It is strange to me how bad a rap certain emotions get. It’s as though they are the distant awkward cousins that nobody likes that occasionally come for a visit. You can’t just kick them out, but you are happy to see them go. As a woman who is very tapped into her emotions, I can tell you there have been some visitors that have been far less pleasant than others. Anger isn’t particularly nice, nor is frustration or sadness. But this is the human condition. We were not meant to be happy ALL of the time in spite of our yearning for a perpetual state of bliss.
Emotions are eMOTIONS. They are there to create motion. Like bumpers in a pinball machine, they bump you back into the game, redirecting you to change the course of your life. Without them, we would stay fixed in a direction that is not meant for us or not for our higher good.
Let’s say for example we have a hidden talent as a singer that has laid dormant for most of our lives. Maybe it was lack of encouragement or low self esteem that kept that talent from coming to life. Who knows? The why is not relevant. We spend our life working away at some dreary job and carry on this course. Over time, we become more down, depressed, and bored. These emotions begin to stir a longing inside of us for change until one day BOOM you are motivated to audition for America’s Got Talent and your life is irrevocably altered. Back on course to destiny! Would we have gotten there without the emotions leading up to action being taken?
My favourite motivator is actually the dreaded ANGER. Poor Anger gets a really bad rap. It shouldn’t. Yes, it is powerful and for that reason it scares people. Anger uncontrolled is like a volcano. Yet, anger itself is not to be feared. If directed and harnessed responsibly it can create momentous change. Did peace protestors protest peace because they felt peace? No! They protested because they were angry with the war. The same can be said for any major movement. The Black Movement came from an anger at inequality, just as the feminist movement did. Protests across the globe can come from an anger against lack of liberties and freedoms or from repression. Even Ghandi himself, motivated by anger, harnessed that energy to change the world and he left an indelible mark on human history in doing so.
“I have learned through bitter experience the one supreme lesson to conserve my anger, and as heat conserved is transmuted into energy, even so our anger controlled can be transmuted into a power that can move the world.”
In our personal lives, we may not be called to change the world or maybe we are. Maybe the injustices we live will call us to fight for Father’s Rights. Or maybe you are called to Save the Whales. Or maybe your anger is not meant to be manifested in such a dramatic way. Maybe you are simply being bumped to step into your own power and learn to be the master of your own ship. Maybe your anger is directed inwards and you are being called to learn to let go of something you desperately want to stay stuck on because familiar is easier. Whatever the resolution, the initial motivation that brought forth a desire for change was anger or some equally unpleasant emotion.
Once we accept that anger is actually a powerful natural resource that can not only be harnessed but directed to create lasting and powerful change in our own lives as well as the world as a whole, we can welcome its energy as something we no longer need to fear. With fear out of the equation, the question becomes how? How do we harness that which feels so out of control? How do we contain and direct it to create positive change and result?
- Allow. Rarely do we even allow ourselves to feel unwanted emotions. “How are you today?” Answer “Fine.” We are not fine. Unless, you are using the Acronym (F.I.N.E. = Frustrated. Irrational. Neurotic. Emotional.) We often don’t want to admit to ourselves how we are truly feeling and distract ourselves with computers, T.V., and endless activity to prevent us actually letting the emotion be. Deny, distract, and repress. That is a sure fire way to land yourself in sickness and then you’ll really have something to be angry about.
- Meditate. Take the time to sit with the emotion and ask “What are you trying to tell me? What needs to change? What action can I do?” The answers may come quickly or they may not. You can’t rush change no matter how much you want to. If the questions are too big, make them smaller. “What is one thing can I do today to make my life better for tomorrow?”
- Just DO it. One of the best Ad campaigns of our time says it all. Don’t get caught up in fear, procrastination, and doubt. Kick your “Yeah but’s” out and JUST DO IT. That can range from doing a simple chore in the home to taking the time to write a letter to your Prime Minister/ President. If something isn’t right, you absolutely have the power to create profound change.
Life isn’t a walk in the park. Life is a intricate landscape of hills & valleys, light & dark, justice & injustice, good & evil, right & wrong. It is complicated and tricky at times to navigate. Thankfully, we have the gift of emotion to help guide us and alter the path.
May you have a productive day!