I heard something the other day that really hit home. It seemed so smart. It made so much sense. I just have to share! The question is “to be or not to be.”
When speaking of experiencing emotions we say:
I am sad.
I am angry.
I am happy.
I am frustrated.
I am joyful.
Interesting. We talk about how we all “have” emotions but when we’re in it, we say we “are” that emotion (am is the first person singular present tense of are).
What’s the big deal?
The definition of HAVE is: 1. to possess, own, hold or 2. experience, undergo
The definition of BE (am, are, etc in different tenses) is: to have presence in the realm of perceived reality; exist; live
When we say “I am – fill in the emotion” – we are expressing that that is our reality. It is how we are living, existing.
In many other cultures/languages they say “I have – fill in the emotion” which indicates that the emotion is a current experience that we are holding for that moment. The big difference between am and have is that with have, you have the option to let go.
Using “am” makes it feel a part of you, like something that will never end. For example, I am a woman. I am 50 years old. I am 6 feet tall. It would take a lot of work to change these things and some, like age, are unchangeable. Emotions, however, can change on a dime. By using “am” to refer to them we are tricking ourselves into thinking the anger, sadness or even happiness, will never change.
Using “have” gives you choice. I have anger right now. I choose to be angry right now. And I can decide in the next moment to “have” another emotion. In the next moment I may “have” relief, happiness, frustration, excitement and so on. “Have” gives so much more freedom around our emotions. It promotes choice. It gives the impression of the ability to let go.
Which sounds better to you? I choose “have”. My intention is to make a conscious effort to change the way I refer to my emotions from “am” to “have”. With the question to be or not to be, I choose not to be.
How about you? Do you want your emotions to run you, to be your perceived reality or to be a temporary state of being that you are currently experiencing? I hope to “have” my emotions along with you.
Christie Mawer – The Bad Kitty