"Any emotion, if it is sincere, is involuntary."
- Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)
I met with a guy once who felt men could never learn about their emotions from women. I immediately thought that was crazy. It's mainly because emotions have nothing to do with gender. Emotions are all about authenticity. Wherever we can trust ourselves to a situation we can be emotionally present and demonstrate emotional intelligence.
In recovering from the breakdown of my first marriage, I used to think I was getting in touch with my feminine side. It wasn't that at all. I was simply broken sufficiently enough that my defenses were down to the point where authenticity was all I had left.
And thankfully that sense for authenticity stuck.
When you're broken, day after day, month after month, when you've no longer got a defense, but you have a faith, and with that some sense for hope, even if it's scant, you get used to being real. Being inauthentic is no longer attractive. Being emotionally false gains you nothing. You wear your emotions externally. Courage becomes you. You're not afraid of tear stains down your cheeks. You're not put off by a quivering chin and tear-glazed eyes. Appearing 'weak' is not a deterrent. And you begin to see the concepts referred to in the Bible as they come alive in you. Then you realise this is how Jesus heals us.
Emotion and authenticity are inseparable. If we're authentic we're at peace with our emotions, and no longer in fear of them to suppress them, which can only cause harm.
Being authentic is the journey through which we're to gain emotional mastery. Just because we have command over our emotions doesn't mean we need to be 'emotional'.
To be true, to be real, to be authentic, is to allow the safe expression of our emotion.
Trust our emotions and we trust God to heal us from the inside out.
And yet, we must understand trust is an ongoing journey.