Emotions as tastebuds of the soul

Emotions are the tastebuds the soul uses to process the flavors of an experience. What we truly believe in a situation is not the reasoning of our thoughts, but the deep inner emotions spontaneously arising from the soul. Reasoning is the work of the intellect that either tries to buildout facts to discover or feel confident about a conclusion, or it tries to construct a conclusion by building out facts.

Emotions are an expression of the soul’s volition; the same way heat is an expression of fire. And just like the different colors of fire give off different intensities of heat, so do the varied volitions of the soul give off different type of emotions.

It is through the meaning of our deep emotions that we discover the truth of our heart in any experience.

For example, imagine a person who is facing a severe hardship. To sooth himself he dejectedly recites the thought-belief in his head he has adopted from his upbringing that “every disappointment is a blessing”, or “after rain there is sunshine”. Notwithstanding the genuine effort to be optimistic, the fact is what he believes is not the flowery words he is using, but what is behind the emotions stirring in response to this hardship. Since his emotions are one of dejected deep inner sadness, it means he doubts the full promise of these words and the soul’s volition lacks the conviction required to give it jubilant hope in the face of the obstacle. Simply put, the emotion of deep sadness reveals an incongruence between his thought-belief and true heart-belief.

If he is really convinced it is a gift, he would not be so dejected, but he would be cheerful or at least quietly confident. When a person receives a gift in life, they are upbeat about it but not dejected. However, the predominance of inner gloom means he does not fully see it as a gift, i.e., he is not truly convinced it is. Based on his emotions, he can at best say he is “trying” to see it as a gift, for that would be more honest.

The same holds true for us all during experiences. We have merely become accustomed to living in “words” without assessing the congruence between their real meaning and our expressed emotions.

When we discover this incongruence, we should not be despondent because it gives us an opportunity to learn and grow. We recognize that belief-adoption at the level of reasoning thoughts is not the same as the deep emotions that express the soul’s real volition and inner condition. When we truly assess ourselves during experiences this way, we discover the path of genuine change and ascent.

Life is a school, experiences are teachers, and relationships are classrooms.  

~Dr. Ikenna Q. Ezealah

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