A la carte emotions.
I probably over show and share my emotions. I’m the guy that answers honestly when someone at a gas station says, “hey, how ya doing?” It’s a problem. I’m working on it.
But in the last two years I’ve learned something about emotions and it’s a pretty simple idea really. Here it is: You don’t get to pick which emotions you experience deeply and powerfully.
That is, emotions are not like flavors of ice cream. You can’t say, “I want happiness and joy and laughter, nothing else please.” The problem with emotions is that they all tend to hold hands. And when you crack the door to let one out, they all storm the door and knock you over. Suddenly, the joy of a great moment you couldn’t contain hyper switches to a sorrow that takes your breath away.
That’s not a positive thought I guess but it’s true and it’s why some people are so content to be unhappy. They inherently know that if they get happy, if they let a smile slip through that open door, a frown isn’t far behind. So they stay flat and safe, but they miss the deepest joys. And that, regardless of whether you’re holding everything in or like me are making people at gas stations feel uncomfortable, is a sad thing.