I don’t know about you but I have emotions and often times I feel them INTENSELY! Very INTENSELY! And when I have these emotional storms, the last thing I want is to hear from someone directly or indirectly that I’m wrong for feeling the way that I do.
Suppressing emotions seems to be what the collective has deemed as normal. Is it? Just because you don’t acknowledge the emotions doesn’t make them go away. I refuse to continue to suffer in silence by suppressing my emotions and/or pretending I don’t feel the way that I do.
In my observation, we have been conditioned to do just that in order to preserve the image of being “cool”, “calm”, “collected”. To project the image that everything in our world is A-OK when in actuality we are drowning from own emotional storms. Am I advocating to come out in the world and act out our negative emotions? No.
What I am advocating is to acknowledge them and let them have their say because when we don’t we often have trouble seeing things as they are and we put our emotional health and physical health in jeopardy.
I used to think emotional intelligence meant that you don’t experience negative emotions. Some law of attraction advocates give the indication one must forever be in their happy, positive state and/or stay high on the emotional scale.
But is that really how emotions work? I don’t think so. The more I read and learn about my emotions the more I realize that I was totally clueless. One of the main mistakes I continued to make was taking on the emotions as an identity. For instance, in my case anger has been an emotion I have had quite the turbulent relationship with. After all the shaming and judging from people who are emotionally clueless, I was made to think I was an angry person. I was out of control. I was difficult to get along with. Blah, blah, blah, blah.
In hindsight, I believe I drew all of the criticism partly because most people are afraid of their own anger and will choose to stay stuck in emotions such as fear, depression, powerlessness, jealousy, insecurity, unworthiness, regret, and despair rather than moving through and feeling the anger. I think anger gets a bad rap. Probably because most people when in the grips of it can do some of the most catastrophic and self-defeating things.
But what about depression, anger turned inwards? Granted most people aren’t privy to when a person is feeling depressed as it’s a closet anger emotion which implodes versus explodes. Never the less it is just as catastrophic and self-defeating. To sum it all up, I’ve learned that emotional intelligence is really the art of mastering emotions.
Emotional intelligence, in my opinion, means we have acquired the knowledge and skill to gain control of our emotions and direct the energy from them appropriately. It is about welcoming all of the emotions (positive and negative) and allowing them to have their say. It is understanding emotions are our feedback system. It is understanding it is not who we are as a person. We are much larger than any negative emotion or circumstances that triggered it.
It is possessing the problem solving skills needed to dissect the emotions and linking them to the thoughts that created them. And once we understand the thoughts it is then possessing the resolution skills to identify if we need as Tony Robbins says a change in our procedure or our perception.
In the case of anger, let’s say we deduce and link it to the thought that we have perceived we have been disrespected. Then we have to decide do we resolve the matter by changing our perception such as well it isn’t an issue of disrespect, this person is just trying to get their needs met albeit in a counterproductive way. Or do I change my procedure? I’ve asked them several times to stop being late and disrespecting my time so I will give them 5 minutes and if they are a no show and haven’t call to indicate they are running late, then I will leave.
TL;DR – we all at some point in time in life feel like we are drowning in our own emotions. It’s okay to feel what you’re feeling. Just don’t let your emotions become your identity. Know it’s just feedback. Decipher the message (thought) behind the feedback and then adjust your perception or procedure. And know that we all have days, moments like this. Negative emotions are your ally not your foe.
I’m glad that I am discovering the art of emotional intelligence. My emotional storms still come however I’ve learned to weather the storms without struggling and/or drowning in them. It’s empowering to learn how to master my emotions.