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Word Trail: Emotions, Motion, and Moments

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A little while ago, I had the privilege of listening to Pragna Patel. She has been an activist for women’s rights—particularly women of colour—for years now. When it was time for questions, someone asked her how does she keep going. She said the anger fuels her. Afterwards, we had dinner with a group of fantastic women, and she didn’t strike me at all as an angry woman. She is lovely and compassionate. It took me a while (and a lot of work) to understand it.

For various reasons (and a whole other post), anger has been a forbidden emotion. In fact, as a child, I think I was so scared of my anger that I didn’t allow myself even to feel it. I have convinced myself that I’m a calm person, and therefore I don’t get angry. Any beginner psychologist would tell you that is unlikely. We all get angry; it’s a part of being human. We get angry when our boundaries are breached. My therapist says that anger is where our power lies. It has been interesting to work with my anger. To allow myself to feel it.

More generally, I’ve been working on letting my emotions show, sitting with them, and allowing them to run through me. It’s been draining. It’s not just anger, although anger is the one I have the most issues with (right now). But now that I got the hang of it a little bit, it’s a touch easier. And I found something curious: I have more energy.

Emotions fuel us. There’s a reason emotion comes from the same root as motion - to move. Interestingly, it’s the same root as a moment. We can think about it in two ways. The first is that emotions are brief, momentary. If you wait for a bit, they pass through. The second is that a combination of time and emotions sets us in motion. I like that one.


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