We make choices every day – some easier than others, some with quite some time of deliberation, some with none at all. This past year has given us much to reflect on. Our ideas and even our decisions have been challenged. Truths we believed about ourselves or others may have turned out to just the opposite. 2020 has done some work for us. It has forced us to reevaluate, analyze, and maybe even reconsider how we see our world and ourselves.
Dive into that, really slip into the deep ocean that is your consciousness and self-awareness, how do you choose paths in your life? What emotion ultimately drives you? Is it pride? Fear? Curiosity? Gratitude?
I want to be clear. There is no right answer. Every emotion has its place in your heart and a job to fulfill in your life, even the “negative” ones. No emotional connection is wrong, but when you linger too long or become attached, tethered to certain emotions, letting them lead all of your decisions that you come to find yourself in a standstill, neither progressing nor developing in the world.
Sometimes it’s hard to know when you’ve become stagnant. You get so bogged down in routine or comfort that you forget to stop and take a look around, to acknowledge the entirety of your world.
You know I love a challenge, so I’m going to challenge you again to take pause. Find some time to rest in an easy seat – not taking a 10 min nap however glorious that may sound but taking time to let your mind rest while actively staying present. In those moments, take solace in knowing you have just made the first step towards developing a healthy relationship with your emotional being.
I’m going to give you the next step. I created a quiz to help you see how your own emotions drive your decisions and what emotion dominates the wheel.
Let’s see how Merriam Webster defines the results.
Anger – a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility
Fear – an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger
Love – warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion
Sadness – affected with or expressive of grief or unhappiness
Shame – a painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt, shortcoming, or impropriety
Guilt – a feeling of deserving blame for offenses
Joy – a state of happiness or felicity
We will take a deeper look at these emotions and define them more clearly, but notice the simple definition and how even now before you take the quiz, you might relate to one of them.
Remember – each emotion has its rightful place in our lives and deserves to be there. We are not meant to live in a constant state of joy nor a constant state of anger, but sometimes it is easier to let one take control. We may go months or even years slowly sinking into the comfort of whatever emotion is ruling our thoughts. Have you been living with consistent attachment to fear or love or shame? Let’s find out.