Recently, I wrote in my journal, “I am frustration.”
I meant to write, “I am frustrated.” When I caught the “error,” I laughed because the initial phrase captured my reality more accurately.
Isn’t this exactly how emotions sneak in and begin to color the quality of your life? We tend to invisibly merge with the feeling. Then it’s ever-present, like a boldly colored thread interwoven throughout the fabric of your days.
Reflection: Your Emotional Colors
What emotion are your living these days? Is it a single emotional color or a palette of two or three?
Seeing your “colors” can be exciting because awareness constitutes the first step to improving your life. OK, sometimes it can be a little depressing too. Yes, it can feel like a monkey you want off your back once and for all. But please don’t let it get you down. Here’s what you can do instead.
Once you acknowledge your basic emotional palette, you can:
- Accept and love the dark places.
- See and apply the lessons they would like to teach you.
- Practice the opposite. For example, if frustration plagues you, practice acceptance or joy.
- Celebrate and amplify the positive colors like love, joy, and compassion.
- Simply observe the emotion without engaging in afterthoughts about it. Then, it will dissolve on its own.
“If everything is noted, all your emotional difficulties will disappear. When you feel happy, don’t get involved in happiness. When you feel sad, don’t get involved with it. Whatever comes, don’t worry, just be aware of it.” – Dipa Ma
While you might want the less desirable colors to immediately disappear, they’re probably a vivid streak painted across a big section of the canvas of your life – a trend you’ll need to work with again and again. But the colors aren’t permanent, some just take longer to erase. That’s the idiosyncratic nature of being human, so in place of self-recrimination practice patience, humor, and spaciousness instead.
Now, while you think about your emotional colors, I’ll carefully apply the medicine of acceptance, joy, and gratitude to the frustrated part of me.
What emotional colors are you living these days? How are they affecting the quality of your life?