Let emotions signal your needs

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Typically, I leave my house at 6:15 AM for work. Most mornings, I’m rushed and hustle about my home at an almost frenetic pace; gotta beat the traffic, gotta be there on time. While I drive, my mind races over every detail of things I’ve done and things that have been done to me. Sometimes, thoughts of the “injustices” that I’ve experienced flood my mind with adrenaline: I’m ready to fight those enemies who have hurt me and would do so again, preemptively, at the very thought of my name. I imagine myself seeking and taking revenge and…

But, wait, I’m a “good person” and I shouldn’t be thinking of things like revenge. I should love my enemies and pray that they see the errors of their ways. I should love everyone and not feel negative feelings towards anyone, really. If I’m a good person then I shouldn’t want to get even with anyone.

Then again, maybe I’m not a “good person.” Maybe I’m a “bad person,” in which case, wanting revenge against my enemies is ok. Bad people do things like get mad and want to get even with people. Revenge lives in the land of the bad person, after all and bad people harbor negative emotions…

Yet, in stewing over what I feel, both good and bad, I notice the sun rising. It was an overcast day, the sky should have been cascading from the night’s darkness into the blue that comforts with its normalcy. Instead, though, the sun peeked between the mountains and the clouds and turned the sky red; the color of both anger and of love.

And I screamed at the sky, “What’s wrong with you? Are you not aware that you’re supposed to be blue? This red unsettles me; you should be turning sky blue?”

Still though, the sun rose and unsettled my mind with its natural response to clouds and sun and mountains: It turned red in spite of what I thought it should do. Did that make it a “bad” sky?

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Not to me it didn’t. To me, it was a marvel how a natural sky could wash this world with such intense color and light. There was no intervention in the display; it was the perfect combination of light and shade and moisture that made the red a shade that’s probably impossible to match with even the finest paints. I felt blessed to live and breathe under that miracle sky.

As the red faded, I returned to the thoughts of the day. The “good” and “bad” thoughts didn’t seem as such anymore. All I could think was that I’m just a person; sometimes I’m positive, sometimes I’m negative. I have feelings, both good and bad, that are probably natural responses to circumstances I face. I feel with intensity; it’s who I am. I can wash a room with strong emotions; I feel as a human being should feel.

Maybe that’s the thing we should all understand: Inside of each of us is a storm of emotions that we sometimes judge and stop ourselves. The thing is, the energy the emotions create doesn’t just go away. We have emotions so that we can come to understand the circumstances we face in this life; sometimes those emotions are positive and sometimes they’re negative, but most of the time, they are a natural and normal response to what we face. We aren’t good or bad people because we feel certain ways; we are all just people trying to make sense of our worlds and telling ourselves that we should or shouldn’t feel any way makes about as much sense as me yelling at the sky.

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