November 4, 2020
by Ricarda Sick
One of these past gray and rainy days, I decided to make something of this cozy mood and withdrew to the couch with a few magazines and a delicious drink. While browsing, I found an article in Neue Narrativen, Issue #03, particularly captivating: “Führungskräfte der Zukunft brauchen emotionale Agilität” [“The managers of tomorrow need emotional agility”].
“Exactly,” I thought to myself at once. I read about fear and anger as strong forces that can create innovations if we allow ourselves to acknowledge these feelings. Even more: If we take a closer look and consider what these feelings have to do with us, the first thing we need to do is achieve a shift in the attitude we have toward our feelings. Jones Kortz, the author of the article, explains in wonderfully vivid detail what happens when, perceiving strong feelings, we locate these feelings with ourselves and consider what triggered a particular strong feeling in us in the respective situation. This is how we can keep our feelings from dominating us and keep, as he puts it, from becoming “victims of our feelings.”
And here comes my favorite insight: If we succeed in this reversal and understand that we HAVE feelings but ARE not our feelings, that is when we have learned to be hosts to our feelings. Hosts to our feelings! How wonderful! What a delightful image! Sometimes you are a host even if you have not invited someone over for a visit. As a good host, I kindly greet the guest and grant him/her permission to stay with me for a while. And that is exactly how I now approach the feeling that suddenly shows up for a visit in a particular situation: I grant it permission, determine what it needs at the moment, in order to let it go again. A clarifying conversation, for instance, a fresh idea, a new arrangement, or agreement.