No Negative Emotions
April 1, 2024
Picture this... Two pro football teams are about to face off. One team is decked out in all the gear – helmets, shoulder pads, knee pads.  They are equipped with the works.

The other team? They're just in their regular jerseys, no protective gear in sight. It’s like showing up to a marathon in flip-flops, right? This is a no-brainer – the team with all the gear has a huge advantage.  They can play harder, take risks, and stay safe, while the other team is left to play at a disadvantage.

Now, think of this in terms of our emotions. When you view certain emotions as “negative” and try to avoid them, it’s like stepping onto the field without any gear.  You set yourself up for a tough time. But if you gear up, understanding there are No Negative Emotions and in fact, all emotions serve a purpose, you are in a much better position to tackle whatever life throws at you.  It's all about turning the game in your favor by playing smart with what you've got.  And we’ve all got emotions.

Let's pivot from that football analogy and dive into a couple more examples that really bring home the idea of the advantage gained when you understand there are No Negative Emotions.

Picture a young child with a severe vision impairment looking through a pair of glasses for the first time. Everything that was once just a blur now pops with definition, detail, and color. It's a lot like the new-found understanding you get when you start to understand your emotions. Or, imagine a child who's never heard his mother's voice because of hearing difficulties. The moment he gets his hearing aids, it opens the child up to a whole new way of navigating the world.

For years, there's been a big misunderstanding about emotions floating around. We've been taught to sort them into two boxes: the “positive” emotions we should chase after, and the “negative” ones we're supposed to steer clear of. It's like we've been told to pick favorites. But here's the thing: this way of thinking has actually put us at a major disadvantage without us even realizing it. It's like we've been playing a game of football without the protective gear or fumbling through life without clear vision or the ability to hear.

By only embracing the emotions that feel good and shying away from the tougher ones, we miss out on a whole range of opportunities and insights.

Furthermore, prioritizing the emotions that give us a warm and fuzzy feeling can also lead to some pretty serious fumbles, impacting the three key areas of life: Relationships, Health, and Wealth. When we don't know how to engage with all of our emotions, we risk straining our connections with others, neglecting our mental and physical health, and even making less-than-ideal decisions that can affect our financial wellbeing. It's all interconnected.

Grasping the concept that there are No Negative Emotions marks a pivotal shift in our journey. It steers us towards a whole new direction. Instead of viewing certain emotions with dread or resistance, we start to see them through a lens of curiosity. This change in perspective transforms our relationship with our emotions. It's no longer about dodging or suppressing what we perceive as “negative” emotions, but rather about leaning in with an eagerness to understand them. This curiosity becomes a powerful motivator, driving us to delve deeper into our emotional landscape.

The more we learn about our emotions, the better equipped we are to use them to our advantage. It's like decoding a secret language within ourselves that, once understood, can be harnessed to enhance our relationships, health, and wealth. This newfound understanding empowers us to navigate life's ups and downs with greater resilience and wisdom.

Chance to Change
Now that we've explored the idea that there are No Negative Emotions, let's put this concept into practice with a simple, yet powerful exercise.

"Becoming Aware of Your Current Perspective" Exercise:
  1. Notice the Emotion: When you feel a strong emotion, take a minute, and simply notice it.
  2. Notice the Assigned Label: Notice how you relate to the emotion; is your inclination to assign the emotion a label of “positive” or “negative.”
  3. Carry On: Continue with your day.  The goal of this exercise is to simply notice how you tend to categorize your emotions.

In closing, ground yourself in the practical takeaway: there really are No Negative Emotions. Much like a well-prepared football team or a child gaining a new sense, understanding your full range of emotions is a game-changer. It's not just a feel-good concept; it's a powerful perspective for navigating life with greater ease and effectiveness.

It’s about so much more than just managing your emotions; it's about using them as guides to lead a richer, more insightful life.  Every emotion, be it joyful or tough, has something to teach you. You can learn from each one of your emotions and use that knowledge to your advantage.