18 Jun 2019, 21:22

What do emotions tell us
06:22 Wednesday 19 June 2019 JST

Sticking with the basics, we have joy and fear.

Joy

is how I feel when I have what I want, or I don’t want what I don’t have. I am aligned with what is, and have no need or desire to change it.

Fear

is the emotion which says I don’t have enough information. This is usually about an unknown future. I come to a proverbial fork in the road and could simply choose arbitrarily, but if there is a part of me that wants to choose the “right” option, I may feel fear about choosing the “wrong” option. This could paralyze me until I cannot choose without more information about what each option entails.

Next, we have sadness.

Sadness

is how I feel when I recognize I have lost(*) something. I had it, and now I don’t have it. I feel sad. The message here is simply to acknowledge the experience of having, whether it was an object, a pet, or a fellow human. This is what funerals are for: to acknowledge that the person who was with us is no longer here (in the physical sense). We take the chance to experience the loss in its fullness, allowing acknowledgement of the new situation so we can move on.

Anger

Anger is a slightly different emotion. There are a few different emotions that we lump together under one label. Generally speaking, anger is an emotion that comes up when boundaries have been crossed. So-called righteous anger could be when personal space or personal property has been encroached or taken.

In general, if emotions are held in the body, they can cause problems, so it’s best to express emotions as soon as possible so our emotional bodies run smoothly.

(*) Loss is something of a false belief in that I never had it in the first place, but this line of inquiry goes beyond the basics outlined here.