Taking a look at Inside Out and our emotions once again, I wonder how many times we end up feeling just like Riley, "But everything looks different now." After a traumatic event, life just isn't the same anymore is it? We're all mixed up inside trying to figure out up from down. Not as easy as 1,2,3 anymore huh? We just need a good cry right? Sometimes we need to feel the sadness, to express our Fear, to let Disgust have her “ew” moment. Maybe ‘Anger’ just needs to blow off some steam. As Sadness often says, “I'm too sad to walk. Just give me a few...hours.” It happens and it’s necessary to be honest. We just need to keep everything in balance, to be careful with our emotions so they don't over run headquarters. I guess what I’m trying to say in my awkward way ; maybe it’s time to slow down and think about who’s running things upstairs. When we’re up against an emotional wall there's probably a few questions we need to be asking ourselves. Like “What's happening to our core memories? Has our memory train suddenly derailed? Do we have emotions overlapping? And for goodness gracious sake what the heck is going on upstairs?” Do you think we might need to learn to slow down a bit? Just a thought, but maybe we should start listening to our inner Joy and stop relying so much on Fear, Disgust, Sadness and Anger.
Speaking from my own personal experience emotions left unchecked are a train wreck. The thing about hitching a ride on the Sabotage Express is derailment is a given. Disruption and Demolition are ready at the crossroads where our feelings, sentiments, reactions and responses collide and crash into total destruction. As Anger and Fear come together our first reaction is to lash out. Not a great scenario is it? OK so let’s just look at a scene from Inside Out. It kinda of puts things into perspective. Alright imagine sitting around the dinner table. You're chatting about the day,sitting next to a brooding pre-teen when those tiny but very loud emotional voices in your head join in. It would probably go something like this:
“Riley: Just shut up!
Dad’s Anger: Fire!
Dad: That's it! Go to your room!
Dad’s Fear: The foot is down. The foot is down. Whoo!
Dad’s Anger: Good job, gentleman. That could have been a disaster.
Mom's Sadness: Well, that was a disaster.”
Mom's Sadness is spot on, it’s a complete disaster. I bet in real life by the time everyone walks away from the table they have no idea what the argument was all about in the first place. I'll tell you what they do know and feel and that's anger. See without balance our emotions are a catastrophe. We react out of frustration instead of responding with self-restraint and understanding. This is exactly why we need to anchor our emotional well-being to our faith. For me faith is precisely where I find my greatest source of stability. The truth is we really do need our emotions. They help us feel, to heal and to experience life fully. Our emotions are catalysts for change and growth but if we don’t keep them in check they can be destructive. Fear in it's true form may keep us safe but anger will turn to hate if we're not careful. Hate, he's deadly, lethal and devastating. Hate destroys everything good in our lives. It eats us up from the inside out. Lack of self-control is simply a thief stealing our joy, hope, love and peace. But now Rage he's the child of uncontrolled anger. And if Anger and Rage are left to run the office so to speak, you’ll eventually go bankrupt. If things get to that point then what happens to all those amazing islands of our personality once filled with family, friends, and memories? I'll tell you what happens, Sadness takes over. And those once happy islands gradually begin to crack, crumble, fall and ultimately disintegrate. We forget the good, happy times, and the goofy parts of ourselves which anchor our emotions to our core memories.
I'll stop here for now. Part three will pull into the train station so to speak with the final post of this series in the next couple days. I can't wait to finish up and see where we land together at the end of our journey through emotions.