Emotions Are Like Clothes•
Posted on April 11 2019
Emotions are like clothes; we can wear them but we don’t want to become them.
Have you ever noticed how quickly people (ourselves, included) can be to jump on an outcome or response? How quickly someone can be to put a label on something - good, bad, sad, disappointing, etc. I once read how our responses are like an algorithm in our brains. Simply put, it’s how we are wired. You may have noticed that often times, especially in times on conflict, we respond before we even necessarily understand our response or where it comes from.
Throughout our lives, we have picked up different concepts, feelings, views, morals and belief systems. Some have been instilled on our own, others from our surroundings, environments and the people we have met along the way. And the make-up of these different systems, ultimately, creates the mental “algorithm” I reference.
A lot of us, along the way, have been taught that conflict resolution is pretty much “pure happiness” and all other emotions should be left at the door. Maybe we have been told we are too emotional, too sensitive, too angry, too sad or take things too personally. At the end of the day, we have probably all at some point, felt shame or been shamed for feeling an emotion, when the emotion itself is not something we need to hide from. It’s quite the opposite, actually.
We need to feel and welcome our emotions - ALL emotions - because they are crucial to our survival. But this is where they become our clothing. We can wear our emotions; feel them, acknowledge them, accept them and work through them. But we don’t want to become them or have them consume us.
Take a moment to reflect and try to understand your algorithm. Are your responses aligned with how you feel, or is it somebody else’s views coming out? Are you allowing yourself the time to really connect to your feelings and emotions or are you just doing what you’ve always done? And if you’re doing what you’ve always done but it no longer aligns with your beliefs, remember that we can always put ourselves into new clothes, just like we can always change our mindset. Power to the People! You’ve got this!