Saturday, February 1, 2014

Emotions and Purpose

“Don’t worry.  Be happy.”

Bobby McFerrin

A man who is master of himself can end a sorrow as easily as he can invent a pleasure. I don't want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.

Oscar Wilde

“Flowers are restful to look at. They have neither emotions nor conflicts.”

Sigmund Freud

Emotions, as powerful as they seem, aren’t as powerful as they seem.  Fear, hatred, anger, despair – these feelings can threaten to overtake us, but they aren’t real.  They are only as real as we make them.  I’m not saying that people can’t suffer emotional pain or depression.  I’m also not telling people to “get over it.”  I’m no expert.  All I have is my own experience.  I also struggle with handling my own emotions sometimes. 
I’ve also experienced some amazing moments when I was able to be free of more painful feelings and move into joy.  I’ve written about this before.  I’ve mentioned prayer, tapping, purpose and action as powerful remedies.  I’ve also taken naps, listened to good music and focused on the inner body.  I’ve smiled as an act of discipline.   All of these are solutions I’ve implemented after I was hit by a negative emotion.  Are there things I can do before being affected by negative emotions?  Can I avoid the negative altogether?  Here are some things that have helped:
·      Regular exercise
·      Reading good books
·      Using my time well
·      Prayer as a habit and not just a means of rescue
·      Speaking positively
·      Drinking water
·      Avoiding stressful situations
·      Getting enough sleep
·      Having a goal
·      Having a purpose
·      Measuring my progress
·      Saving money
·      Monitoring what comes into my heart and mind
·      Loving others
·      Cleaning my place

All these things and more keep me from being attacked or overwhelmed by negative emotions.  In other words, there are preventative measures I can take to stay positive.  Today for example I avoided stress by arriving early somewhere rather than trying to run an errand first.  I decided the errand could wait.  It was better to go to my appointment peacefully.  I’m tired of creating stress for myself.  I need to stop doing that.  Right now, for example, I’m trying to finish this blog before midnight.  Stop.  It doesn’t matter.  I just need to finish it.  It doesn’t matter when.   I need to stop constantly racing the clock. 
I also need to not put less pressure on myself.  I still have goals.  I still plan to reach them, but I want to get to my house by the beach peacefully.  So I’m going to keep practicing peace and gratitude. 
So can I avoid negative emotions altogether?  I think it’s possible, but it takes tremendous self-discipline.  I’m not going to make it a goal though.  I’m going to make it a result.  My goal will be to take care of myself spiritually, physically, intellectually and emotionally.  Then I will probably deal with fewer negative emotions.  If negative emotions do arise, I can just be aware of them and let them pass.  Action is the antidote for many things, but especially negative emotions.  So I’m going to Get Started and Keep Going…and feel good.