Emotions/The Human Compass

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Emotions are the most important thing in the fragile psyche that comprises and defines us as human beings, and some say separate us from the animals…. Although animals have emotions too they are not thought to be as rich and varied as the full gamut of human emotions…Emotions can be considered a psychological and moral compass to guide us through our lives….

I am a very emotional person myself, and my primary good emotion on the list is love….The love for a mother for her newborn baby is perhaps the purest and most primal of emotions, and it is perhaps the most important emotional building block for the rest of a person’s emotional life….There are numerous studies stressing the importance of the mother child bond, and it is universally acknowledged to be the most important of all…

But we are all ruled by our emotions, and by the time we become adults we are already invested with our basic set of emotions…Fear and anger, disgust, joy, shame, surprise, sadness, rage, grief, wonder, sorrow, revenge, wonder, panic, dejection, despair, contempt are all basic human emotions; they are inextricably bound up within ourselves in every way, in every day…I will try to break down and go into more examples of these emotions in this blog, and I am sure I will inadvertently leave a lot out-Sorry! (another example of a human emotion!)…..

We have all seen examples of these various emotions in our everyday lives, it is an inescapable part of being human…Fear of failure, anger at our co workers and friends or family members, disgust at rudeness or lack of common human decency, joy at the good things that happen to us in life like weddings, anniversaries, graduations, or simple things like parties or a back yard BBQ are all parts of every day life….

Shame can be caused by any number of guilty pleasures or indiscretions, as simple as not sticking to your diet or having an affair; surprise is self explanatory and is usually a joyful emotion….. Sadness and grief and sorrow are also obvious, and can cover a wide range of events, from the death of a loved one to an illness or betrayal of any sort, be it back stabbing co workers or the end of a relationship…

Rage is another primal emotion, I wrote a blog the other day about road rage, a good example, but people can fly into rages at the slightest provocation, sometimes with deadly results…Somebody might think they are getting cheated on in a card game or gambling, or that their significant other is fooling around behind their backs, and the revenge factor, the “Hey Joe” part of us can come out in all of us at any time…The thing is, emotions are the antithesis of logic, and when somebody is raging they are not thinking logically……

Wonder is a very good emotion, especially the joyful wonder of a child seeing something magical and surprising for the first time, be it a trip to the zoo or Disney World or a circus, an air show like the Flying Angels, a 4th of July fireworks display, any holiday celebration like Christmas….It is always fun for an adult to be able to re-experience that childlike sense of wonder, and see the same event we have become jaded about through the eyes of a child experiencing the wonder of life for the first time…

Panic is an involuntary emotion, usually caused by circumstances beyond our control, sudden financial reversals or the loss of our homes or apartments, or like car accidents, being trapped at the top of a Ferris wheel (that happened to me once!) being stuck in a transit system breakdown like a subway malfunction, or any number of other temporary events….Fortunately panic attacks are seldom long lasting…

Dejection and despair are also linked, it seems, because as human beings we are always at the mercy of these emotions, and we can end up dejected by any number of things, luckily usually temporary or of a brief duration….

Despair can last a long time, and it is usually caused by being overwhelmed with the bad things that can happen to us in life all at once, and we have the sinking, helpless feeling that there is no way out of our individual predicament….Despair can settle in for a long time, and it is usually only after the crisis has been resolved, one way or the other, that the feelings of despair dissipate….

Contempt is more of a negative emotion and can be caused by a feeling of superiority over another person, say a co-worker, a panhandler, a homeless person and is usually not justified, but again, emotions are the antithesis of logic….

As humans, we are all subject to a wide range of emotions, and how we deal with and manage our emotions define us as human beings…Many religions preach, and people that are on the path to spirituality often believe, that we must see through our emotions to achieve true internal peace….I guess it is what it is…I think the Beatles may have said it best in their song, “Let It Be”…..

Peace out!

Just leave it like it is right now

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