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Are Emotions A Neglected Gift?

Our creator gave us the ability to feel a wide range of emotions. We can feel joy, sadness, and many emotions in between as we conduct our daily lives. Unfortunately, so many of us are socialized to put drugs in our brain when emotions are too uncomfortable or not to our liking. Okay, maybe drug use is understandable for occasional ceremonies, recreation, or psychiatric maladies but too many people in our society seem to use drugs habitually to avoid natural feelings. This learned chemical dependent behavior can disrupt

emotional growth and get in the way of healthy personality development.

Emotions are the signals by which we guide our lives. If we are happy, the positive feeling can confirm that we are on the right track. If we are often sad, anxious, or angry the negative emotion can be an important signal that something is not correct. Sometimes alcohol and other drugs give us "false positive" signals such as an artificial high or euphoria. When euphoric, we may remain stuck in unsatisfactory, frustrating situations or take unrealistic or even grandiose risk.

Sometimes drugs give us "false negative" signals, making us feel depressed, disappointed, out of sorts, or even suicidal or violent. Since the tendency is to try to blame our negative feelings to something or someone, these false negative signals can lead us to take very irrational and destructive actions such as hurting a loved one.

Drugs blunt and confuse these important emotional signals. Our emotions depend on our brain function, and the brain is an intricate, delicate organ that can easily be thrown out of whack by drugs.

To be fair many people in our society do recognize that abusing alcohol and other drugs puts us out of touch with our emotions. They want to have a clear brain and mind, even if it means experiencing uncomfortable emotions. Of course, it can sometimes be difficult for us to know ourselves well enough to interpret and act properly on these emotional signals. But without these emotional gifts, we may not be able to fully experience healthy personality development within our life time.

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