“Emotions aren’t inherently good or bad. It’s how we react and act based on them that makes them so.”
Inspired by this blog (“How to Find Your Purpose Part 5 – Can Anger Help?” – Marie Wetmore), I decided to revisit a lesson from long before this blog was made.
As humans, we are bundled biologically with a wide array of emotions. Joy, sadness, love, anger, and envy, are just 5 of the wide variety of shades of emotions that we all have. In a given day, we may feel any one, or more of them. In many cases, we willingly indulge in them. In other cases, we wish that certain emotions would stop haunting us. But in truth, the emotion itself isn’t what matters most, it is our reaction to it. And like most things in life, an emotion can be used constructively or destructively.
Take anger, for example. It can be directed towards a person, place, thing, or concept. Like other emotions, there is no limitation to the things that we can feel anger towards. Likewise, HOW we react to that anger is also virtually limitless. Sometimes, people react in negative ways when angry: they are short, they snap back, they can even behave in ways that they will later regret. For others, anger can serve as a motivating factor: some people become focused in their work, others take their anger out through exercise. But in all of these cases, the potential to use the anger constructively or negatively remains in our control. We may not be able to control FEELING the anger, but our reactions towards that anger can be manageable.
The old expression “control your emotions before they control you” rings very true. As difficult as it can be in the heat of the moment to control our emotions, that doesn’t mean it is impossible. Take a moment and think about the emotions you felt today. How did they make you feel? Did you react constructively, or destructively to them (and if neither, could you have?). How have you reacted in moments of intense emotion, and why?
Because emotions stem from within, and are felt by us, we are the only ones who can truly decide how we react to them. It’s always easier to destroy than to create, but the act of creation always has many more long term rewards…