On their own instincts trump emotions. To some this idea may seem foreign or even dangerous as they’ve buried their instincts so deep beneath their emotions that they feel obsolete. Emotions are, after all, the ruling currency of the day.
This is the root of the problem. Emotions are wily and conniving. They’re sycophantic and blissful They’re everything you want and little of what you need. I'm talking about a real need like oxygen, food, and shelter.
Instincts on the other hand are primal, subtle, and certain. They lack the fan fair of emotions. They lack the self confirming addicting hit of dopamine as well. What they don’t lack however is loyalty. They will council you with loyalty and clarity. They will lead you to truth.
That’s not to say that emotions are evil or don’t have their place. In fact, emotions are one of the greatest joys of mortality, and without them this life would be insufferably bleak.
What about love?
I wouldn’t dare classify love as an emotion. Is it something you feel? Absolutely! Is it real? Right again! Is it an emotion? I don’t believe so. It’s something else something from a different realm. I believe it’s the thing that most emotions are trying to approximate. Why else would we feel so comfortable in our own emotions even though we recognize their volatility and unstable nature?
The simple answer is because emotions allow us to communicate in powerful ways with other people. They can act as a scaffolding for us to build bridges of connection. They're only scaffolding though, sooner or later they must be replaced with something more substantial if we want those connections to endure.
This is where instincts come in to play. Our instincts tell us whether or not we should continue to build where a temporary scaffolding has been erected. Our instincts give us certainty after the smoke has cleared from our smoldering emotions so that we can push forward with confidence.
We need to learn to live with emotion rather than for it.
That is our task today and every day