The more I explore emotions, the more I realize how biased I am against the negative ones. Noticing this trend has led to a radical thought, “What if there are no good or bad emotions? What if each emotion has a gift that no other emotion can give us? Am I passing up the gift of all the lower emotions because I’m too arrogant to believe they have something of value to offer me?”
Last night I started reading a book called The Gift of Fear, where the author talks about situations where people were victimized. I found myself turned off by it. It didn’t feel empowering to see other people as a victim. But he took things to a deeper level by talking about how our intuition can predict and steer us away from violence before it happens. In that sense we’re not really a victim of other’s actions, but not following our own guidance.
As fate would have it, today I had an experience where I felt like a victim. But instead of just acting like a victim, I owned it. “I asked you to stop repeatedly and you didn’t, that’s like rape!” Maybe I was being melodramatic, especially since the only things being hurled at me were words, but there was something soothing about seeing myself as a victim. It made it OK for me to feel like I did because it felt like the appropriate response to that situation. Instead of beating myself up for feeling in a negative place, I understood why I felt the way I did.
Naming it actually caused me to feel less like a victim. I immediately cut myself some slack, and stopped being a victim of my own self-judgment. No longer saddled by my own in-fighting, I could focus on the circumstances at hand with fresh eyes. I felt empowered to shift the situation now that I knew what role I was playing in it. And once I made that shift, whatever I was doing to attract the behavior that was victimizing me ended too.
It feels weird putting it this way, but identifying myself as a victim actually made me feel more empowered. The moment I had this realization, I thought back to The Gift of Fear. After, feeling the power of being a victim, firsthand, I now felt eager to crack open that book and read it with an open mind. In fact, I wasn’t a victim at all! I was the benefactor of an experience that helped me connect with a desire I never even knew I had!
I never would have guessed that I would want to feel like a victim, but feeling it led to the profound realization about my life’s work. Now the side project I’d been working on that involves navigating the emotional scale from the lowest lows to the highest highs, has become the work I want to build my life around. I want to find a way to focus on it more and more and include others in the process, and write a book littered with success stories from all the people this work has helped along the way.
And maybe I don’t even need to try to build my life around it. Maybe events like today will happen more frequently, and my desire to follow through on this work will manifest whether I try to make it happen or not.
What I am discovering is that the power of understanding your emotions and how to leverage them properly can create powerful shifts in both your physical and emotional world. Just by understanding where you’re coming from, and how you want to feel, you can navigate even the trickiest of situations. Just like a GPS can take you anywhere you want to go, just by knowing where you are and where you want to be.
In this video I’ll try to dive deeper into this subject, and hopefully discover some new insights along the way. So tune in if you’re ready to explore those lower emotions in a new light, and reclaim power you might have otherwise discarded.