GIVE: Nurture by the Spirit — Nurturing Your Emotions

GIVE! … By the Spirit™ with Dr. Pennie Murray

Nurturing Your Emotions

© 2010 Dr. Pennie Murray

June 29, 2010

African Americans,Africans,businessmen,depressed,fashions,Fotolia,hopes,males,prayers,religious,sad,spirituals,thinking,thoughtful,upsetThe American Heritage defines “Nurturing” as an action that promotes and sustains the growth and development of something. For instance, nurturing hopes; cultivating tolerance; foster friendly relations; or nursing a fledgling business. What is left out of this list and few rarely consider is promoting and sustaining the growth and development of their whole self, which includes their emotional strength.

Looking after your emotional strength and abilities is as important as caring for your physical or spiritual health and well-being. Just as it requires effort to build or maintain physical fitness, so it is with your emotions. But too many of us take our emotional abilities (or the lack of) for granted—as though they are somehow detached from our whole selves. We focus on them only when we have allowed them to create problems for us. Even then, instead of asking what intent and purpose a particular emotion serves at the time, we have been conditioned to focus only on the disruption of our emotions. It takes time and effort to unlearn the detached and negative views we have about our emotions. But the more time and energy you invest in nurturing your emotional abilities, the stronger they become. Being emotionally strong doesn’t mean you’re exempt from experiencing rough times or emotional problems. The disappointments, losses, and challenges we go through, which cause us sadness, anxiety, and stress are normal parts of life. The difference is when we accept our emotions as having significant purpose we use both the positives and negatives of life to strengthen our emotional muscle.

Right now, you may not believe there is anything good behind some of the emotions you’ve experienced. But how would you feel just knowing there was an actual positive intention or purpose behind the most negative emotion? Nurturing your emotional power starts with learning to appreciate your feelings and moods and the insight they provide for you. The outcome is you become more resilient in the face of challenges, you find ways to express your creativity, and you understand the importance of social connections and healthy relationships. You also recognize the power of spirituality and the value of possessing positive emotions, which consist of contentment with the past, happiness in the present, and hope for the future.

As we close this month of “nurturing” I encourage you to give more serious consideration in growing and developing your emotional power, because there is virtually nothing that is not driven or influenced by them.  As it’s been said, “Some emotions don’t make a lot of noise. It’s hard to hear pride. Caring is as faint as a heartbeat. And some days, pure love is so quiet you don’t even know it’s there.”

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