Without the rainy days, the sunny ones wouldn’t be as nice. Without the valleys, the mountains would lose some of their majesty. Without the sad, happy isn’t quite as uplifting.

The opposite ends of the spectrum enhance each other. We can’t fully appreciate one without having also known the other. And emotions fit squarely into this category.

A while back, I sought solace and advice from Cowboy of some relatively inane thing that (at the time) was quite upsetting to me. His advice was that I should “choose not to be upset” and that my reacting and letting it get to me was because I was choosing to do so.

I understood that to mean that I should not honor the emotion of being upset … that I should deny the upset and be better off because it would not bother me.

I don’t agree with that, necessarily. While that may be the simple answer, and the answer that will yield the best stasis, I think it is also the answer that does not honor emotion.

A later episode of Desperate Housewives (yes, it is a vice now and again) featured Susan Mayer. Someone called her out on being emotional and prone to outbursts of all sorts. Her reply articulated the value of it: that because she does embrace her emotions and allows herself to have outbursts, she is in fact experiencing the richer life because she can feel all depths of a feeling and it makes life more vivid.

I completely agree.

In honoring your emotions, you allow yourself and your body to express as it needs to. A person cries as a way to heal the body. Emotions are the body’s way of dealing with the outside world.

And when you allow yourself to feel sad or upset or out of sorts, it makes the happy or content or together all that much more vibrant. Because when you’ve been down, you know how far it is to get up, and that makes up all the more worthwhile and exceptional.


Sunrise. 7.30.2009

Sunrise. 7.30.2009

Good morning!


One thought on “To Thine Own Self (or, Richer Life)

  1. Loved this one! I’ve been trying to stifle my feelings because it seems things affect me more than it does those around me. I know that I’m the one in control of my own emotions and I can only control my reactions to things around me. I’m working on that part, but every once in awhile it’s okay to be angry, pissed off, and have an outburst. I love the “richer life” explanation. I’m gonna stick with that.

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