Managing Untamed Emotions

October 3rd, 2012

The ancient Greek genius Aristotle said, “Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.”

Brilliant! And yet it IS within your power. You can have your cake AND eat it. Feel your emotions deeply, AND let them serve your highest good. Emotional mastery is not about denying or suppressing emotions. They all have something to offer. But who’s in charge? When you team up emotions, reason, presence of mind, patience and ALL of your inner resources, as well as your ability to breathe, take a step back and see the woods beyond the emotional trees, you are on a path to mastery.

Legendary psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud used the analogy of a horse and rider. The horse is emotion. The horse will only see what’s right in front of its nose; like a heavy depression that takes away your perspective like a cloud covering blue sky. Work with the horse, rather than letting it take you on a wild ride to regret. As the rider you can gently direct the horse to a longer, deeper and more spacious perspective.

Anybody can have emotions, like anger or compassion. Anybody can react in an emotional way. To direct emotions like anger or compassion at the right times, to the right degree, for the right purposes, and in the right ways, for the greatest good, that is true mastery. Take the reins and steer yourself towards a full and empowered life.

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  1. Kim says:

    Love this post – and love your site so much. It’s always filled with inspiration and thoughts that I can relate to. Please don’t ever stop :)this one is a big one – I think that as children we’re often told to “suck it up” or “stop that crying right now” without ever really getting to the bottom of whatever emotion we’re feeling. Have you seen Glennon Doyle Melton’s Tedx talk? In it she says that one of the worst things we’ve all been conditioned to saying when someone asks “How are you?” is to say “Fine! How are you?” This teaches us to ignore our real feelings and put on a fake smile to the world so no one will see our dirty laundry.Suppressed emotions can wreak havoc (speaking from personal experience). But once we’re allowed to really feel what we’re feeling, the emotions have far less power of us.Thank you so much :)Have a great day.