Emotions provide many helpful clues to the state of our inner life and the world around us. And it’s foolish to pretend they don’t exist. But honoring our emotions doesn’t mean we give them full control of our life. Part of maturity is learning how to manage our emotions so that our actions are guided by our core values and not merely how we feel in the moment. This allows us to become unshakeable.
On the one hand, many of us are emotionally illiterate. We don’t understand nor know how to express what we’re experiencing. And this can leave us disconnected from our own hearts and fill our relationships with much loneliness.
Learning emotional stability is not the absence of emotion. Rather, it’s the discipline of emotional self-control. And this means spending time discovering our inner world, knowing what we’re experiencing, and then learning how to wisely handle it.
And it’s in handling our emotions wisely that we become unshakeable.
For instance, we might not like how a situation was handled at work. But instead of anger getting the best of us, we simply discern the next right thing to do. This allows us to keep a cool head and make a grounded response without being blinded by our rage.
Likewise, if our wife declines our initiation we will naturally be disappointed. But emotional maturity allows us to feel this disappointment without taking it out on her. We’re not denying how we feel, but it’s also not determining our next course of action.
We hinder our ability to consistently practice love when our emotions get the best of us. Rather than faithfully showing up to bring more life and goodness into the world, we blow up, cave in, or run away when things get hard.
In the end, grow in emotional maturity – not by denying your emotions, but not letting them run the show either. This allows you to become steadfast and steady, unshakeable in your practice of love.