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Competing Emotions

Photo by Klaas on Unsplash

The new movie “Inside Out” is getting a lot of attention and seems to be educating many on the purpose behind all emotions.  In the movie, “Joy” competes with “Sadness” and looks for ways to contain, ignore, or shut out that negative emotion.  Without ruining it for all who haven’t seen the movie, there is value in sadness too.  When we suppress our negative emotions we also subdue our positive feelings.  If you haven’t experienced sadness then you can not fully appreciate or value happiness.  Although everyone feels emotions, some choose not to share their feelings which limits their connections to other people.  As with most things in life, we only recognize the benefit of those connections when we either lose the person or experience the opposite feelings.

Often we grow, mature, and heal the most during those dark and difficult times.  The realization that negative emotions motivate and/or require change often creates new habits and behaviors.  All emotions are good, the question is what do we do with our feelings?  Can we allow both sadness and joy to have a voice and be heard?  What value can sadness have in your life?  Having lost both parents at an early age and experienced much sadness, I’ve appreciated joy even more.  I’ve also been able to use my sadness to understand and have increased compassion for others’ loss.

When we share our feelings with others we also enable them the opportunity to comfort, help, and connect with us.  Ironically the more we self-disclose and allow ourselves to be vulnerable, the greater the likelihood that others will share about themselves.  Of course, we have to be selective about who we share with and our level of openness depending on the relationship.  The bottom line is that talking about our feelings, both good and bad, will allow for a fuller breath of experience.  We connect with others through our emotions, so decide to share your feelings to increase the depth of your relationships.

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