Ridding ourselves of problematic emotions is not the answer. Like a learner driver, we can learn to manage the powerful thrusts we experience.
Ridding ourselves of problematic emotions
Often people will think of their anxiety, fear and anger just as problematic, negative emotions. They are feelings that they’d prefer to get rid of. However, these strong emotions are needed by us in order to live each day. All three are engineered into our bodies.
It is possible to manage our emotions
What we need is to learn how to manage these emotions because if they do things in us that we can’t control they do cause big problems and harm. Like learning to drive a car we need time to learn how to engage these feelings, to find ways to stop them from making us jerk or stall so we can move more smoothly through life. Continue reading Learning to Manage Problematic Emotions
Every venture of life involves our moving from a known reality and security to an unknown one over which we don’t have control. This always causes apprehension to rise in us as this movement involves taking a risk – whether it is in learning a new skill, being in a relationship, having faith in God, doing your work, going on a new adventure, even just living. But if we don’t take the risk we will lose ourselves. Continue reading Anxiety is the driver pushing us forward to learn, grow, change
We all know the feelings we got as we played hide and seek, and waited to be found. Games we play all carry levels of anxiety, as do all other creative risks we take in life. Continue reading Find me if you can!
We all know the freedom with which a child draws something. Before knowing others judgement young children have no belief that what they create is somehow not okay.
Follow the formation of that same child into their school years and we see them change in their confident spontaneity. They start believing that they can’t draw. In an atmosphere of unrealistic expectations they feel unsafe to freely create and experience heightened anxiety when asked to perform. Continue reading Be
When I (Sergio) was at Wits in the 70s I remember being amazed at what one lecturer told us one rainy day. He explained that raindrops falling on the North side of our roof flowed down into the Braamfontein spruit, on into the Jukskei River, then into the Limpopo River, around the (then) Transvaal, through Mozambique, and ended up in the Indian Ocean. But the rain that fell on the South side of the roof flowed down into the Vaal River, on into the Orange River and ended up in the Atlantic Ocean. Two very different destinations! I hadn’t remembered it since then and the Holy Spirit just brought it to mind again in our choices around fear.
Continue reading Where do our choices around fear take us?
A compass on a steel yacht would be misleading if there weren’t magnets to keep it reading true. Those who sail need to be able to know that they can trust the direction the compass is showing them. Each compass needs to be swung, for if it’s incorrect by even 5°, it’ll mean sailors are really ‘at sea’, ending up where they didn’t want to be.
Like a compass that’s trying to tell us where to head, so our emotions are trying to communicate with us. We can’t just assume the compass is right though. Neither can we automatically assume that what our fear is telling us to do is correct. Our fears sometimes need to be recalibrated so we can trust them to give us good life direction. Continue reading Setting Sail: Trusting Our Inner Compass
In nature, creatures never try to be something else, but live simply, fully themselves. If there’s actual danger, they react with legitimate fear, but once it has passed, they relax. How would it be if we could rediscover what has been taken from us and live this freely? Continue reading Habitual Fear
Most of our childhood fears were learned from our parents. Today, we can explore past assumptions and embrace the gift of healthy fear.
We learned to fear as children
A baby is born with only two fears: that of falling and of loud noises, but all of us now carry many different fears in our bodies. These we’ve learnt from others as they tried to shape our behaviour, but which more often just hampered our natural learning. Continue reading Revisiting Our Childhood Fears
I am the engine inside of you. I am here to help you get through life, but you have never looked after me. You try to put me down and to get rid of me, but you can’t for I am integral to who you are. You neglect and ignore my warnings, but I break through your consciousness. I hide in your circumstances and I get you. I have to change things. I have to fix things. If you don’t manage me appropriately, you can’t blame me. You never engage with me, never befriend me. You sometimes use me so you can hurt others and frighten them. Continue reading I Am Your Anger
Learning to play all the keys of our heart’s piano
We all have times of feeling low. It helps to understand what these are saying. Since we haven’t listened to and resolved our little depressions, we don’t know how to process our big ones. As we learn to love ourselves more fully, we need to do for ourselves what wasn’t done for us. We are empowered as we come to accept who we really are.
We all know from our own (and others’) depression, that there is no magical ‘quick fix’. Continue reading Befriending Depression