The common thread here is emotions and our dread of them. People generally like to feel good. We are most comfortable with the emotions that fall in the joy realm. I adhere to the belief that there are four main clusters of emotion: fear, sadness, anger, and joy. Any given emotion might be purely in one cluster or a combination of two or more. I use the word “cluster” because under each heading are many variations of that emotion. Anger can be frustration, irritation, or infuriation, just to name a few.
When we feel emotions that fall into the joy category, we have a pleasant sensation associated with them. All is well in the world or at least we are content with where things are. We want this emotional state to remain constant and will sometimes ignore reality in an attempt to stay there. Some of us try to medicate to maintain a sense of joy.
Whether we choose to admit it or not, humans are capable of feeling all emotions. Emotions are not something to be feared. They are a barometer of sorts indicating our reaction to something that has happened or words we have heard. Our emotional response gives us the opportunity to attune to an internal boundary that indicates our preferences, what we are ok with or not. If someone important to us dies it is normal to feel sad. A person we liked is gone and we cannot be with that person any more. Our barometer says, “This does not feel good to me” and the natural response is sadness. If a person stops suddenly in front of us while we’re driving, we might respond with anger, “It is not OK with me if you put my life in jeopardy.” It’s appropriate to feel that. (How we respond to our emotions is an entirely different topic that I will address at another time.)
If the entire emotional realm is one which you attempt to avoid, I challenge you to give it a bit of thought. Think of all the words you can to describe each cluster heading: fear, sadness, anger, and joy. Notice how the words you come up with describe degrees of intensity. It might also be helpful to give some thought to the idea that our emotions are a barometer.
The topic of emotions is vast. We are just skimming the surface at this point. Consider this Emotions 101. There will be more blogs to come addressing this far-reaching territory.