What is Your Emotional Status State? Are You happy?
What is your resting emotion? If nothing is going on, there are no pressing deadlines, how do you generally feel? Are you happy if there is no reason not to be or are you more likely to be anxious? Do you feel safe when things are going well or do you search for that inevitable “other shoe?” Is your resting state, your default emotional state actually a state of rest or does space in your day mean it’s time to make more lists of work???
I feel like this is an important thing to know and an important thing to choose. I think you can choose your resting emotion, with practice. Consider how much emotional energy you use when you survey the landscape, past and future, always looking for potential pitfalls or errors. When you remain in your own personal version of high alert, even in those times when nothing is going on.
When you were a kid, did you ever say to yourself, over and over and over, “I am me….. No, but I am me.” And the more you said it, the more you would feel like you were going deeper into space because, of course, it doesn’t make any sense to our small human brains. Or did you ever try to imagine infinity? You know, space is infinite, but it has to end, but then what’s past the end? Mind blowing, right?
Here’s an adult version for you. Try asking yourself the question, “Am I happy?”
To me, the answer appears easy at first. I’m not entirely happy because I would like more financial stability, I’d like to make a mark on the world, I’d like to find my soul mate.
But wait. Those are all dreams for the future. The question is, am I happy in this moment? Not when my mythical soul mate arrives home or I get a call from Oprah saying she wants me on her show. Not when I have enough money to wander across the continent indefinitely, exploring as I go.
So, right here and right now, I’m sitting in front of my computer in my housecoat, sipping delicious coffee. I happen to have the best coffee on the planet at my house and I have to limit myself to two cups a day or I get buzzy. I never take my morning coffee for granted. Am I happy at this moment?
Well, it’s fall and the rain is falling quietly outside. It’s still dark out, meaning I have an entire day ahead of me just full of potential. I am self (un)employed currently so my time is my own, a luxury I have wished for my entire life.
No, you see that’s still not it. I’m still talking about my situation and potential, things outside myself. My internal state. Right here and right now. In this moment. I am comfortable. I feel free and safe and healthy. I think I’ve got it now. A single point of internal light. How I feel in this exact moment. Maybe not mind blowing like infinity or the meaning of existence, but mind bending for sure!
When I can get right inside myself, it turns out that I am happy! Right here and right now, soulmate or no soulmate! I am also aware of a quiet panic in my chest that doesn’t want me to just be happy. It wants me to worry about getting enough done, and how much money I have and whether people like me. It tells me that if I don’t worry I won’t take care of myself.
The truth for me is that my emotional stasis state is happy. The voice that tells me to stress is a well-meaning throw back to my younger years when I assumed my work was to minimize distress and the only way to do that was through constant vigilance. Not that I was in control of this belief. It used to be my emotional resting state, developed during the times in my life when I felt powerless. Now the voice is like that inappropriate childhood friend I keep in my life. We would never be friends if I met her today but we’ve been through the wars together so she can stay. She just can’t drive.
Try asking yourself if you are happy. What is your emotional resting state? Is it, indeed, happy, or is it something else? And if it is something other than happy, would you like it to be happy? I believe, my friend, that is a goal worth working for!