Understanding our emotions as a path towards personal growth

We have all been given the ability to express emotion. Having feelings are how we respond to this vast and amazing world we inhabit. This also includes more negative aspects of certain emotional tendancies such as anger and sorrow. Emotions can be a nuisance sometimes and very destructive if not tempered by an ability to control what we are feeling which is very important.

Controlling ourselves when we feel angry is difficult to say the least. Punching pillows is one option. Kickboxing at the gym is another. If you’ve ever slammed a door really hard in a ferociously bad mood and felt good after, you’ll know what I mean! Anything to get rid of that pent up energy!

Oh the memories of losing my temper with someone and regretting it afterwards…

I would not say it is bad or wrong to experience any emotion. When anger boils over, that is when it has the potential to become severely destructive and harmful towards the people around you. We need to be aware of bad feelings at the earliest stages before they escalate uncontrollably. Some feelings may not be very pleasant but they have just as much validity as positive emotions. All feelings are a reaction to what we are experiencing and if we are aware enough, we can harness them in order to gain a higher understanding of who we actually are.

Emotions are not who we are…they are just a gateway to discovering who we really are. Who we really are is beyond that and it is something that transcends any description. If we base our existence and who we are on the many hundreds of thousands of emotional responses we experience daily, we will become like a small boat at sea without an anchor being tossed around by a violent storm…. the storm represents our emotional responses – if we react to them we will never be grounded and secure within ourselves…we need that anchor to work!

We are constantly reacting to the world around us via emotional responses. Asking ourselves ‘why’ we do the things we do is the doorway to personal growth. We then start learning about ourselves. What we should try to avoid is repressing how we feel. Carrying stress, anger and ill feeling will drag you down further than you need to be – and who needs that?

Everything we are currently experiencing from an emotional perspective is a signpost to another destination and level of understanding in regards to the still hidden aspects of ourselves. These may be positive and negative but you have to look at both, even if you don’t want to know something negative about yourself – for example:

‘I can be lazy, selfish, arrogant, conceited’ etc. There is also the flip side of the coin – ‘I can be caring, loving, supportive and helpful’. We all have our strengths and weaknesses and that is important to remember. Nobody is perfect. You will of course, take frequent positive steps forward if you can change the more negative traits you feel about yourself…

and therin lies the challenge! (It starts with ‘why?’…)

© Christina McDonald 2014

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