“We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity; more than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.”

This week, I was spending some time on the patio (or a lot of time) thinking about my emotions. Earlier this year, a few of my emotions presented themselves to me, telling me I wasn’t doing a very good job of expressing them in my life.

Anger presented itself, asking why I was afraid to carry it. It told me that anger and judgement are two separate things. It’s right to be angry about a situation that requires intervention. A strong arm is needed to break through walls.

Sadness appeared, asking why I didn’t want to show signs of sadness. I tried to explain that it was my own efforts to be strong. It responded, telling me that feeling sadness is what helps us from imparting it to others.

These emotions presented themselves after a prompt from Steve to “give voice” to your inner thoughts; providing them with a personality, image, and voice that can speak to you from your inner self.

As a millennial, I have found myself straddling the fence of a world that is changing at a rapid pace. There’s a certain threshold you can reach wherein seems  you no longer ‘need’ to concern yourself with the world around you. Distraction, like happiness, can never be bought – but it can be leased.

In many ways, the millennial generation has lost its appreciation for art, because it’s too focused on the end product. Millennial don’t care about the labor pains – they just want a finished baby. This can lead to a loss of appreciation for the process required to build excellence, as well as the passion required to create art in a world that seems more comfortable exchanging it for pixels and advertising.

This click-to-buy-it-now/swipe-right-for-love economy has had a direct impact on the mind’s ability to feel emotion.

Emotions aren’t like coats of paint. Rather, they’re something that requires you to feel them, in an indescribable way – like the butterflies of love.

How does one describe happiness? Is it by the environment that fosters it? The people that reflect it? The inner dialogue that rejoices in it? It’s a multi-dimensional experience that requires you to set aside your definitions in order to really soak its essence.

My time on the patio yields a lot of healthy emotional fruit. It’s taught me that some memories (pain and pleasure alike) require time, thought, and patience to fully reveal their lessons.

For instance, it’s easy to brush aside a painful memory; sweeping it under the rug, telling yourself you’re ‘fine’ and can move on. It’s difficult to place yourself back in the moment of hurt and try to see things from the perspective of the person who dealt the blow. Unless you take the latter approach, old wounds will rarely heal.

I recently walked through a high school with Sepi, who graduated there years prior. She said her high school experience was a difficult one, citing the experience of being a foreigner in the country. Walking through the halls, I realized we were both sharing in the pain of past memories, while creating new ones that didn’t involve hurt. Knowing how to feel your own emotions opens the door to heal from them. All you need is time.

Love is a lot like our emotions. How does one describe it? Love is a hug in time of distress. It’s a fire in moments of passion. It brushes away the tears, or allows them to fall in moments of loss.

It takes a lot of guts to show love, and not a lot of courage to be selfish. One of the things the world needs most is individuals unafraid to express their emotions, authenticity, and love. Nothing else will save the day.

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