On emotional perseverance

On emotional perseverance

[00:00:00] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Well, hello. This is The Daily Five with Aurooba, that's me, where we reflect on creating our best lives a little bit every day. Here we go.

[00:00:15] It's hard to decide what a season should end with. I have not decided what tomorrow's final episode will be. But today, I'd like to briefly chat about emotional perseverance, or at least the foundations of it. Not emotions and perseverance, and not how emotions impact perseverance. But emotional perseverance itself.

[00:00:44] There are a lot of ways to deal with emotions and feelings. Some people tamp them down, some people ignore them, some people let them take over, and some people have no idea what to do with them.

[00:00:57] As a young person, I encountered and dealt with a lot of models and signals from adults around me about how to handle emotions, much like anyone else. From the, don't cry, some people reach for, to the comforting hug of a loved one, to the situation where if you're angry, they get angry at you for being angry, which means you can't be angry. I mean, we've all seen it, right? All these different ways to handle emotions, from yourself, from others.

[00:01:27] But if I think about the two most impactful things I learned in my childhood, that were valuable, that felt good and healthy, I think about two things: what I was taught about supplication and what I learned about meditation.

[00:01:45] So Muslims have ritual prayers that we offer a few times a day. And after prayer is typically when you do the thing that in other religions you might call praying, I suppose. The bit where you speak to your higher being yourself in your own words, the technical English word for this is supplication. So as a kid when I was taught. About supplication, I was taught that, you know, you channel all your feelings and your whole being into it. Weep with actual tears if that's what you feel. It is the one time you might see stoic Muslims of any gender crying openly in a public space like a mosque or another worship area. It is encouraged. You let all your feelings wash over you and you almost hone the supplication, that desire, as you proverbially send it along to the heavens, you know?

[00:02:41] Feel your feelings. It's okay to feel them fully.

[00:02:46] I learned about meditation during this sort of phase in my life as a kid when I was obsessed with all the religions and I wanted to see which one I would be and I read and I researched a lot and one of the things, of course, I learned during that time was meditation. In meditation, you're taught to stay present, to let your thoughts go by like cars on a highway. You are a spectator. And, if you accidentally find yourself following a train of thought, you gently bring yourself back to the present by focusing on your breath. You do not judge, you do not chide, you simply come back to the present.

[00:03:25] Accept your feelings, and don't let them control you, in other words.

[00:03:31] I believe it is the balance of these two things that allows you to develop emotional resiliency. The healthy acknowledgment of your feelings, and the maturity to not let them take over.

[00:03:45] Emotions and feelings come in all kinds of strengths, types, and groupings. Some are easy to work through, and some are much harder. Healthy acknowledgment of your feelings comes from knowing that your feelings come from somewhere. There is always a reason, one that is worth investigating. I don't believe any feeling is invalid, although how you may outwardly act on that feeling could be. But the feeling itself is not invalid.

[00:04:14] Feel your feelings.

[00:04:17] Now, like I said, how we act on those feelings is a whole different matter. Accept your feelings, but don't be controlled by them. It's hard to control a feeling you haven't allowed yourself to feel. By letting yourself feel it fully, you sort of take the steam out of it, it loses energy. It finds a way to flow, and it's a lot easier to think and deliberate on your emotions once they've lost some of their charge.

[00:04:44] And then, you bring your thinking side to the table. You dig into the feeling. Why did you feel this way? What triggered it? How can you resolve the trigger? What can you do to have a better reaction next time?

[00:04:59] Once the feelings have lost some charge, I will typically journal, or I will talk it out with someone I deeply trust. Our feelings often involve the situation, and sometimes they involve other people. Discussing difficult things like that is maybe out of the scope of this episode. Although it is a worthwhile discussion. So all I'll say is, you are allowed to have your feelings and opinions, and so is the other person. Even as you feel and share how you feel, have kindness and grace for yourself and the other person. But don't let that turn you into a doormat either.

[00:05:38] But before you can involve anything outward, whether it's a person, or a different situation, or anything, you have to process those emotions for yourself.

[00:05:48] Do that well, and do that often. Stay self aware, and that's what emotional perseverance is made up of. Because, I don't know, maybe we need this reminder, but we are all human. And it isn't our thinking mind that is the largest component of that. It is the feelings, the emotions, the instincts, the visceral reactions that are the largest component of our consciousness, you know?

[00:06:20] Thanks for listening same time tomorrow