Gosh! All this talk about our dark emotions; you’d think it was all doom and gloom! Let’s mention a few of the ones that make life enjoyable.
joy (euphoria, elation, ecstasy) I have leapt out of my chair, yelled, and punched the air when my football team has hit the front with only seconds of the match to go. What joy!
(There might be ‘better’ reasons for feeling joy – like the birth of a child, or getting a coveted job – but hey, I’ll take joy wherever I can get it. You might as well, too.)
relief is a discombobulating emotion occurring when joy replaces fear. At the conclusion of the 1989 AFL Grand Final a supporter can be seen (on the replay) crying with relief. It is an awkward emotion to feel, but it’s always welcome!
gratitude Sometimes we are expected to feel grateful, but may not actually feel it. We might out of politeness go through the motions of expressing it, and that can taint the emotion and even give it a bad name. However, when we do feel the real thing, when we feel a big slab of appreciation to someone and are bursting to express it – it’s a cleansing emotion to feel. And it sends to our subconscious a big reminder that we are connected.
amusement To chuckle at a pet’s antics, a child’s naivety, a workmate’s quip, and if we can, at the daily absurdities of Life itself, is like pressing the reset button when life is drab. It’s a great little heart-starter.
enjoyment To enjoy a book, a movie, a television episode, watching pets play, a magic show . . . what pleasure!
wonder (as well as awe, curiosity, interest, admiration and intrigue) These emotions can temporarily free ourselves of our own ego. How refreshing!
contentment To have it is to fear no lack, and no harm. It’s the opposite of anxiety.
excitement A charge of adrenalin really makes us feel.
Feelings that don’t have a name As our parents drove my sister and I towards the ocean on a hot summer’s day we would keenly look ahead for our first glimpse of the sea. As I write these words I can feel the emotion I felt when that line of sea blue came into view. That emotion doesn’t have a name. Yet, what a gorgeous emotion to feel!
I bet you have memories which include feelings that don’t have a name.
Let’s remember to recognise and saviour these emotions when they come along.