Emotion is at the very heart of our humanity. But not all emotion is healthy. There are essentially four basic emotions that rule our lives and only one of these is positive.

The first emotion is Rebellion. We all know what we want. We really do. Take something away that matters to a child and we see rebellion in action. Adults are no different, although somewhat more sophisticated. Losing what matters to us is tantamount to death and we will fight. Some do it expressively, some do it passive aggressively. But we all fight. But we must be careful. If we cannot learn to be without something, we become slaves to that object.

The second emotion is Resentment. We all have expectations. Expectations are driven by what we value and how we perceive that things should look. When they do not look the way we expect we feel let down, betrayed, frustrated. This culminates in resentment. Resentment is the poison that results from failed expectation. Not expecting anything is not the answer either as this creates rebellion. The key is to first know what is that you expect and then determine where the meeting of that expectation is likely to happen. Again this is not always possible so resilience is needed.

The third emotion is Fear. On the days that we get what we want, our sense of satisfaction is immediately replaced with fear. We fear losing what it is that we have gained. We fear that we will never have it again. We fear that this will be the last time we get to experience what we have experienced. But fear restricts, squashes, destroys. It crushes the life out of things and all you are left with are the remnants of a reality. We must remember that fear in most cases is an illusion and as such can be overcome.

The final emotion is that of Joy. When we get what we want while in the act of adding value to the world we experience joy. Joy is deeper than happiness. Happiness is superficial. Joy is lasting. It is derived from a deep sense of personal value and usefulness; the two fundamental needs of humans. To experience joy we must be doing what we love in the service of others. By service, I mean adding value. Joy generates health and well being. It also leaves the world a better place. But it is also the hardest emotion to pursue.

Every day and every situation we get to choose which emotion we will pursue. We are not victims unless we choose to be.