Day 40: Emotion pt. 2: what do you feel? (START)

At the end of the movie Act of Valor, a soldier reads a letter to his son. He advises him to be a man who stands up for what’s right, defend his family & country with pride, and be a rock for those around him. He also tells him that sometimes life is hard and upsetting. And during those times, when you feel the emotions rising to the surface, bottle them and don’t let them out.

When we watched this scene together, my wife said, “That doesn’t sound healthy”.

I get it. But I also get the point he was making to his son. Don’t be overwhelmed by your emotions to the point they are in control. That means that you may have to push emotions to the side temporarily to get the job done.

As men this usually comes easy to us. At the very least, we get the concept and can think of times each of us had to do just that. Push emotions to the side and get the job done.

That’s good for getting things done in stressful situations.

That’s bad for identifying what lies just beneath the surface, and ultimately driving our behaviors.

Below is what’s called an Emotions Wheel. There are a variety of them out there, google will lead you to plenty. 

Here’s what I want you to do. Spend the next 5-7 minutes in quiet. Look at the wheel and think through two points:

  1. When have you experienced these emotions? What was going on in your life that led to that emotion? What were the results of that emotion you were feeling?
  2. What distinguishes one emotion from one right next to it? What’s the difference between Hostile & Angry? Between Insignificant & Inadequate? Serene & Secure?


Our goal with this exercise is to help identify the emotions we feel. Sometimes things happen & hit us out of nowhere and we don’t have the vocabulary to properly understand, let alone communicate, what’s happening to us in those moments.

Getting in touch with our emotions may sound like something we dismiss without thinking, but if you truly want to understand why you do what you do, it’s necessary.

And properly identifying & distinguishing your emotions is the first step.


Thoughts to Journal/Pray:

  1. What is your negative ‘go to’ emotion? Why do you think that is? Did you perhaps learn that behavior?
  2. Next time you experience an emotion like frustration or anger, look at the emotional wheel and try to identify what specifically you’re feeling.
  3. When you get angry are you more like Jesus or Samson?



John 2:13-21