So…. now that we know what feelings and emotions are, and what causes them, how do we “fix” them?
Here is the secret!!! Emotions are not problems to solve and therefore, they are nothing that needs to be fixed!
Recently I had the chance to go to Disneyland and California Adventure…twice in about 5 weeks. The first visit was with my husband for our 30th wedding anniversary. The second visit was with my youngest daughter, my oldest son, and my son’s girlfriend.
On both trips, we did one park each day. There were some similarities and some differences between the two, as could be expected. And each time it was interesting to notice the other park visitors as well.
Here is just one thing that made me think…..
In California Adventure there is a ride called the “Emotional Whirlwind”. It features characters from Disney-Pixar’s movie “Inside Out”.
I commented to my son’s girlfriend how it would be nice if the real life emotional whirlwinds were similar to the ride. It could be deemed a “kiddie ride” in that it goes up and spins in smooth moderate circles. Aahhh, the understatement of it all.
My emotional whirlwinds remind me more of a ride like X2 at Six Flags Magic Mountain!
You climb nearly 200 feet backwards to prepare for the first drop only to realize that it wasn’t the actual drop, and you climb a little more before the REAL drop only to have your seat flip around 180 degrees as you drop 215 feet facing toward the ground! There are twists and turns….back flips and front flips….flame throwers and heavy metal music. It is terrifyingly amazing!! And you may feel a little bit sick afterwards! haha 🙂 But I digress……We can discuss my love of rollercoasters a different day. Today we are talking emotions.
In the movie, 11 year old Riley moves with her parents from Minnesota to San Francisco and has to leave all her friends and memories behind. The bulk of the movie is portrayed by the “emotions” that control Riley’s brain. The five main emotions are Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Fear, and Anger. And although not an emotion, I loved her imaginary friend Bing-Bong and the role he plays as well.
In the beginning it seems as though the movie is favoring Joy’s interpretation of what things mean and how they should be remembered. Joy tries to direct the other emotions in what they should “do” for Riley. But soon we see that all the emotions play their own necessary parts and that one is not more valued than another. The movie helps us see that depending on where we are at in our lives plays a big part as to how we can remember things with joy, sadness, disgust, fear or anger. The feelings surrounding our memories can soften and even change over time. And because of the complexity of our brains, some of the greatest memories come with a combination of emotions.
After all, if the circumstances are neutral, we can have multiple thoughts about any given circumstance, which leads us to multiple emotions about that particular instance. So given that, we can allow various emotions to be present for us in our own lives as well.
I’m Michelle. I am learning how to minimize my overwhelm, perfectionism, and people-pleasing and I am ready to help you do the same. I’m a certified Life Coach and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Come with me and learn how.
It is this allowance of emotion that gives us the rich fullness in our lives. We can learn from all the emotions that we have if we look at them with curiosity and compassion. We don’t need to be in a rush to “think our way out of the difficult emotions”. What can we learn? Why do we feel a particular way? What are the thoughts fueling those emotions? Are they helpful in some way? How are they serving us?
Rather than “solving” the emotional problems as it were, we can become more scientific and collect data and information as to the roles they play and how they are there to give us information. There will be some emotions in specific circumstances that are short lived. That’s fine. Just remember….. there is nothing wrong with you because you are feeling a particular way. Sometimes all you need is patience and understanding.
Many people talk about positive and negative emotions, but I’m not even convinced that is an accurate description either. What if all emotions just were? And some were a more preferred level of comfort for us, while others were some level of discomfort? How would things be different if we learned how to allow the discomfort of emotions in our journey to reach towards the things we truly want in life? We do have some control over our emotions, because we can challenge our thinking. I’m just suggesting that maybe we don’t always need to. After all, in the majority of grading scales, 60% is passing. What if life is the same way?
Orson Welles once said, ” If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.” Similarly, I prefer, “It’s ALL good in the end! If it’s not good, it’s not the end!” Maybe this is just one chapter in your story. Maybe it’s the messy middle. Keep going. Keep writing your story. Turn the page and determine for yourself what to do with these emotions.
If you would like to look at some of the emotions you might be thinking need to be solved, or if you want to work on processing and letting go of some of your lingering emotions with me just “Contact Me” and send me a quick email. Or you can “Schedule a Consult” for a free session to discuss what you want to work on and how to get started.
And as always…..Remember…..It’s ALL good!!