The Way of the Wielder
BY QUINN FERNANDEZ
What would you do if you could bottle your emotions?
Would you keep them in a box, carry them around so you could use them at just the right moment?
Would you sort them, keep the “nice” emotions close and convenient and then stash others, like fear or jealousy, in a dark corner to gather dust?
Would you mix and match, or maybe blend a “cocktail of emotions” suitable for special occasions?
Take a moment to contemplate these ideas, because your answers may provide key insights into how your life is evolving.
People think of their emotions as tones or levels of wellness. A calm or exhilarating day is considered positive, while a day with anger and anxiety is viewed negatively. It’s a reasonable approach of course, because it is true — to a point.
Emotions are a measure of wellness, they help us gauge our feelings so we can assess our state of well being. More importantly, emotions are the fuel; the anima, that drives and motivates our actions.
We’ve all experienced those mornings when we struggle to wake up and get ready for work all week yet, once Saturday morning arrives, we get up early; refreshed, rested, and eager to start our day.
What happened to the nagging fatigue of our work week? What occurred during our Friday night slumber that was more restful and rejuvenating than Wednesday or Thursday?
The answer lies in the emotions present. It is easy to wake up to a day of pleasure and relaxation because these are “good feelings” fueled by playful enthusiasm. Waking up to the work day grind, on the other hand, often holds the mood of grim determination; a stoic drive to earn and to provide. Not exactly a recipe for exuberance and joy, right?
However, just because Spartan self-control does not make for lighthearted weekends, that doesn’t make it a bad thing. Being Spartan has its place; being carefree has its place; in fact, every character trait and emotional state has its proper time and use.
Even the writer of the biblical book of Ecclesiastes attests to this truth when he writes:
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance…”
I recall one particular afternoon, while I was brainstorming for a novel-writing project, I noticed that I was too physically and emotionally charged up to focus on my notes.
I struggled to suppress my nervous energy and focus on finishing the writing goal I had set for the day. In spite of all my efforts, I remained too restless to write.
Then I glanced over and noticed the dumbbell weights sitting in the corner, and decided to take time to do some exercises and burn off some excess energy. Afterwards, I sat back down at my lap top and was soon writing easily and fluidly.
That’s when it struck me. The nervous energy that was impeding my writing had suddenly become very useful for my physical fitness! It was a strong and exciting epiphany for me.
All right, I can already hear some of you saying, “Why, thank you, Captain Obvious! Physical energy is good for exercise. Got it.”
However, what I am discussing here has nothing to do with writing or exercise. It has everything to do with how something can be either beneficial or not. More to the point; it’s about how anything in life can be perceived as valuable or favorable.
The very energy that had disrupted my writing had been used to enhance my physical fitness. In the case of my writing, the high nervous energy was a hindrance to me, but for exercise it was productive, and the exercise, in turn, benefited my writing. All that was necessary was for me to discover the appropriate expression of the energy in order to change it from a negative to a positive.
Put simply; every conceivable emotion is a potential source of power, if handled with a clear mind and expediency, not as good or bad, but whether it’s useful or not.
In any situation, we must first remember, or become aware, that we all have energy within us, a personal power that we can access whenever necessary. We empower ourselves by wielding this energy for change.
We empower ourselves by changing our perception or our interpretation of a situation and then wielding this transformed energy in order to transform our experience. By consciously transforming and wielding the energy of an event, we create a more desirable outcome rather than just wishing for one.
We can point to countless situations in life where this process plays out. One situation requires tact, another calls for bold candor; one a hammer, another a scalpel. Every tool is wrong for some job, but it becomes right when it is used for what it was intended.
Every part of our lives is a state of being or a tool for living or both. Emotions, for example are usually treated as a wellness gauge. The consensus is that the happier and livelier we feel the more well we are overall, but if we are sad or angry we have somehow become less well. This is because our emotions have become nothing more than a set of elements on a bar graph against which we measure our well being.
What if our emotions are a fuel as well? What if anger, instead of being seen as just the negative number on a bar graph, is viewed as the energy that pushes us through to a successful outcome?
All emotions are fuel and their potency is determined by how deeply we feel them. Whether we are talking about love and compassion or about greed, rage and lust, the quality they offer us as fuel gives them value, regardless of our morality.
So we have to ask ourselves; In our quest to clarify our morality, are we inadvertently stripping ourselves of the power to thrive? Will we allow our sacred thoughts to strip us of our passions, or will our passions clarify our sense of the sacred?
Wielding is a different approach to managing our sacred thoughts. It is an approach that doesn’t merely erase aspects of who we are in order to define who we are. We strive to live a wholesome life by living every part of life as a whole.
Failing an exam can be an excuse to fail again or it can be the fuel for acing the next one. Heartbreak can push you out of your comfort zone to seek new love, or it can drive you deeper into your shell. By choosing the most useful expressions in each case, we are being true wielders. We determine the value of our choices by establishing their usefulness.
Wielding is about the gathering and use of physical, emotional and spiritual power. We don’t judge the quality of an emotion, but its utility. Because of this, no emotion can cripple us, because, as energy, it’s mutable, and is always useful to us in one way or another.
It is not necessary for us to filter good from bad, or moral from immoral; because our passions, our emotions, and our experiences, are nothing more than the fuels and tools to facilitate our journey; where we end up is the result of our choices, not of the tools that we wielded to get there.