Yes, we use and encourage exploration of ways to actively pay attention to and interact with emotions. It is no act of submission to embrace them. Contrary to what some might think, I emphasize a relationship of guidance, not dominance or submission. You see, emotions are alive, they are wild; to see them as simple tools – as one would see a fork, a screwdriver, or even a cleaver – is to lose sight of their value.
Emotions are natural, listening to them is natural. It is when we ignore or over-indulge them (i.e. misunderstand them) that problems arise; it’s not the emotion itself that can be considered negative. Rather, it is our interaction with them that can have problematic affects on an individuals life. To restrict them, control them, or to try snuffing them out is inhuman, unnatural; it is to oppose life itself. If a man becomes convinced that he must oppose emotion; then he has become convinced of an opposition to life.
To surpass the natural and go beyond; this is truly a thing I would encourage. Looking for balance between neglect and excessive surrender, toeing such a line, that’s a mediocre balancing act. I say elevate, not balance; raise how mindful you are of them. Where others say to find balance, I say rise, elevate your awareness and understanding. Raise that, and your feelings and emotions will guide you higher still.
My suggestion is simply this: to acknowledge your emotions as wild, and to not attempt domestication, and to work with them as they are, wild animals. They are essentially hollow and useless to the you in the face of efforts to tame them. If you don’t really agree, then at the very least you might do well to take me perspective into consideration, to contemplate the implications it might have concerning the way you approach emotions.
To explain why emotions are of such relevance with the least amount of words, it is because they are a part of us, their reason for being is no less than the reason you have a heart pumping blood through your veins. Whatever you believe, it’s there for you, looking to help you, guide you, keep you ticking. Fighting an emotion is like fighting your heartbeat.
(Written November 24, 2011)