Some Thoughts on the HAVING of Emotion vs. the EXPRESSION of Emotion.

Experiencing an emotion — love, anger, jealousy, guilt, regret, sadness — is normal, and human, and expected. Experiencing an emotion is not an out of the ordinary event, and it takes nothing more than our reptilian brains to accomplish.

Handling yourself with grace, however, takes practice.

And the practice of it — not what you’re born with, but how you handle what you experience and what you do with what you’re born with — is what matters.

That’s the stuff that gets synthesized and circulated and eventually settles into our bones. That’s the stuff that we pass on: to children, to family members, to friends.

Who we are is imprinted on those around us. Our practices are contagious.

If you take from someone as a way to deal with jealousy, you’re spreading that around.

If you lash out in violence (be it verbal or physical) when you’re angry, you’re coughing that up onto everyone around you.

If you punish those around you when you feel guilty, that is the medicine from you on which people learn to rely.

And those less practiced — those younger, or those more impressionable for whatever reason — their emotional immunity doesn’t know how to fight off your emotions dis-ease.

So the next time you react, think about what communicable, airborne, and emotional disharmony you’re spreading around.

Instead of reacting, sit with your emotion. Practice being with it.

Practice expression in the face of anger, and giving when you are jealous.

Practice acceptance and responsibility in the face of guilt and regret.

When we love ourselves, when we turn towards ourselves, when we’re tuned in to our own inner strength and light, these things are always possible. (Note: possible doesn’t mean easy…)