I spend a decent amount of time on my blog bashing emotions. Not because emotions are bad, but because they shouldn't be used for thinking, and too often, they are. And my blog is, after all, heavily based on logic and analysis. Emotions can easily get in the way of rational thought, and should not be used in the place of logic. However, over the past week or two, I've discovered a benefit to emotions. That is to say, a benefit further than simply "they can feel good." Emotions, I'm learning, can cause an inspiration of the mind. They should not be used in the place of thought, but sometimes, they can urge analysis onward when previously the trail would have remained untrod."Lord, I lift my friend to You, I've done all that I know to do
I lift my friend to You"
Those of you who are subscribed to my YouTube channel may have noticed that I didn't post a video on Friday. I apologize for that. It was based, in part, on emotions. Lately I've been rather worried about a friend of mine. This happens to me from time to time. I start to worry about a friend, and I find it difficult to think about anything else for a time. Sometimes one friend, sometimes another, sometimes a new reason, sometimes an old... The important part of this is that I get distracted. So when I went to record Friday's video, I couldn't think of anything. Or rather... I could think of plenty of topics, but I couldn't think of what to say about them. I felt uninspired. Of course, the same thing's been happening with my blog, but it's easier for me to fake passion in writing than in video. Here, I can force myself to write, edit, rewrite, until I make something that I consider passable (even if it isn't the same level of quality that I'd like). With a video, if I'm distracted, it will show.
Emotions can, of course, work in the other direction as well. Sometimes I've been talking to one friend or another, and things are going well, in their life and mine. Sometimes, my emotions are in a good place. When that happens, I find myself driven to write. I find that ideas and topics start flowing through my head, whether fiction, non-fiction, articles, videos... While the emotions don't form the ideas or analyze them, they dig them up and show them to me. They ask me, "isn't this something that you'd like to think about?" They don't make me think about things, but they make me desire to think about things. They cause a passion and a burning to break things down and figure out how they work. Emotions, it would seem, can be useful for rational thought, even though they shouldn't be used directly in the thought process.
This has caused me to realize something else as well. I have friends that talk to me about this trouble or that, stuff that's going on in their lives. I'm always willing to listen. In fact, sometimes, based on the situation, I'll even pursue answers to figure out what's going on specifically. People often tell me that they don't want to inconvenience me, and I always tell them that it's not an inconvenience. I've realized that this is truer than I'd thought, and also that it's not as true as I'd thought. When someone I care about starts telling me about what's going on, I start to worry about them. In this sense, I'm realizing that it is an inconvenience. If I didn't think anything was going on, I'd only worry about them in the minimal way that I worry about all my friends. But if I know that something is going on, then telling me exactly what it is is the best way to alleviate my worry. If I know that something's going on, but I keep getting answers about "it's nothing" or "I'm fine," that makes me worried that it's so much worse. It makes me think about it even more.
I should note that the situation that's been happening lately is one of the latter. That is to say, I'm worried because there's something going on that I don't fully understand. If someone needs to talk to me... Well. I would rather you talk to me about it than not. Because not talking to me about it for my sake won't accomplish anything, because I'll be able to tell, and that will just make me worry more. And that, of course, will cause me to spend time worrying about you instead of listening to you, which will turn a passive concern into a distracting worry, which will cause my emotions to go haywire. And that won't help anyone, will it? But when people are honest with me, when I don't have to worry about not knowing what's going on with someone, emotions can be like a compass, in a sense, that drive me with passion to find a topic to analyze.
"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength."
-Corrie ten Boom