Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Filling Up the Tank

“Emotions are the fuel to really move you along - that's the only way you can create music. If you don't feel any emotions, it's not going to happen.” ~ Jan Hammer

In one of her comments to one of my posts, friend and fellow writer Alice Grist described how hearing of the success a childhood friend experienced in her career, motivated her to stir her own creative juices and start writing professionally.

Although their friendship had ended many years before while still children, their mothers were still occasionally in contact and shared information about their respective daughters; when Alice heard that her friend had become a writer and journalist -- something she had always wanted as well and never pursued -- she was overcome by jealousy.

Jealousy, envy, anger and all other emotions customarily considered negative ones are usually seen as a deterrent to success and personal growth, but in Alice’s case, jealousy and a sense of competition were the main ingredients of a fuel that propelled her toward tapping into her hidden talent and developing a career in writing.

Born from the ego, emotions are often confused with feelings from the heart. It is very common to hear people talking about amorous jealousy being connected to true love, while in reality the two are as different from one another as day and night – the feeling of love knows no jealousy because love is all-encompassing and well-wishing; we love our children and wish them to be happy with the right person; by no mean we would want our love for them to become a prison, because true love doesn’t need to own anything or anyone. Jealousy is instead connected to fear, the opposite of love.

Generally speaking, emotions are a cursed lot we don’t need to call upon, unless, of course, we can channel their fire in a creative way.

When one of my friends found out her husband was determined to dissolve their marriage, she was crushed. When he left, she became angry. At the time, her anger served a purpose, and it allowed her to pump steel into her spine while she tried to pick up the pieces of her life. Anger held her up from the impulse of drowning into self-pity, and gave her strength in the early days of the separation.

In Alice’s situation, the feeling of dissatisfaction with the self which resulted from comparing her stalling writing success to her friend’s prolific venture, led her to shake off the invisible chains that held her back from reaching her own true potential. Today, Alice Grist is a highly-respected author and a very creative businesswoman.

My mother always explained it best – no matter what it flows through, or what it feeds, electricity is still electricity. The energy invested in the charge connected to specific emotions is still energy; channeled through our intent but neutral in nature. So, if energy can begin in a neutral state and be transformed into a negative or positive charge through our choice of thoughts, certainly the reverse process can happen as well, and we can use the directing power of our thoughts to channel a negative charge and transform it into a positive one.

If we can concentrate on shifting our focus whenever we feel a negative charge rise up in response to something unpleasant, and direct the fire of our emotions toward positive mental images, we can now pour fuel into a plane which will take us where we desire to be.

We can’t always choose what happens around us, but we have the power to choose what we will do with it. If someone offered you free gasoline for your car, you would never dream of turning down the offer; wasting the opportunity to employ free, good mental fuel is not too smart either.