I’ve been stewing about this post for a while. I have been trying to find the words to say what I’ve been thinking. I’ve narrowed my thoughts down to three points.

  1. Emotions are powerful.
  2. Emotions are like tools. They can be used for evil or good, but aren’t inherently moral.
  3. Other people are allowed to have emotions even if they make you uncomfortable.

Last year I went to counseling a lot! I don’t know if you’ve ever had a counselor that you can share your issues with, but I highly recommend it. One of the things I learned during my time in counseling is that it is not my job to save other people. It is not my job to make people feel a certain way. Humans are emotional. It is not my job to fix their emotions or change them so that I am more comfortable with their emotions.

Emotions are a tricky thing. Emotions have power. Sometimes emotions can appear seemingly out of nowhere. Emotions can interrupt our day, steal our joy, and also disrupt relationships. Emotions allow us to experience life in color rather than black and white.

However, I believe that most people make the assumption that if something is powerful it must also be negative. I’ve heard so many people say that crying is a sign of weakness or that anger is not ok. Our emotions scare us because they can make us feel vulnerable. Other people’s emotions scare us because they make us feel uncomfortable. It threatens our well-being because we instinctively realize that we can’t control other people. We fear that their emotions may even trigger our own emotions.

Interestingly enough science can’t really explain emotions. The Merriam Webster online definition is, “the affective aspect of consciousness, a state of feeling, and a conscious mental reaction (such as anger or fear) subjectively experienced as strong feeling usually directed toward a specific object and typically accompanied by physiological and behavioral changes in the body.”

Even the dictionary recognizes that emotions create a mental as well as physical response. I think on a deeper level though emotions tell us something about our soul. Emotions reveal a piece of the inner workings of our minds. Perhaps that is why they scare us?

Becoming a parent has been a life changing experience. In so many ways children demonstrate emotions on a much purer level. A baby does not hold back his screams. My kids have been known to scream at the top of their lungs and run upstairs.

My personal challenge and my challenge for you is this. The next time someone is crying let him or her cry. The next time your children are angry. Let them be angry. Emotions can even be healing if we allow ourselves to feel them without letting our emotions control us.  But that’s another blog post for another day!

Peace,

Shelby Leppin

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References:

Emotion. 2018. In Merriam-Webster.com.

Retrieved October 6, 2018, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/emotion

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