|This is me having a bad week.|
This is what mastering your emotions actually looks like-->
I know, I don’t look devastated or anything like that. A little frazzled maybe? But that’s okay. I can handle frazzled.
Notice also I look like a normal human being. You know, just a mom trying to get through her day, check off some to do items, work on her new business offering, get a work out in, take her kids to school, and edit the final draft of her novel.
Notice I am NOT some Hindu or Buddhist guru isolated in a monastery somewhere high on a mountain. Mastering your emotions isn't about hiding away from the life or obtaining some elusive state of enlightenment, although it's part of that journey.
Mastering your emotions is about learning how to deal with your emotions as they come up, being compassionate with yourself, and learning to ride the waves of change, and know what to do when you get thrown for a loop.
I don't look emotionally strung out or especially serene.
I look like a real human. I made time and space to deal with how I felt over the announcement that my kids' school was closing. (More details about that in my next post) so I don't look especially upset in this photo. Not because I'm suppressing my emotions, but because I actually let myself feel them in private with people who have earned my trust.
I also wasn't painting on a smile this week. I didn't force myself to paste on an insincere smile or negate how I was actually feeling in any way. I'm not serene in this picture. You can tell something's going on, but I'm also able to function as I ran to the grocery store.
I didn’t get all the things on my to-do list done.
Yeah, because instead, I went to school and talked to the board, the director, the teachers, the staff, the students. . .I dealt with what was happening. Mastering emotions requires not only feeling what you feel when you need to feel it, but also addressing why you're feeling that way in the first place.
I didn’t meet all my personal and professional goals, either.
Instead, I spent vital time journaling and crying and venting and walking and meditating through my emotions. I spent quality time discussing the issue with people who could give me answers and help me find solutions. I could have pushed all the feels down and forced myself to make all the planned things happen, but instead, I took time to deal.
Because if I hadn’t, I’m sure my emotions would have backed up on me and this morning when I finally had a moment to sit still, I would have been a frackin' mess. I would have had a severe case of the emotional flu that might have lasted for weeks. I took time to figure out what questions I needed to ask, what concerns I needed to express and then I asked and I expressed.
And guess what? Taking a little time now has been so much better than being drained all week, losing my motivation, and getting seriously derailed from the rest of my life. This way, I'm still moving forward, maybe a little slower right now, but I'm still moving.
I cried in this morning’s green tea.
I still have some feelings to process: anger, sadness, grief, anxiety... and I’ll continue to work through the emotional cycle as the last week's of school go by. I will continue to practice self-awareness: how am I feeling? What do I need to do to express that feeling? What is this feeling telling me? Is there something I need to do? If so, I'll make a note of it in my journal and make time to deal.
I'm decompressing this weekend.
So instead of being too wrung out to function today, I’m gearing up for a local street festival and maybe a movie this evening with the fam squad. It's so important not to dwell, too. Too much "emotional processing" can turn quickly into wallowing.
An emotions master doesn't wallow. She doesn't feed the emotion. She tends to it, feels it, expresses it, identifies where it comes from and what it means, releases the emotion, and takes necessary actions.
Because life goes on. . .
I’ve taught myself how to work with my emotions instead of letting them work me over and it has been the best investment of my time and energy, hands down. Emotions are not meant to rule us; emotions are meant to guide us away from what's not serving our highest good and toward what is. Emotions are a compass we should and need to use to navigate not only our day-to-day life, but also our spiritual journey.
Emotions are energy and a tool. You can allow them to drain you and tear you apart, like a freight train dragging you down the tracks, OR you can turn it around and wield their power like a power washer, cleaning and clearing away the gunk so the real you can shine through.
What have you learned about mastering your emotions? Share your techniques in the comments so we can build each other up.
Much healing love and light to each and every one of you.