For many of us, the current social, political, and environmental climate often provokes very strong emotions of fear, grief, and anger. How do we ride these emotional tides and avoid descending into hopelessness, righteousness, or bitterness?
One key is to feel and listen to our emotions and allow them to remind us of our values. Our emotions are E-motion – energy in motion. They want to move us to respond to life. As part of their wisdom, our strong emotions show us what we really care about, what our values are. And we can allow that emotional energy to inspire us to live our values more fully.
Our grief is the emotion that expresses our love and value for what is being lost. It points directly to what we care about the most. Contrary to our cultural conditioning, grief is not pathological or depressing. It is the emotion that shows us what we care about. Listening to these emotions helps us to process and heal from loss. So, when we feel the grief of our current situation it is telling us about what we cherish. It reminds us of what makes life worth living and it can inspire us to see how we can honor that more fully in our lives right now.
When anger arises in response to what is happening around us, it is boundary setting energy. Anger, in its balanced expression, is the emotion that gives us the strength and courage to say “No!” in the face of manipulation or violation. It arises when there is the potential for harm and it seeks to protect. Once again, anger may be pointing us to our deeply held values that are being violated. We can harness this energy, not for aggression or resentment, but to take a stand to protect what we hold most dear. We might do this through marching or writing letters, making calls, praying or any other way that we can use that energy to protect what we hold sacred.
Emotions of Fear are always ultimately the fear of loss. And what we fear to lose also points to what we value. Our fear tends to drive us to try to control our environment. But you’ve probably already learned that this is an impossible task. Instead, we can harness the nervous energy of fear or anxiety and channel it into the excitement of expressing our values more fully.
When we embrace our emotions in this way, rather than judging or pushing them away, we can shift the narrative of our mind. This sacred shift is one from negativity to one that focuses on what we love, cherish and stand for in our lives.
What do you value and hold sacred in your life? Please comment below.
Are you interesting in exploring the topic of emotions and how they lead us to discover our values? We have an upcoming retreat: “Being Human in times of Great Change.” This takes place at The Sky of the Heart Preserve. We dive deeply into this topic, in addition to providing tools on how we can shift these strong emotions provoked by the current political and social environment constructively. We offer this in a group setting in addition to individual healing sessions. Please click here for more information.