“Clap along if you feel that happiness is the truth.”
Pharrell Williams – Happy
I’m not an expert on feelings or emotions, but I’ve observed a few things and I hope my observations, while perhaps unoriginal, may prove helpful. For most of the following ideas, I will use the pronoun “I,” because I am sharing my experiences. At the same time, I believe these experiences and the feelings and conclusions they produce may be universal and hopefully, as I said, helpful.
· Emotions can be extremely powerful.
· There are those we like, such as happiness and romance.
· There are those we don’t like, such as fear and rage.
· I do not consider love to be an emotion, but a commitment. It can, however, produce very pleasant emotions.
· I do not consider peace or contentment to be emotions either, but, rather, the result of inner work. Much of the inner work comes through acknowledgement of what is and then making the most appropriate decision to either accept or act.
· Anger is an emotion when we are aware of it. Uncontrolled anger, or rage, is not an emotion, but an addiction.
· Sadness and grief are emotions, but uncontrolled, they can lead to depression, which is not an emotion, but a condition.
· Fear is not an emotion, but a defense. It usually defends against enemies who aren’t there or that I can conquer if I put forth the effort.
· Fear never promises anything good.
· Fear can seduce me into thinking I’m safe when, in reality, I’m just being a coward who will not live life to the fullest.
· Though it may seem obvious, the main reason people seek therapy or counseling is because they cannot master their rage, sadness or fear.
· If we could master our rage, sadness or fear, we wouldn’t need therapy. Then we could use that time, money and energy to help others.
· This does not mean therapy does not have value. I just look forward to the day when it is no longer necessary or when the focus can be on personal development rather than rage, sadness or fear.
· Happiness is the truth. So are love, peace and joy.
· I have found one of the quickest ways to find happiness is to take action. Usually, for me, that action takes the form of writing.
· Sometimes when I am overcome by unpleasant emotions, I find it helpful to drink water, exercise, pray, ask for prayer, tap, or do The Work. Sometimes I have to do more than one of these. It’s also okay to cry or get help.
· The goal of crying or getting help is so that I won’t need to cry or get help as much as I used to.
· Because I am incomplete I will always need others. This is part of our design and not a design flaw.
· Others will need us, too. This is also not a design flaw.
· A goal of relationships is need fulfillment, for me and for those around me. This is called interdependence.
· Interdependence, when done in a healthy and respectful manner, can lead to different kinds of love including friendship, parenting or romance.
· All relationships, if they are to be healthy, require time, respect and action. They also require truth and patience.
· All relationships, if they are to be healthy, require that we Get Started and Keep Going to make them work.