All Emotions Have a Space
Happiness, joy, peace, rage, patience, anger, love, sadness, excitement, irritation, anticipation. These are just a few emotions among the spectrum of human experience. Some we enjoy having, others not so much. And while this is normal and fully acceptable, the difficulty often comes from preconceived notions or labels we have given these things called emotions. Some have been named “good”, others “bad” and even some “unacceptable”.
What pressure it is to live our lives with certain emotions unavailable to us, and so when they appear we then become “bad” or go about our day believing we cannot be honest with ourselves or others about how we feel. This can lead to trying to force emotions away, pretend we do not really feel “that way” or isolate ourselves from others in fear of being found out.
The truth however is that emotions are just that. They are feelings we have as a part of human nature. They come, they stay, and they go. Some leave quickly, some come often, and others feel as though they live inside us always, simply at varying degrees.
When we choose to commit to the belief that emotions do not define us, we have the opportunity to live in the freedom of our experience. Feelings do not have to dictate actions, the status of the day or the ability to engage with others in an authentic manner. Feelings are present and we become keenly aware of them and listen to the message they are giving us. If we have joy, then times of celebration and gratitude can come. We can bask in what has created this in us. When anger and frustration arrive, we can explore this feeling to see where it has come from and what we need to manage this feeling in a productive way. Does a conversation with someone need to happen? A mindful walk alone? Journaling or reading a book? We can use this feeling to guide us in how to care for our body, mind, and soul in meaningful ways. We can learn from each of them and use them as growth opportunities.
Emotions are something we have, not who we are. The more we can live in and through this truth the greater freedom we obtain in living a wholehearted life of honesty, transparency, and strength.
Ecclesiastes 3:1,4,7 “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:…a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance… a time to keep silence, and a time to speak…”
Brianna Morales is a bilingual (English/Spanish) LCPC/NCC. She has a Master’s degree from Wheaton College in Clinical Mental Health Counseling as well as a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Bryan College. She has been in the field for 6 years in community mental health, public schools, and private outpatient settings.