The Purpose of Negative Emotions

emotions1

Negative or unwanted emotions are a part of our experience of being human and are unavoidable. In fact, they are very clear signs that we are emotionally healthy humans. We feel sad when something undesirable happens or guilty when we have caused someone else pain or harm. This is a healthy sign that we are capable of empathy; the one characteristic that differentiates us from psychopaths.

Negative emotions, although uncomfortable are healthy, natural occurrences. Like other emotions, they are not permanent. They do not exist to torment us forever. No matter how painful that breakup was and how convincing the present feeling is that the pain will never end. Emotions come and they go.

Negative energy on the other hand, occurs when we cling to negative emotions longer than we should. The unresolved feelings after a breakup can develop into depression, thoughts of self-harm or obsession. Unchecked jealousy and envy have been motivators in many homicide investigations. The key is to learn from the negative emotion then let it leave.

“You must let the pain visit. You must allow it to teach you. You must not allow it to overstay.”

The pain from negative emotions alert us to the things we find undesirable. This is a very useful tool in discovering authenticity and purpose. We tend to focus on the things that make us happy and excited when trying to discover passion and purpose. But the things that trigger our undesirable emotions are powerful clues to who we  truly are.

Among the various pathways to passion described in Creating a Wealthy Mindset, I mentioned revisiting childhood desires, dreams and role models. However, your childhood upsets and indignations point to the things that bother you; things you want to change. These are the causes that you will be willing to fight for; your purpose.

As a child, I was upset by seeing animals being mistreated. To my parents’ dismay, I took in strays as pets and always had cats hidden under my bed. I thought at one point I would be a veterinarian. It so happened, I had a passion for the ‘underdog’ so to speak. I was eventually led to uplift and motivate others to live fulfilling lives by overcoming their internal obstacles.

It took a few years and several attempts before I was able to clearly define that purpose. But each negative experience (and my over the top reaction to it) led me, inch by inch towards my authenticity and ‘calling’.

Your negative experiences and emotions are powerful indicators of the things that you were meant to do. They serve as a pathway to your deepest passions. It will not be a linear process and can be quite murky and confusing at the beginning but pay very close attention to the things that upset you. The causes that get you riled up, trigger your rage; that gets that fire in your belly.

These are the emotions that will push you to take action.

Anger is a great hint for figuring out the things that you are passionate about. If it triggers such powerful emotions in you, it might be worth pursuing.

Envy is a sign that you aspire to be somewhere that you haven’t reached yet; somewhere someone else has already reached. Guilt suggests an issue that needs to be resolved either by apology, corrective action or both.  If you feel like an underachiever, it simply means that you have great ambitions and your subconscious is nudging you towards attaining them. Every discomfort has its purpose.

Negative emotions are guides.

Observe them closely and follow them on your journey to greatness.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s