So often our experience of an emotion or mood is of its totality.
I’m scared – so the world is scary. I’m bored – so this situation is boring. I’m angry with you – so you’re making me angry.
We forget, when we account for ourselves in this way, how partial our story is.
There’s so much of ourselves, and of the world, that we’re not paying attention to in our explanation. For instance – everything that’s not boring, all the parts of me that are not caught up in anger but in love, all the parts of you that I know still care.
And we forget also that emotions don’t simply happen to us: we have a hand in their appearance and many, many choices in what meaning we ascribe to them.
Here’s Peter Gabriel’s song Darkness, a song about our relationship with fear, which beautifully takes up all these questions.