There are times when something happens that sparks an unexpected emotion. These are not the usual mad, sad or glad – run of the mill type emotions that ebb and flow in our lives.
I am talking about the emotions that register high on the richter scale and leave us wondering what happened. I’m talking about extreme emotions.
When I am up close and in extreme emotions the world closes down. My options are limited and I am thinking about one or two options. This is different from easy feelings where I can play with the different aspects of a feeling. I can turn it around inside me and look at it from a number of perspectives.
It might be someone who does something that is hurtful and I don’t understand why. My ideas may be rejected by someone I love. Sometimes it may be waking up with the nagging worry that I cannot quite place.
The extreme feeling that arises throws me into a panic. Freeze, fight or flight. Are those the responses? That still sounds like a choice. When an extreme feeling arises I don’t feel like I have any choice. I am compelled to react.
The options are few when I am under the spell of an extreme emotion.
It is at times like these that I long for the space and time and perspective to examine the feeling from a number of different aspects.
Easy in theory. Hard in practice. But not impossible.
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