Sometimes emotions can come on hard and fast. It can take a lot to just merely hold on. Have you ever felt like managing emotions can sometimes feel like living through a storm? I was thinking about that today. Would you believe I discovered that Tropical Storm Lisa (my name) developed in the eastern Atlantic Ocean this very morning? Funny!
Emotions are like Storms
In many ways emotions are like storms. Neither emotions nor storms will be denied. Emotions and storms are both forces of nature. However, we can do our best to prepare ourselves for the inevitable.
Storms, emotions, and Intensity
Storms, likes emotions, vary in intensity. As it turns out, Tropical Storm Lisa is actually a “weak” system. Emotional storms can also be powerful or mild. For instance, anger can range from mild irritation to rage. Anxiety can range from feeling a little on-guard to full blown Panic.
Emotions, storms and Beauty
If you are viewing a storm from a safe place, you might be able to appreciate it’s beauty. The rush of the wind and the sound of the rain can be exhilarating. The display of colors can be magnificent!
Experienced through the safe container of art, we can be moved by the beauty of exquisite emotions. Drama can deeply stir our souls. Dancing can lead to ecstasy. Music can open up our tender heart. Dream images can be woven into a quilt. Deep longing can be expressed through poetry.
Managing emotions, storms and Time
Emotions, like storms, pass on their own time schedule. You can’t hurry a storm. You can’t rush grief. You can’t hold onto a wave. You can’t control the passing undulations of joy.
Emotions and Storms deserve your respect
As potentially powerful forces of nature, emotions (like storms) deserve our respect. If we try to ignore them, they will not just go away. Will can be overcome if we don’t prepare ourselves for them properly. If we bottle our emotions, they will only become stronger. Mismanagement of emotions can lead to violence, destruction or depression. Repressing our emotions will only serve to limit joy, passion and contentedness.
Managing Emotions: the storm of fear
Sometimes poems, like prayers, can be invoked as a powerful tool for facing and living through fear storms. For example, I have found A litany Against Fear written by Frank Herbert (Dune) to be a life saver. The litany reads as follows:
I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.
What do you use to make it through your emotional storms? Do you believe you can grow in the face of emotional overwhelm?
Lisa T Perry, MEd, LPC, CCMHC, VMT-R is a Licensed Professional Counselor who would love to help you manage your emotional storms or transform them into something meaningful and beautiful.