Emotions are an essential part of our experience. In Conversations with God, Neil Donald Walsch describes them as energy in motion. And as long as our emotions stay fluid, we are free to go with the flow.
When our emotions get stuck, so do we. Stuck in old patterns, habits and self-defeating behaviors. All of those behaviors, ironically, were designed to avoid feeling the emotion in the first place.
Many of us get over attached to our emotional experiences. Instead of just going the flow, we hitch our horses to the emotional cart and end up getting taken for the ride of our lives.
A metaphor can illustrate the internal road to emotional fluidity. Let's say you have a magic carpet. And that carpet represents a disruptive emotion. For the illustration we'll say it's anger, since there are many emotional taboos against anger in "civilized" societies.
Most of us hop on the magic carpet, and start listening to what it has to say. Those angry words lead us to angry feelings which lead us to angry actions. And once we've gotten on the carpet, it's very seductive to stay on the ride, with all its highs and lows.
But what if, instead of hopping on the carpet, you stayed open to its message, and allowed it to pass through your experience?
The act of staying open and neutral is the key to staying present to life's possibilities. The moment we grasp - or climb on the magic carpet - we become attached to an emotion. And yes, a "positive" emotion like happiness may be more desirable than a more destructive emotion like guilt, but attachment takes us out of the miracle of the present moment, which is where all the emotional magic happens.
Imagine if, rather than riding any particular emotion, which by its very nature is limited to that particular emotional frequency, whether dialed up or down, we stayed open to the wide range of emotional experiences available at any one moment. What would it be like to be tuned in to the very richness of life? It's like taking off a pair of colored sunglasses, to let all of the beautiful light in.
As we move into the new year, consider challenging yourself to stay open to your experience. It will take time and effort, but it is an option available to you in any given moment. And you can choose it again and again.