Let’s say there are five basic emotions in life: joy, anger, love, fear and sadness.
Wouldn’t you agree these cover most of what you feel during your days? If not, what are the emotions that make up how you feel daily? This isn’t a scientific experiment or a life quiz … obviously there’s overlap within these categories for all of us.
Are You What You Say You Are?
It’s confusing when someone says they are joyful and filled with love the majority of their lives, but then every single time you see them, they are sad or complaining. A breakdown of their daily feelings shows a large percentage of time spent being angry or frustrated.
When negativity rules your life, it’s clear that others won’t see you as joyful. When unable to let go of past transgressions, get over a great loss, or forgive yourself for a foolish mistake, it’s not logical to expect positive and uplifting emotions to characterize how you feel or are perceived by others.
A good way to check your honesty about where you spend most of your time emotionally is to ask a friend or spouse. Make a game of it. Let someone close to you assign percentages of the five basic emotions to whom they think you are and then do the same for them. (Warning: don’t let this illuminating “game” cause an argument. Its purpose is to shed light on how others see you, not to make a training dissertation on your weaknesses! Keep it loving and compassionate.)
When I look within myself, for the most part, I see this:
Love 25% Total = 85% positive emotions
Then I swallowed my fear and risked getting information I might have difficulty receiving by asking two friends to give me thoughts based on their perceptions of me. This is what they said:
Joy 40% 75%
Anger 15% 5%
Love 25% = 65% positive 10% = 85% positive
Fear 10% 5%
Sadness 10% 5%
If the majority are positive emotions, all is well. If, however, the majority of emotions associated with you as seen by yourself or others, are negative in nature, there’s room for improvement. I don’t believe we’re meant to carry impurities in our minds, bodies and souls; they poison our futures, so it’s a good thing you can change your numbers if they’re predominantly negative!
Make Room for What You Want
Think of yourself as a tank that gets filled with emotions. If most of your emotions are negative, there’s no room for the positive. Keep in mind that beating yourself up, being controlling, always comparing, being consistently impatient, harboring resentment or jealousy, and being bitter are all negative emotions and are toxic over time. If you feel these emotions daily you’re putting your health and well-being in jeopardy; they shorten your life.
A relaxed, open, more positive approach lengthens life (check out Proverbs 14:30).
A friend used to say, “I’m really ready for a relationship now.” When I looked at her life, the emotions ruling her behavior painted a different picture. She was hyper critical and not open to sharing herself either emotionally or physically. How could she experience and share joy with another if she was topped out with skepticism and doubt.
How realistic are you about what fills your emotional tank?
A Few Suggestions
Take inventory and commit to cleaning out the negative stuff you have residing within. Empty out self-pity, dejection, loneliness.
If you want to remain young in spirit, there is no room for negativity. Regardless of your age, keep your spirit young. And finally, protect that space within yourself and make a goal to reserve 95 percent for positive stuff.