Tuesday 27 May 2014

How can I master my emotion?

At the pedastal of our long list of emotive states in which our world seems to centre around stands fear, anger, sadness and joy. We can all hop from one to another yet are we able to master and understand them? If so, this is what makes us and may define us as unique and extraordinary human beings which can help to guide our behaviour. Our emotions are a form of intelligence that defines our very own awareness, state of being, feelings and sentiments.

For example, the greatest is joy and is described as our present state, linked to something positive in us, a project or someone we love. In this sense, love, duty and meaning are the highest sources of human motivation that we can ever reach for. Our need may result in sharing or expressing this with others.

Sadness which is closely intertwined is linked to the past, and sense of loss to something we are deeply attached to, a thing, a person or an image. Here we may need time to grieve, time for comfort and encouragement, even a need to express tears of sorrow. If not mastered well this can worsen and bring us into all sorts of difficulties and yet without sadness we can not acknowledge love nor joy.

In contrast, our two weaknesses are fear and anger. Fear is related to the future, aligned to a feeling of insecurity of something that may occur such as pain, death, change or the unknown. Greed for example that appears to have gripped parts of our business culture is simply a sub form of fear that can cause general apathy, immense mistrust and lack of integrity. Here we would need anchoring, belief or faith, measure the risks we take and set milestones. The other day, I met a sculpterer. He described how he loved his job and the way in which he worked. He remarked off the cuff that the stone that he calved out was his anchor.

Let’s look at anger in more detail as an emotive state. Anger is a result of something that is in the present which can happen to us through a sense of injustice.  It is an invasion of our territory, our sense of dignity, our value system or conscience which plays part in our identity. Why is this happening to me? This is not fair? We may have every legitimate reason to be angry for something we are not, or we are in advertedly, responsible for. Sometimes it can play on us, our tension rises and a change in our physical being, muscular movements and stress. How far do I go? Will this escalate?

It may be important in some cases that this emotive state if it comes about is expressed in one form or another as a release mechanism. Bearing in mind anger can take 80% of our resources and potential, and blind our sense of reasoning, therefore it is vital it must be mastered in us and in a shortest possible timeframe. In this sense it would be in our own interest not to allow this emotive state to linger, in so as we are able to regain our sense of peace, calm, self-control and even as far as showing forgiveness toward the other person that may have triggered it. This way we let it go and move forward. Our greatest harm is not what people do to us but in our response to what they do to us.

The other day, my bicycle was stolen out of the garage in the back of my house. My bicycle is a possession I am very attached to and is part of what defines me. It is my best form of transport around the city. My immediate reaction was a moment of bewilderment at this injustice. Why me? This had immediately turned to sadness. I was sad, that I had lost something that belonged to me which served me well, for over three years. It was very likely that I would never reclaim it nor find it again judging by the attitude of the Belgian Police I had by chance encountered up the road who happened to be sitting in their stationary car puffing their cigarettes. They had shrugged their shoulders with total indifference and informed me that thieves nowadays were cleverer than ever and that there was very little hope in catching them.

So there we have it, in a nutshell, a simple account of our complex world of emotions and one of endless examples of a complacent policeman with little sense of duty. Perhaps this is a reflection in a wider sense of our totally indifferent in some cases corrupt and defeatist justice system incapable of enforcing the law over the so called injustices that can besiege us in our takers world unwilling to assume responsibility. Is this not all the more reason why we need a society that requires change, with new thinking, new leadership with visionary ideas and new meaning?
Be bold yet compassionate

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