The Third Emotion

Some days it seems as if there are three basic emotional experiences, and two of them aren’t good. The first is despair. This we feel when we believe that which is responsible for our happiness has been denied us or has been taken from us. Oh, the loneliness of these hours waiting for its return or mourning its loss. The second is what we might call exhilaration. Now that which brings us happiness is here. Part of the thrill of such moments is the uncertainty of it all. Life’s roulette wheel spins . . . spins . . . and we win! That our exhilaration is merely one more spin from despair is part of the romance of life. Such ups and downs are the stuff of fiction and the therapy room.

Finally there is that third emotional experience. It hasn’t nearly the drama of despair and exhilaration and as such makes for much less interesting fiction, but it is where we must all rest by and by. This we can call peace. At such moments we are not following the roulette wheel of life because there is nothing that wheel can win for us. We already have what we need.

This peace, this contentment, can look from certain angles like life’s sweet conclusion, but it is in fact just the opposite. This contentment always says, “You have all you need. And now lets find more.” It makes no sense to the hungry and yearning mind that there could be anything more beyond all that we need, but this contentment has no interest in acquisition. This contentment knows only creation, the expansion of that which both sustains and compels us.


Write Within Yourself: An Author's Companion.

"A book to keep nearby whenever your writer's spirit needs feeding." Deb Caletti.

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