3 ways emotions guide us through life

I loved my drugs. The highs, the lows. Extreme sickness to heavenly bliss in seconds. Every ailment or emotion had a solution. My drug. Boredom, sadness, disgust, all would and could be quickly converted into Joy, happiness, and excitement. Well initially. Often the short-lived and long remembered moments were followed by a long duration of fear, suspicion, or confusion. I once wrote about the power of drugs and their ability to control our emotions while I was in jail. Imagine if I could inject them systematically to create my desired feelings every time. Courage, excitement, feelings of power!? Hummm, sounds like the pharmaceutical corporations.  

After I got clean I didn’t recognize a lot of emotions anymore. Some were more intense than I could’ve ever imagined that be. I didn’t want to feel some of them. Still I had to manage them. During my last life I desired to manage my emotions with external substances. Even now, the same quest lays before me. To manage my emotions. However this time without the drugs. What are these emotions?

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In psychology they say we have basic emotions like: Anger, Fear, Surprise, Disgust, Joy, Sadness. We also have moral emotions like: Pride, Guilt, Embarrassment, Shame.
(Psychology today)

The reasons we experience these emotions are said to be either goal oriented, like I bought a car after I worked hard, makes me happy. If I worked hard and had that goal yet the expectation was met with my paycheck being garnished, I'd be angry. 

Or they say it's a result of the perceptions of our physiology. Our heart rate, perspiration, breathing rate, etc. (How Stuff Works)

For many of us emotions manage us. They lock us into the "If I feel like it." attitude. We say things we don't mean and do things we wish we hadn't. We look for THINGS or people to make us feel better. What if though our emotions are our bodies way of trying to tell us something?

My belief is that emotions are guides to direction or decision. I also believe that indecision is often the cause of much of our suffering. Hence depression, chronic anger, and other serious mental dis-ease could be a result of a failure to recognize the sign and remaining stagnant. What actions could these emotions be guiding us to? I'll break down three common emotions that can be easily used as guides towards our growth. Remember, "Everything in our life is designed specifically for our improvement."


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Sadness if left unchecked can quickly snowball into depression. It's okay to feel this. It isn't okay to live here. Healthy sadness, a loved one dies, someone you care about is away and others are necessities. However we still don't want to live there.

Lets get to the important sadness though. The signs. When something produces this feeling reflecting inward is the first step. If everything in life is designed specifically for my improvement what am I supposed to learn here? 

Often the feeling of sadness for me has a direct connection with me thinking more about myself than others. I know I just said "How can I improve myself." Sometimes though the thing we have to improve is thinking outside of ourselves. How can I show others I care and appreciate them? 


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I really like guilt. I believe this emotion is one of the most important emotions to have when developing ourselves. It keeps us true to who we really are. As long as the beliefs we have are healthy, (not in judgment of others) we can blossom into the beautiful people we were created to be. Many people choose to rather kill the guilt and live in the comfort of pleasure or as long as I get mine. Which isn't healthy. 

When we feel guilt it is usually a result of crossing a moral boundary of what we believe is right or wrong. The process might look like this. Why am I feeling this guilt? What belief or boundary of mine did I cross? Is this a rational belief or boundary? What can I do or learn to help me make a better decision next time I'm in this situation? Is this important enough to me that I will do whatever it takes to make a better decision?

The key to guilt is the discipline to say I will do whatever it takes to not do this again. If we are willing to go to this extent we can be successful. Once we let guilt teach us the past is much easier to let go.

Related imageFEAR

Fear is another really cool one. Playwright David Mamet wrote, “Every fear hides a wish.” What does this mean?

Fear of people not liking me = Wishing everyone likes me
Fear of public speaking = Wishing people will appreciate what we have to say.
Fear of dancing = Wishing I was a great dancer.

When I am afraid, it usually isn't a life or death situation. It's more about truth. Like I am afraid of what people might think. If someone is going to be mad at me. Or am I being used? If there is something that I can learn or improve in me then I've found the purpose of this lesson. I've come to the point with these fears that I have to just keep being the best me I can. If I am true to myself and try to do my best to show love, appreciation and great work ethic then I know that I am doing what I can. 

The process of learning about ourselves is our quest to the land of real humility. Real humility I believe is knowing that we don't know. Then an adventure into learning who we are. It is the process of aligning our beliefs and values to our actions. By understanding the role of our emotions we don't have to let them manage us. We manage them. We take the wheel so to speak. Next time you find your self lost in a sea of emotions try asking yourself, "What is life trying to teach me right now?" You might just find that those signs were trying to guide you to your best self all the while.

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The BA2L is real,
Be Addicted to Life,


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