Gordon Myers

Articles on Life, Truth, Love, Computers, and Music

Does being emotional make you loving?

If love is merely an emotion, then perhaps. But the trouble with emotions is that they're unreliable and unpredictable. Sometimes they may seem alluring, but even that is temporal. "Unreliable, unpredictable, sometimes alluring" ... does that sound like love to you? I certainly hope not!

If you fell down a well and started crying, who would you prefer: someone who jumped down into the well and sat there crying with you, or someone who stayed above it and threw you down a rope? If, at some later point, you willingly jumped back into the well, would it be right to protest that climbing is difficult and it fatigues you? Yet, haven't we seen those very sorts of scenarios played out by others, or perhaps by ourselves?

I do not see a very strong connection between being loving -- expressing real love -- and being emotional. But I do see a similarity between emotions and drugs. Both have an addictive nature to them. Both can act as an alterative on the mind. If you would not knowingly trust your thoughts to mind-altering drugs, why would you likewise trust them to mind-alterting emotions?

Does this mean all emotions are bad, and that we should try to eliminate them, like in the futuristic societies of Equilibrium or The Giver? Hardly. There is a distinction to be made between genuine emotions, and being emotional. The love a parent feels for a newborn child is a genuine, honest emotion. Thinking of oneself as predisposed to "being emotional" is more often akin to vanity. Besides, it's not possible to eliminate anything real.

Difficult circumstances and big changes in ones life can throw a person into a very emotional state. When people find themselves in such a state, a question that often gets asked is: was any of that real? "That" refers to whole portions of ones life which once held so much meaning, but can appear startlingly meaningless after such an event. But when those waves of emotion eventually subside, that is actually a very hopeful state of mind. At that point, one can finally start to see what is really real -- and what value certain experiences really did hold for them.

Every experience we've been through, good or bad, has value. Sometimes this value is less than we might otherwise make it out to be, and unfortunately an overdose of emotions can cloud that. The real value of our experiences -- of our lives -- is not found in the highs and lows of emotionalism, no matter how glamorous they may seem. The real value of our experiences is found in the stillness, in the calm, and in the satisfaction that does not need to argue but rather just is. "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. Love never fails."

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