I am emotional.
As an artist and an interactive human being, I believe this is a good thing. If I had no emotions, there would be no connection point to beauty and we would never know people beyond what they say about themselves.
In many complicated situations, I have learnt that recognising that people are feeling something is the first step to working things out. Realising that emotions play a critical role in everyones’ lives will enable you to see the ‘big picture’.
Emotions are a powerful force in our lives. They draw us to make decisions, to change and improve, to implode and retreat, to fight on or run for the hills. And no matter what you do, they will surface in some way. So we have a choice – how will we treat our own emotional selves?
You could suppress your emotions…
“Deny whatever you are feeling and soldier on! Don’t let your feelings get the better of you!”
Suppressing emotions is a respectable decision. I have some British heritage and identify pretty easily with this option. You would definitely remain consistent. Maybe get the employee of the month award and be respected for your commitment. But as you do this, you are declaring war on your soul. Your emotions will constantly be your enemy, and – whether it takes weeks or years – in the end your emotions will find a way to trump you. The more you push down your emotions, the more internal pressure will build up and you are in danger of a very embarassing ‘eruption’.
You could let your emotions lead you…
“You made me feel… I don’t feel like it… I’m never doing that again… He’s dead to me…”
These are all tell-tale signs that your emotions are taking the lead role in how you live. I’m often inclined to live this way, as emotion is a key part of being creative. When you are constantly harnessing how you feel to connect to the soul of others, I find it can be easy to let our emotions determine what we think, what we say and what we do. Although never intentionally, this causes us to become selfish and stubborn. Your emotions become more important than anyone else’s and this can cause a whole lot of unnecessary friction, as well as a great sense of loneliness.
You could let other peoples’ emotions rule you…
“I hope you know my heart… Will you be OK if I do this… I’m sorry. Sorry. So Sorry.”
This decision is a subtle one… Most people will think that you’re an extremely considerate and nice person. But it can cause a whole lot of complications when you are in emotionally charged situations. Moments where anger, sorrow and frustration can have such a big effect on you that you end up retreating completely. You will be swayed and manipulated by the slightest hues of emotion. You will be so busy trying to read others that you end up neglecting yourself. This is a victim mentality that I have had to claw myself out of.
But what if – instead of neglecting, following or submitting to emotions – we could master this force?
If we acknowledge our emotions, we can use them. If we can harness how we feel and steer it, we will be able to do great things. If we can be aware of what others are feeling without letting them change your direction, we will be able to truly work together and get things done. Let’s take responsibility for how we treat our own souls.
Emotions are what make us human. Mastering our emotions will make us exceptional humans.