As humans, we are capable of experiencing a wide range of emotions. Some of the basic human emotions are joy, excitement, surprise, sadness, anger, disgust, contempt, fear, and grief–just to name a few. However, many people operate under the belief that expressing any negative emotion such as sadness, anger, fear, or grief makes them weak. They believe that allowing themselves to feel these emotions is somehow a loss of control or a waste of time. But does it? Is it? I don’t think so.
Did you know that elephants also experience many of the same emotions we do? Not only do elephants feel joy, fear, and grief, but they also feel stress, compassion, rage, and love. They grieve the loss of loved ones when they die, they cry at reunions, and celebrate birth.
Aside from humans, elephants are one of the most emotionally intelligent animals (chimpanzees and dolphins are also up on the list).
In my last blog post, I mentioned how I thought it was important to experience emotions. By this, I mean that it is important to allow yourself to face these emotions. To feel them. To acknowledge that they are there. What is the point of being the most emotionally intelligent species on earth if we try to suppress some of the distinct qualities that actually make us human?
Now, just like most things, too much of something can be bad. Knowing how to experience these emotions in a productive way is very important. Whether that means giving yourself a set amount of time to reflect on why you are feeling sad, or talking about it with a good friend, or even going to counseling to work through the emotions.
When elephants are sad, other elephants in the herd can pick up on that. Sometimes they will also start to exhibit sadness as well. Or, they might console and comfort the sad elephant. Sounds kind of like us, right?
So, we are letting ourselves experience these emotions. Now what? We have cried, or sat in a dark room alone, or talked to someone, or even laughed it off. But what comes next?
We go forward. Be like a shark–they can’t swim backwards or stop suddenly.
So this is where the journey really begins. We’ve decided to walk this road, to experience these emotions, and to let the negative ones go.
There are exciting things coming in my future. I will soon be finishing my web development course which will lead to finding a job. I am committing to eating healthier and exercising more. I will give myself the love, patience, and support I would give to any friend trying to better their life.
What are you walking toward on this road? What goals have you set? Are they similar to mine?
In my next blog post, I will talk about bullet-journaling and how it has helped me be conscious of my goals.