The moods we deny ourselves

Every mood opens us to the world in its own particular way, and every mood closes something off to us.

But we come to privilege certain moods and dismiss others as inconsequential, or intolerable. And this is not simply a personal choice – we are taught by our culture to value a few moods over many others.

I think it’s time we reconsidered, and allowed ourselves to discover, in our workplaces and wider lives, the particular gifts and wisdom of our boredom, confusion, uncertainty, anxiety, love and longing.

Because boredom reveals to us what we most care about (by its very absence).

Anxiety shows us when we’re stepping into new territory, leaving familiar ground behind us, or when something that really matters needs attention we are not giving.

Love brings to our attention what’s shining, life-giving, and meaningful.

And confusion can tell us when we’ve lost our way, or are on the brink of finding a new one.

We can discover all this by giving up our efforts to push away, deny, numb ourselves, or otherwise pretend these moods don’t show up for us.

This means turning towards one another in conversation, being prepared to name for one another the experiences in which we find ourselves. It requires widening our sense of what is true far beyond what we’d call narrowly ‘rational’. And it calls on us to wonder together, at where our moods arise from and what they might be showing us that has, until now, been invisible.

Photo Credit: d.aniela via Compfight cc


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