I have had a very deep conversation with an old friend tonight .. she is in a long term relationship and has been for over ten years.  We were talking about how feelings change over time and how relationships develop when the first throws of passion are over.

We talked a lot about friendship and relationships and how (for both of us) friendships have lasted longer than our relationships .. I have friends going back 35 years .. the longest relationship I managed was 10 years.

She said it took her a long time to realise that love isn’t about the passion and lust that all relationships start off with, but about finding someone who she knows satisfies all her emotions …this confused me a little because what I didn’t know (until she told me!) is that there are fundamentally only seven emotions;

  1. Anger
  2. Grief
  3. Worry
  4. Joy
  5. Sorrow
  6. Fear
  7. Fright

This list surprised me .. there was no mention of the two emotions that I thought would be there .. Love and Lust .. but no .. no mention of them at all.

Seemingly in Chinese medicine Love and Lust are only treated as part of the reason for Joy.

She told me that she learned this from her partner, who had become interested in studying alternative medicines and came across some old Chinese beliefs on how the seven emotions can affect our health and our mind.

I came off the phone and thought about this .. I always thought that Love and Lust were two major emotions BUT when I broke them down I realised the Chinese philosophy has a point here .. We say we feel Love .. what we mean is that we feel Joy .. we say we feel heartbroken, what we mean is that we are suffering from Grief. … etc etc etc…

Our actions are driven by our emotions, if we “suffer” from any of them too much our life is unbalanced our actions and reactions are over active .   We desperately seek something that we perceive will give us joy, not realising that our “need” for joy causes many of the negative emotions we are trying to escape.

Somehow this is all beginning to make sense to me, it has got me considering why I desperately need peace.   It is the one thing in life that truly matters to me.. not money, not fame, not a partner, simply peace .. and I have suddenly realised that this is because my emotions are balanced when I feel at peace.

I now understand what she meant by saying she had a partner that satisfied all her emotions .. she is at peace with herself and her relationship.   It sounds much less dramatic or inspiring as saying she is in love .. but I get it.. I really bloody get it!

Sometimes in life, you have a conversation or a realisation that changes you deeper than you ever expect…   tonight has been one of those nights for me.

Peace, in all forms, is the greatest gift of all.