All Emotions Are Acceptable, But Not All Behaviors Are

April 20, 2018 in Emotions 10 Shared
A woman covered by flowers.

We all have the right to feel all kinds of emotion. We have all experienced things that  made us feel certain things in our bodies and minds. Every emotion we experience is acceptable. But what we cannot accept is any and all behavior that may come out of these emotions.

Our job is to identify our emotions. Recognize them before they overpower you and get out of hand. Herein lies the importance of knowing how to release them in a way that won’t harm anyone but will allow you to express, control, and channel what you feel.

Sometimes emotions arise in us without any warning. Almost automatically, we feel rage, and that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing or that we shouldn’t feel it. But, it’s something else altogether to allow rage to take the wheel.

Feeling means that we’re alive; experiencing emotions means that something matters to us. But the second our emotions take over and make us speak without stopping to think first, they lose their positive power. And, with it, all actions that derive from them lose their value.

“The key to our freedom lies in the knowledge of our fears and our unconscious emotional patterns.” 
-Elsa Punset-
A woman with no head and butterflies escaping from neck hole.

Can we control our emotions?

Some emotions arise without us even noticing, almost automatically, and almost immediately after their trigger. For example: You see someone following you in a dark alley, and fear arises. You get a present, and you feel happy.

The way you speak — basically, the way you think — feeds into what you feel. Speaking also makes you analyze the situation. To continue the example, if you walk down that dark alley and see someone behind you, you can calm your fear by telling yourself that it’s just someone who lives in the building up ahead. But the opposite will happen if you think they’re following close behind with a weapon to mug you.

A colorful woman feeling emotions.

So while your emotions may appear instantly, your reactions depend on your thoughts. If you take the time to analyze what you feel and why, give the emotion some space, and control your thoughts, you’ll be creating a direct link between the emotion and your actions. Power can be found in your ability to reconsider and take a moment to think before reacting.

Not every behavior is justifiable

Maybe the problem resides in the idea that just because you feel something, you have the right to act as you please. But that’s not true. Your freedom of action ends where another individual’s freedom begins. Therefore, no emotion can ever justify violating another person’s rights. The power of your freedom also resides in the control you have over your actions.

A blurry scene of a girl in a field: behavior and emotions.

You can feel angry, and that’s acceptable. You can feel resentful, and that’s ok. But it will never be acceptable to harm others out of anger or resentment if it’s not strictly out of self-defense. Every emotion is justifiable, but not all behaviors are justifiable.

Hence, it’s your obligation to learn to channel your negative emotions, to let them out in a way that is good for everyone and allows you to express what you’re feeling. Power can be found within you and how you manage everything inside. You’re free to feel and revel in all of your emotions. But you’re also responsible for what you do because of those feelings.

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