"The essential difference between emotion and reason is that emotion leads to action, while reason leads to conclusions." ~Donald B. Calne
There's a certain kind of love with longing attached to it where you're always wishing things were different. It's still love, but with an underlying low unsettled hum, a rumble that gets louder and louder over time until you reach a breaking point.
I shared that kind of love with my mother. She loved me, but she wished things were different about her life. She couldn't love herself and it showed in how she treated us. I loved her, but I wished she were different and not clinically depressed and neglectful, choosing to be powerless instead of being a role model of confidence.
We loved each other, but we also felt the burden of each other. It's a deflated and defeated love.
I also shared that kind of love with my ex-husband, always wishing eventually things would start to shift and change, continue to grow and evolve, but the only change was the deterioration of mutual respect. We changed away from each other. We met very young. We were 19, and we never established ourselves as individuals, so we grew apart as adults.
I've managed my career the same way. Whether you love or hate your job, your actions and reactions, what you actually do about it is based on how you learned to deal with your emotions growing up with the adults around you. I think this is why I've been so persistent with sticking to my career as a court reporter. I'm comfortable wading through discomfort and I enjoy every trickle of satisfaction.
Frustration is what leads so many people to invent and create amazing things. Every product on the shelves in stores was designed to address some frustration or need because emotion is a source of energy. That boiling pot of anger, joy, delight, uncertainty, doubt, love and hate can be a source of action and creativity. If you don't use that energy in a positive way, then it will lay dormant and hidden, concealed and suppressed, festering into a pool of depression.
There's research that states Action Creates Emotion. The study showed that if you start engaging in activities and change how you interact with the world around you, your emotions will change.
I've lived my parents' life and used what they taught me. I drank alcohol to cope with stress. I felt helpless and reacted to everything, instead of taking control and creating my own course every day. I didn't choose my life. My life chose me and I just followed along and spent every day just managing and not really living, until finally I woke up. I didn't just flip the switch. I smashed it into unrecognizable pieces and have formed some type of mosaic that I'm loving more every day.
Somehow, my mother's death gave me the strength to rip my life apart and start from scratch and create a life worth living by harnessing all of that emotion and taking action in ways she was always afraid to. Her emotions made her powerless instead of unstoppable. I've chosen the unstoppable route.
Whether your emotions are leading your actions, or your actions are leading your emotions, recognize that there is power behind that energy. Every decision is a byproduct of that energy. It's simply a choice, a flip of the switch, one small step which can change what's next.