Somehow we learn that strong emotions are like wild animals.  We can have them in our world, but in very controlled environments, with lots of training, and tons of escape features so we can get away at a moments notice.  You know, because they can turn on us. They never stop being wild, right? That’s the beauty of them, which we are comfortable seeing from a distance, with bars and glass and railings and moats between us.

However, emotions aren’t wild animals.  They are us. A significant part of us. They have wisdom and power and are meant to help us navigate the world, not disrupt and co-opt it. Our attempts to control them, to force them to “behave” in the ways we feel we “should” or that are comfortable and domesticated just sets us up for confrontation.  Because our emotions will break free periodically.  The more we stuff them, cage them, control them, abuse them, and ignore them, the bigger these events are until they either overwhelm us or we actually deal.  Or we can spend our lives with the struggle and never come to grips with them at all.

The alternative is to stop acting when emotions occur and instead let them be.  Let them BE. Like spring storms they will come in, water everything on their way, then go out again.  There may be a bit of hail damage, a bit of wind-blown debris, but in the end we’re better for them. They don’t need our help, they are quite capable of imparting the message they have to share.  If we listen, actively listen, feel them, validate them, then the wisdom they have to impart breaks open and lays out for us like a banquet.  We get to know an essential part of ourselves. Once we can feel our truth and own it, not just once, but everyday, then we will be able to act on our feelings rather than against them.