The Power of Emotion

“Out of the heart, the mouth speaks.”
~ Luke 6:45

Emotions are not just mysterious; they are the most potent expressions of our mental system. They can literally drive you to drink or transport you to nirvana. One moment you are living in heaven and the next in hell, or so it seems. What enables this astounding power of emotion for both good and harm? We will find the answer in our beliefs and in the degree of focus we decide to give those beliefs — two compelling seductive tools hidden in our minds. Have you noticed how adults can cave before the power of their own emotions.  And we can only imagine the leverage they exert on children. Thankfully, we can control them, even if they seem to control us most of the time.  But it is mandatory that we understand the power of emotions.

The transformative power of emotion

Dale Evans Rogers wrote a book called Angel Unaware that I read many years ago. It is the story of her handicapped child who lived only a few years but who she saw as their “God-sent angel.” She recalls how her emotions went through a buzz-saw as a parent. However, even though they brought moments of agony and suffering to all the family, she could also see what others could not in the gift of this child. Emotions of thankfulness and love swept in with the grief, and she interpreted the experience as a wonderful blessing. It’s part of the power of emotion that it can transform experiences and events from devastating to delightful or vice versa with only the believing eyes of the soul.

Humans often speak of this metamorphosis that emotions take us through, from pain to confessed joy in the matter of a second. Perhaps all of us have observed how emotions can put life’s sad events into a simple positive perspective.  Or by contrast, they can distort positive, neutral events so they destroy both our confidence and hope immediately.  And they can do so with a vengeance.

Our emotions can imprison or free us

Emotions can lock us up for life in a prison of fear or free us, even when our faces are pressed hard against the bars of a jail cell. What is the purpose of a power that shapes our realities, surging relentlessly in us and carrying us to the extremes of mental joy or pain? In a word: meaning. In another two words: personal significance — making the cowards brave, creating impossible dreams, shaping the self-images of the down-and-out, forcing the explorer to venture into the jaws of death, making a child stand toe-to-toe with a towering adult while fused in a fearless battle of egos. This is what we simply call the mighty power of emotion. But this is not all emotions are famous for.

Emotions empower our temperament strengths

Emotions actually power our temperaments, a thought you will hear often from me because this is life-changing news of which I don’t want you to be ignorant. Each strength in our innerkinetics (temperament) is coerced or powered by some form of emotion that endlessly exerts its energy to direct our preferences and, ultimately, our lives. Even when we misuse our emotions by either ignorance or ill-purposed design, they still mold us. We are what we direct our emotions to do.  The power of emotion is that strong.

Misty felt imprisoned in her home. Extroverted and empathetic, she was created to be a people-person and, in her case, that meant engaging particularly with adults. Strong emotions fueled her temperament’s strengths. Three kids milled around her all day long and she felt guilty that they did not bring her the pleasure she felt they should bring a mother who had the liberty of being a full-time mom. Her friends had chided her with statements like, “You should be happy; any mother would give their right arm to be able to be with their children like you can.” Her guilt increased. What was wrong with her, she asked me.

Nothing to feel guilty about, I suggested. The unfulfilled drives of her temperament were not satisfied.  And the emotions that she was deprived of by the non-use of her strengths completely overwhelmed the pleasures that a mother can feel. She needed opportunities to be the adult teacher she was. It all changed for Misty when she realized that the unfulfilled drives of temperament don’t lie down peaceably. Only when she acted in accordance with the powerful emotions of her temperament did love for her children return.  And happiness then drove out her despair. Everything bows to the power of our temperament’s emotions.

Logic and reason are obedient to the power of emotion

That mighty force called “reason” can cower in the face of emotion too. Aristotle was wrong when he said that we are primarily rational creatures. We are not.  We are emotional beings. Driven by emotion, people kill each other and engage in blood-drenched war.  Yet, some also die for those they don’t even know and love the enemy that seeks to destroy them. Logic bows, albeit with reluctance, in abject obedience to emotion’s wishes. Common sense succumbs to its governance. What clout!

The crowning achievement of the power of emotion

Mount Everest was conquered by the sheer grit of unrelenting emotions, and we wonder if there is nothing emotion cannot do. Here’s another example: To crown its achievements, love (one of emotion’s most potent agents) has claimed billions of hearts and motivated them to follow the loving example of Jesus as he sacrificed himself for others. The result was the formation of the world’s largest religion. Emotion has done it all.

Let’s return our thoughts to what I will call the miracle that can be enacted in each of us. We CAN control our emotions and use them as we choose — even if they seem to control us most of the time.


Intelligently Emotional Book CoverMy hope is that this book will lead you, as its content has led many others, to be intelligently emotional. If it helps you to develop the intelligent use of your emotions and a rewarding lifestyle, my labor will not have been in vain.  You can access it HERE.  If you are subscribed to our weekly updates, our next issue will provide a link to purchase it with a 15% discount and free shipping.




Lean into the whole truth.  Discover the truth of who YOU are — the “Real You” — and who your children truly are.  Discover how to best engage your children in finding the whole truth.  INNERKINETICS, Your Blueprint to Excellence and Happiness, is a great resource.

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