feeling” that if I did that for awhile I would become a wiser person, a more well rounded person and kinder too.
What kind of relationship do you have with your emotions? Are you close? frenemies? estranged?