Yesterday we looked at why it is perfectly fine not to be happy all of the time. Today we are going to take a closer look at some specific emotions that a lot of us consider to be ‘bad’. To that end I recommend you read the quote that begins this article. In case you don’t wish to scroll up I will repeat it here.
“There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.” – William Shakespeare
When you think about this statement it is really true. What comes to mind is hand gestures we use while driving. You know the one when somebody cuts you off in traffic? Do you know they differ by country? As do the words one may choose to utter at such a moment. Whether they are considered ‘bad’ or not may depend on who is in the car with you.
What about all those pesky emotions? The ones nobody likes to feel. Angry, sad or lonely? Surely there cannot be anything good about those? Not so fast. What does it mean when you feel angry? That your boss is a jerk and has no respect for your fondness for relaxing and enjoying the sunshine just because you happen to be on the clock? Maybe, but let us look a little deeper at what these emotions are telling us.
When you experience pain in your body it tells you that something is wrong. You are not young enough to run a 5k race that fast, or don’t consume so much rum before using a hot stove. Painful emotions are the same thing for your spirit. When you are angry it is telling you that a standard you have for someone else, or even yourself, has not been met. Have you ever been angry at yourself? Sure, we all have. I can’t count the times I have said “Why did I do that?” This is a healthy sign. It can show us we need to convey what our standards are, or even just work harder to maintain them. If you are trying to get in shape but end up eating 2 Boston crème doughnuts from Meijer because they are sinfully good (purely a hypothetical example here) and you feel disappointed in yourself that is a good thing. That pain you are feeling will help you stay on track better next time.
Feeling lonely? That is a lack of connection. Maybe you need to work on developing your relationship with the person in the mirror better? Perhaps it is a sign to reach out to a friend who would love to hear from you? When you experience what normally is considered a negative emotion, look for the lesson. What is your spirit trying to tell you? Much like our example yesterday, sometimes having an off day can just help you appreciate the good days that much more. When a friend gives you some bad news, you feel bad. When that same friend calls you again and gives you good news you feel good. This is all part of life and it can all help make us better people.