This past weekend, my husband and I and our four children went to the movie "Inside Out.” Every one of us loved it!
The majority of the film is set inside the mind of 11-year old Riley, who's depressed about her mom and dad's decision to move them from the Midwest to San Francisco, separating her from her friends and her childhood foundation. Riley's emotions are determined by the dance between five core emotions: Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust, and Fear. There's a control headquarters that the five primary emotions compete with each other to control, and at various times, different emotions hold court, but never to the exclusion of the others. The dominant emotion hears what the other emotions are saying, and can't help but be impacted by it. And so it is true in our own lives. We cannot help but be impacted by the various emotions that we are having. The key is to learn how to acknowledge and feel these emotions, and then channel them accordingly.
Initially, Joy seems to be running the show. But soon we realize that Sadness has just as much of value to contribute. Anger, Disgust, and Fear are useful as well, and none of them should take precedence to the exclusion of the rest. Allowing for one, some, and/or all of these emotions as part of our experience is permitting us to be just as we are, and absolutely where we are. Not one of these emotions is good and/or bad. They just are.
We have no real control over our emotions, only over what we choose to think about them and what we choose to do about them. By learning how to manage our mind, we have more control over our thoughts which inform our feelings, and spawn our action/inaction, and create the results we get in our lives. By integrating our hearts and minds, and by being in touch with both our thoughts and feelings, we are able to align and engage with ourselves and the world from our truth. Riley is not simple; she is human. And her humanness makes her life experiences beautiful, messy, complicated, and rich. #itsallgood.