Emotion

1 (a) obsolete : Disturbance; (b): Excitement
2 (a): the affective aspect of consciousness : feeling; (b): a state of feeling; (c): a conscious mental reaction (as anger or fear) subjectively experienced as strong feeling usually directed toward a specific object and typically accompanied by physiological and behavorial changes in the body

Source: www.merriam-webster.com

Etymology

Emotion (n.): 1570s, “a (social) moving, stirring, agitation,” from Middle French émotion (16c.), from Old French emouvoirstir up” (12c.), from Latin emoveremove out, remove, agitate,” from assimilated form of ex-out” + movereto move.” Sense of “strong feeling” is first recorded 1650s; extended to any feeling by 1808.

Source: www.etymonline.com

Wisdom

“All the knowledge I possess everyone else can acquire, but my heart is all my own.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832, German poet, playwright, novelist, scientist, statesman, theatre director, critic, and amateur artist, considered the greatest German literary figure of the modern era.)

Bio Source:

www.britannica.com/biography/Johann-Wolfgang-von-Goethe

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart”

Helen Keller (1880-1968, Educator, Journalist, who overcame the adversity of being blind and death to become one of 20th century’s leading humanitarians, as well as the co-founder of the ACLU)

Bio Source:

www.biography.com/people/helen-keller-9361967

“But feelings can't be ignored, no matter how unjust or ungrateful they seem.”

Anne Frank (1929-1945, Jewish girl and teen writer who had to go into hiding during World War Two to avoid the Nazis, world famous for writing the diary she wrote)

Bio Source:

www.annefrank.org/en/Anne-Frank/

“It is a grave injustice to a child or adult to insist that they stop crying. One can comfort a person who is crying which enables him to relax and makes further crying unnecessary; but to humiliate a crying child is to increase his pain, and augment his rigidity. We stop other people from crying because we cannot stand the sounds and movements of their bodies. It threatens our own rigidity. It induces similar feelings in ourselves which we dare not express and it evokes a resonance in our own bodies which we resist.”

Alexander Lowen (1910-2008, American physician and psychotherapist; father of Bioenergetics Analysis, a form of mind-body psychotherapy)

Bio Source:

www.lowenfoundation.org/#!about-alexander-lowen/cmf5

“Anger ... it's a paralyzing emotion ... you can't get anything done. People sort of think it's an interesting, passionate, and igniting feeling — I don't think it's any of that — it's helpless ... it's absence of control — and I need all of my skills, all of the control, all of my powers ... and anger doesn't provide any of that — I have no use for it whatsoever."

Toni Morrison (b. 1931, a Nobel Prize- and Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist, editor, playwright, and literary critic, best known for her novels, “The Bluest Eye,” “Song of Solomon,” “Beloved, and “A Mercy”)

Bio Source:

www.biography.com/people/toni-morrison-9415590

“Resentment is often a woman's inner signal that she has been ignoring an important God-given responsibility - that of making choices.”

Brenda Waggoner (licensed counselor and author of “Fairy Tale Faith,” “The Myth of the Submissive Christian Woman,” and “The Velveteen Woman: Becoming Real Through God’s Transforming Love”)

Bio Source:

therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/name/Brenda_S._Waggoner_MS,LPC,NBCC_Richardson_Texas_49466

“Sex is always about emotions. Good sex is about free emotions; bad sex is about blocked emotions.”

Deepak Chopra (b. 1947, Indian American medical doctor and author of more than 80 books translated in over 43 languages, including 22 New York Times bestsellers)

Bio Source:

www.chopra.com/about-us/deepak-chopra-md

“Do you imagine the universe is agitated? Go into the desert at night and look at the stars. This practice should answer the question.”

Lao Tzu (6th century B.C.E., also known as Laozi or Lao-Tze, Chinese philosopher credited with founding the philosophical system of Taoism, best known as the author of the “Tao-Te-Ching”)

Bio Source:

www.ancient.eu/Lao-Tzu/

Meditation

“It is a grave injustice to a child or adult to insist that they stop crying.  One can comfort a person who is crying which enables him to relax and makes further crying unnecessary; but to humiliate a crying child is to increase his pain, and augment his rigidity.  We stop other people from crying because we cannot stand the sounds and movements of their bodies.  It threatens our own rigidity.  It induces similar feelings in ourselves which we dare not express and it evokes a resonance in our own bodies which we resist.”

— Alexander Lowen

We must breathe deeply and move consciously every day in whatever modality we prefer.   Movement in sync with breath is a powerful practice.  That’s why yoga, chi gong, tai chi, and other forms of healing arts are so vital.  Such spiritual practices empower us to sort through our entangled emotions and limited thought-patterns.

I was born a sensitive child.  I couldn’t help it.  As an empath I can viscerally feel other people’s turbulence and often would share their “emotional noise.”

As children, my sisters and I often traveled by train with our mother at night from our church in Harlem to our home in Downtown Brooklyn.  It was during the mid-to-late sixties, and the streets were dark and ominous.  Street lighting was not in fashion at time in the City, and especially not in underdeveloped urban neighborhoods where we lived.

I must have been around 8 years old at time, and my sisters Evelyn and Dawn were ages 7 and 3.  Our mother was a really fast walker.  She had to be in those days where anything could happen on the street.  We also had several blocks to walk to get home.

As we ascended out of the subway, we walked passed a woman who was crying loudly, deep in the arms of a man.  I could not see the woman’s face. But, as we whizzed by the couple, deep sorrow and grief hit me.  It scared me and I screamed in agony. “Mommy, what’s wrong with her? Why she was crying?” My mother looked at me with grave concern, but she couldn’t stop walking to console me.   My mother didn’t get angry, though.  She just had to keep moving.  And before long our distance evaporated the emotions and hurt.

My mother was a wise and great protector, and she knew me very well.  As I look back, she had a way of protecting my sensitivities by letting me go through my emotions.  She never prevented me from feeling what I felt, which was extraordinary given how young she was as a mother, from the age of 16 until she died early at 27.

It’s taken me a while to weed through the garden she seeded within me.  But, now that I am finding my way Home, I am accepting my sensitivities and deepening my emotional intelligence.

Please feel it All, my friends.  Breathe deep and flow fearlessly in Life’s sea of purity and openness.

Faithfully and Compassionately Yours, Tonya

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