In my quest for all things connected to understanding our emotions, I came across this blog, Buddhist Insights for Accepting and Respecting Our Emotions. As we near the end of the month, we are wrapping up our look at understanding emotions in Chapter 2 of Onward. For those of you also working through The Onward Workbook, you have put many hours into this, so I offer this blog as a reminder of the empowering work that you are doing.
I love this blog’s look at emotions and the explanation that they are fundamental to who we are. I especially like the part where he talks about the potential power in understanding our emotions: “If our partner hurts our feelings, offends us, or shocks us, we can’t even name the intense emotions we feel at first. The feelings haven’t yet formed into anger or any other solid emotion. For a moment, we’re suspended in a space of pure openness, where anything is possible. If we can just stop and remain in that space for a moment — without any answers or judgments — we have a chance to connect with the wakeful qualities of our emotions and hear their message.” Suspended in a space of pure openness, where anything is possible. This concept is so empowering to me, and it reminds me of the quote that is often attributed to Viktor Frankl but is now thought to be an unknown author: Between stimulus and response there is space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
When people ask me about mindfulness, I often share this quote. For me, the more mindful I am, the more I am aware of that space. It’s as if that space is lengthened with each deep, full breath that I take. And when I am in that state of pure openness, as the blog states, I am in a much better position to understand my emotions.