This weekend, many of us will gather with family and friends over barbecued ribs and grilled corn, celebrating the warm summer and the emotions it brings. Afterward, we’ll pack up our picnic blankets and coolers and head to the nearest park for a spectacular fireworks show. As we “ooh” and “ahh” with our loved ones, we’ll notice children’s eyes sparkle with wonder. We’ll breathe in the familiar smell of smoke mixed with funnel cake. Fully present for a moment, we’ll feel the great booms and pops reverberate in our chests while the explosions dazzle us just as they did when we were kids.
Great Things Come From Emotions
This meaningful celebration commemorates July 4, 1776, when the 13 colonies claimed independence from Great Britain with Richard Henry Lee’s now famous words: “Resolved: That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.”
It was a statement born from powerful emotions – chiefly, anger. The colonies had been required to pay taxes to the British crown despite having no representation of their interests in parliament. These various unfair taxes were levied on the colonists to support the growth of the British empire, and did not benefit the growing colonies. Furthermore, in 1767, Britain passed the Townshend Acts, barring the colonists from assembly and later dispatching the British army to the colonies to enforce the rule. The Boston Massacre soon followed in 1770.
The colonists embraced their rage, fighting back against the crown with the Boston Tea Party protest. When Britain retaliated further with the imposition of the Intolerable Acts in 1774, the colonists responded with the creation of the First Continental Congress. Shortly after, Patrick Henry called his people to action with the famous line, “Give me liberty, or give me death!”
The colonists could have resigned themselves to their situation, denying the injustice and their angry emotions. They could have said, “Yes, it’s all quite unfair what’s going on here. It’s maddening. But what can we do?” This approach could have led to deep, unhealthy frustration in the colonies. Instead, empowered leaders embraced the fire within themselves, and in the process created our great nation.
Celebrate Your Fireworks
While we’re certainly not advocating for a revolution or any kind of physical violence, we encourage you this Independence Day to take a little inspiration from the colonists to celebrate and embrace your full range of emotions in a healthy way. Think of it as a mini revolution within yourself! Feelings serve an important purpose: to connect us to our deepest, most authentic selves and empower us for action.
Emotions like anger, fear, grief, and even joy can feel explosive and dangerous. However, repressing our emotions can often permit them to come out at inappropriate times, or in exaggerated ways. Remember: the allure of fireworks comes from our ability to concentrate and control an explosion in an elegant way. Great beauty is born from powerful energy when we know how to harness it safely. We can find healthy ways to celebrate and embrace the fireworks within us, including:
- Writing in a journal
- Getting vigorous exercise
- Meditating on the feelings, exploring them fully
- Practicing a creative art, like painting or drawing
- Expressing your feelings verbally with a trusted coach or mentor
When we celebrate our emotions fully and proactively in safe ways, we empower ourselves to experience fascinating changes in our relationships and careers.
Some emotions are particularly difficult to express, or have the potential to cause harm. At Engaging Breakthroughs, we offer transformational coaching that empowers participants to fully explore their emotions in a safe space. If you’re struggling to embrace your emotions and harness them for powerful, positive change, please contact us for a complimentary consultation! We’d be honored to help you on your journey.
Complimentary Breakthrough Consultation
I’d love to visit with you to discuss how in-person or online breakthrough coaching can help you to follow your passion and honor your emotions more fully. In turn, you’ll grow as an authentic, confident, authoritative leader in doing what you really love. I offer a complimentary online Engaging Breakthrough consultation via Zoom.
In this 30-60 minute online breakthrough coaching session, I will help you get crystal clear on where you are right now and where you want to be. I’ll give you my best professional recommendations to help you take your first steps toward your success breakthrough.
|Written by Craig Tennant
Founder, Engaging Breakthroughs
Transformation Architect and Breakthrough Coach
At Engaging Breakthroughs, Craig Tennant delivers