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.