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Why are we afraid of emotions?

Emotions are a very real part of every person we know, the very person we are. Emotions are largely out of our control and yet they have the ability to make us lose control, to take control over our bodies and control over our behaviours. Some emotions are just so very, very big that they can quite literally knock the wind out of us. They are real. We all experience them and yet we are, as a society on the whole, afraid of them, of having them and of talking about them. We really need to address this in some way. Small. Big. Whatever. Just address them.

Somewhere, over time, we have become nervous about letting students, parents, and ourselves, sit with feelings. Feeling sad? That’s OK, just feel it. Feeling embarrassed? Yeah, that sucks but it will pass. Feeling angry? That’s OK too, it’s not Ok to throw stuff but it’s OK to feel it. Sometimes just feeling the emotion is what you need to do. You need to just allow your body to do what it needs to do in terms of emotions and you need to listen.

That’s right, LISTEN. Your emotions are trying to teach you something. How often have you actually listened to what your emotions are trying to teach you? I mean really listened? Sometimes it is a really quick lesson like, FEAR – ‘Run you idiot, get away from the danger!’ or AMUSED – ‘Laugh, that was really funny’. Sometimes though the lessons are harder to hear, not because of volume but because they are hard lessons to learn.

GUILT– ‘You did the wrong thing there my friend’, JEALOUSY – ‘That was a really nasty thing to say’, HATE – ‘Not understanding something doesn’t make meanness OK’. SHAME – ‘You crossed a line there’. JOY – ‘This feels awesome, best day ever’, LOVE – ‘I have found the person that is my person’.

If we could all just get a little bit better at helping each other to LISTEN to our emotions when they pop up, we could all be so much more able to move forward in restorative as opposed to combative ways. Listen to what our emotions are teaching us, swallow the pill – even the bitter ones – and move through this world with a little more understanding.

We don’t need to be afraid of emotions. We need to listen to them and learn the lessons they are trying to share with us.

Check out other articles Cassie has written here.