Emotions confuse and clarify, hide and reveal, happen and suppressed. I am working on gaining control over my emotions without destroying my emotions. Most teenagers learn the art of feeling and what to do about it. They experiment feeling different ways and responding to those emotions….terrible teens is an indicator of how wild this time can be. One of my sessions with my counselor he went to great lengths explaining the frustrations, rebellions, and joys of raising teenagers. I kept saying I get it, I raised 6 teenagers and their friends came over adding to the mix. Near the end of my time, leaving no time to question him, he looked at my very solemnly, “Did you ever do this?” AAAAAGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH! No, of course not, teen years was a luxury I didn’t have time for. I was too busy struggling to survive and making sure my younger brother and sister were cared for. I didn’t have time to experiment with my emotions. I didn’t dare rebel. I lost my joy and focused on staying alive. I came late to the game and baffling puzzle of emotions. What I learned so far? Emotions can be fleeting….volatile, hot one second, icy cold the next. Part of my dissociation was to keep my emotions at bay. They are scary. Time passes. I continue to learn and grown and now I experiment with my emotions. I believe that emotions are an essential ingredient to thriving. As long as I suppressed my emotions I couldn’t thrive. I want to thrive. Emotions are part of thriving.
Each morning I have a 30 minute commute on the freeway. If everyone obeys the rules, we go along quite nicely. Every driver focused on getting to their destination. However, occasionally someone doesn’t pay attention or cuts into traffic much slower than everyone else. A car merging in was going about 10 miles per hour slower than everyone else. The pickup truck behind them caught up too fast. I could see the dilemma in my rear view mirror. Crash was in the works unless someone acted quickly. I braked, the truck cut in front of me, and averted an accident. My first emotion fear. Second anger, quickly followed by gratitude that we didn’t collide…I had several emotions in quick succession. I latched on to the feeling of gratitude. Expressed a silent prayer of gratitude that all three drivers missed. I didn’t suppress or depress any of the emotions. I felt them all but I decided which one to hang onto. That feeling of gratitude spilled over onto the rest of my morning. I am fascinated how some emotions waltz on to the stage of my mind with no prompting or by your leave. But I get to decide which ones stay on stage and what I do as the results of what I am feeling. Depressing emotions takes a lot of energy. Feeling the array of emotions is like adding color to a black and white picture.