People often believe that they are slaves to their emotions: "I hate feeling like this but I can't help it." Some are ashamed of their emotions and try to hide them; still others find some to be offensive, frightening or sinful. But the truth is that all feelings have purpose and value. They are essential messengers that provide us the opportunity to learn a lot about ourselves depending upon which ones enter our hearts. Let's take a look at ten of the most frequently experienced feelings and what they may possibly reveal about us:
1. Stress: high expectations, trying to do too much, and a lack of balance in our lives can lead to dangerous levels of frustration and anxiety.
Revelation: we may be overly concerned with what others think about us (our need to please) and/or measure our self-worth by how much we accomplish. A lack of balance between work and play may also indicate a lack of self-love since there is a disregard for one's overall well-being.
2. Happiness: a lighthearted approach to life that enables one to put things into proper perspective; one who sees the best in others and in situations and doesn't take things too seriously.
Revelation: we learn what pleases us, brings us joy, and delights our senses. This is telling of an optimistic mindset and attitude.
3. Grief or Sadness: intense emotional suffering caused by loss, misfortune or disaster.
Revelation: unveils what really matters to us. The depth of our grief often correlates with the degree of importance the person, possession, or experience has.
4. Embarrassment: feeling self-conscious or uncomfortable in a situation or with a particular person; concern with how others see us.
Revelation: embarrassment reveals more about how we feel about ourselves than how others perceive us. Lack of self-love and acceptance means we need to address our issues of self-esteem and value; choose to judge one's self less and be more at ease with who you are.
5. Guilt and Shame: closely interconnected, guilt is a sense of culpability for a real or imagined offense we've committed (an act or behavior). It reminds us of what our values are, what we believe to be right and wrong. Shame involves feelings of guilt, humiliation or disgrace stemming from feelings of self-loathing, incompetency, or a flawed sense of self.
Revelation: while some believe guilt to be counter-productive, it actually monitors our actions and keeps us on a righteous path. By separating our behavior (actions) from our intrinsic self (worth) we can eliminate shame, thus fully loving ourselves (after all, we are children of God) while working on improving our behaviors.
6. Regret and Remorse: an attitude connected to guilt and shame, deeply rooted in feelings of repentance and sorrow, one tends to view certain choices or missed opportunities as mistakes, rather than vital stepping stones lining life's path.
Revelation: negativity, self-pity, and a defeatist attitude can trap us in an angry cycle of regret and remorse and prevent us from fully reaching our Divine potential. By reframing each experience as a necessary part of our spiritual journey we can embrace each and every individual, experience, loss, and hardship as the blessing they truly are.
7. Hurt: feelings of deep emotional pain brought about by the perception that others are deliberately disrespecting or devaluing us.
Revelation: When we take personal offense to what others are saying or doing, when we feel targeted by their hurtful actions or words, there is a clear indication that our self-worth is dependent upon what others think or feel about us or by how they treat us. By recognizing our own value and understanding that their behavior merely expresses their deep unresolved issues, we can remain unaffected by their behavior and thus avoid being hurt.
8. Gratitude: the ability to appreciate everything; to find goodness, value, and beauty in others, in things, events, and even losses.
Revelation: one who lives in gratitude requires very little in order to feel blessed; they possess a joyful spirit, an open heart, a positive attitude; they are lovers of life, and desire to be joyful. Gratitude is actually the precursor to joy.
9. Love: feelings of concern for the well-being of others; feelings of tenderness, warmth, a oneness with others; kindness of the heart; a reverence for all life; the ability to see God in all of His creations.
Revelation: those who love have a belief that values all life; they recognizes their connectedness and oneness with their Source of Divine Love and have a strong desire to reflect God's presence in the world.
10. Inner Peace: the ability to accept what is or what must be for a higher good; resisting the temptation to force something or someone to conform to one's personal dictates; to release the need to control or change.
Revelation: truly an expression of self-love as well as a reverence for all others; the willingness to fully embrace everything and everyone as is; the refusal to judge or manipulate but rather allow and appreciate; one who epitomizes ease and grace of living.
It is imperative to embrace every emotion that stirs our hearts for they are messengers of the inner self. Honor them; spend time with them; decipher their meaning and revelation. Once acknowledged, gently release those that have fulfilled their purpose and replace them with those of a kinder nature which will better serve you in the present moment.
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Janet Pfeiffer, international inspirational speaker and award-winning author has appeared on CNN, Lifetime, ABC News, The 700 Club, NBC News, Fox News, The Harvest Show, Celebration, TruTV and many others. She’s been a guest on over 100 top radio shows (including Fox News Radio), is a contributor to Ebru Today TV and hosts her own radio show, Anger 911, on www.Anger911.net.
Janet's spoken at the United Nations, Notre Dame University, was a keynote speaker for the YWCA National Week Without Violence Campaign, and is a past board member for the World Addiction Foundation.
She's a former columnist for the Daily Record and contributing writer to Woman’s World Magazine, Living Solo, Prime Woman Magazine, and N.J. Family. Her name has appeared in print more than 100 million times, including The Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Alaska Business Monthly and more than 50 other publications.
A consultant to corporations including AT&T, U.S. Army, U.S. Postal Service, and Hoffman-LaRoche, Janet is N.J. State certified in domestic violence, an instructor at a battered women's shelter, and founder of The Antidote to Anger Group. She specializes in healing anger and conflict and creating inner peace and writes a weekly blog and bi-monthly newsletter.
Janet has authored 8 books, including the highly acclaimed The Secret Side of Anger (endorsed by NY Times bestselling author, Dr. Bernie Siegel).
Read what Marci Shimoff, New York Times bestselling author, says of Janet's latest book, The Great Truth; Shattering Life's Most Insidious Lies That Sabotage Your Happiness Along With the Revelation of Life's Sole Purpose:
"Janet dispels the lies and misconceptions many people have lived by and outlines a practical path to an extraordinary life beyond suffering. Written with honesty, clarity, sincerity, and humor, this book serves as a wonderful guide for anyone seeking a more enriching and fulfilling life.”
Dr. Bernie Siegel says, "All books of wisdom are meant to be read more than once. The Great Truth is one such book."