Ever felt like you were on an emotional roller coaster you couldn’t get off of? One moment you were soaring, laughing with friends, and for a split second felt on top of the world? Maybe in these moments you were doing really well in life, things were going your way, and you actually thought that if life continued at this pace you could see yourself happy even. Then the next moment, something or ten things knock the wind out of you and you emotionally dive bomb. Maybe you were diagnosed with a chronic illness, you were fired from your job, your significant other cheated on you, a family member died, or perhaps you lost your best friend. Maybe all the above. Maybe all the above plus more that keeps on happening. It keeps taking you in for wild loops one after another that you never have time to prepare for.

You were never told you’d feel this numb. You were never told you’d be this depressed, broken, empty, and exhausted. You were never told that you’d fall asleep every night to an aching heart with a gaping hole inside that you can’t find a way to fill. You were never told you’d ever feel this level of sad. You had to take the punches as they came, blow after blow, ready or not because you were never told you were going to be punched in that way.

Life has a mean way of hurting us, but it’s not how many times we have fallen that define us, but how we continue to rise from the ashes that reveal who we truly are and what we are actually capable of. It reveals our strength, courage, faith, and character.

Not only do beautiful and ugly circumstances influence the direction our lives go in, but our emotional state in response to these circumstances is what actually has the greater power. When we feel helpless, hopeless, and all we see is our own pain, our judgment and reasoning become foggy and we begin stumbling through life falling into all sorts of destructive snares we shouldn’t. We may fall into abusive relationships, toxic companionship, addictions, bad habits, or poor life choices. We listen to the wrong people, believe the lies we tell ourselves, imitate toxic lifestyles that have only proven to be destructive and not constructive, and we psychologically conform to negative life patterns that slowly cause us to die inside.

This post is not about all the how-to’s on transforming your life into one you’re proud of and want, but a peek into 1 way you can grow in empowerment by beginning to select influential sources that will turn your life for the better, and toward that life you dream of living. So what is this 1 way that served as one of my pivotal points for me in my journey? It was recognizing the power behind emotion, and coupled with this understanding, was gaining the wisdom in who to entrust my emotions with when seeking good counsel.

Emotions are beautiful. They make life exciting, colorful, and fill us with passion. Without them, we wouldn’t feel alive or experience the depth of life. They can send our hearts sailing, our minds to heights we hadn’t imagined, and can cause our behaviors to bloom. Emotions can heal, transform, revive, and connect hearts. They are such a powerful gift that reveal a lot to us if we only listen. Without guidance, however, they can also work against our good and become a dangerous undercurrent that can sweep us away into hell itself.

When we are experiencing intense emotions we become vulnerable and can quickly turn to the first person who is emotionally available for us so we do not feel its weight alone. This is our first mistake. Just because someone is willing to listen, validate our thoughts and feelings, and offer their advice or companionship does not mean they are trustworthy or safe to have deep access to us and influence our way of thinking and emotional state. Wisdom needs to be pulled in here so that we can pause and evaluate what we actually need (healthy guidance) and not just what we want in this moment (emotional relief). The endless venting, complaining, negative self-talk, and rebounding off others, needs to go. This is a downward spiral for emotional suicide that never produces healing, peace, joy, or fulfillment. Temporary emotional relief at best that prolongs the underlying problems.

When we are down, hurting, and especially vulnerable, we need to seek out healthy people who can serve as an antidote. We must seek out people who are emotionally and mentally healthy, and living a healthy lifestyle that cultivates peace. If we desire peace then we must speak with people who are peace themselves and allow their peace to resonate in our bones. If we desire joy then we must speak with people who live joyously amidst their battles and open ourselves up for them to fill. If we desire healing then we must confide in someone who we can trust with our pain and sufferings, someone who can enlighten our minds with heightened thoughts and new ways to experience healing. If we desire to live a better life then we must seek people who are not living the same way of life we have been living, but have healthy movement in their life and are growing, transforming, and developing themselves. If we want something different then we must seek out someone who is at a different and healthier emotional state than ourselves. We must seek out someone who can teach us something we don't know or haven’t experienced. We must seek out someone who is full of wisdom, empathy, grace, and has a gentle spirit that can illuminate our souls and lead us toward higher places and wholeness.

When we crave movement in our lives and desire to move in a direction that will produce consistent beautiful experiences, such as peace, joy, laughter, and healing, then we must consume wisdom from those who have created a healthy internal life in their own selves. This influential source will guide us in health so that we too are able to cultivate a fruitful life that radiates such things. We must lift our gaze upward and direct our energy in the direction we want our life to go. We must fill our minds with as many words of wisdom as possible from those who can lift us up with good counsel.

It’s about that time to hop off the emotional roller coaster and lock arms with people who will ground you. Avoid to seek counsel in the shallow thinkers, narcissists, pessimists, and toxic influencers who pull your mind into dark places and who fuel your emotions with negativity, bitterness, anger, spite, revenge, fruitlessness, and restlessness...the ones who increase destructive emotions and bring out the worst in you. Avoid the ones who base their decisions off emotion, who can’t see light at the end of their tunnel, and who live with the mentality that everyone is malicious and out to get you. Avoid the ones who fail to see the good in others, who don’t take the time to grow in virtue, and who live as though the universe revolves around them. Avoid the prideful, the arrogant, the manipulators, the shamers, the blamers, the liars, the ones attached to superiority, the ones who live in victim mentality, and the ones who do not desire growth and aren’t making intentional development in themselves, their relationships, or anywhere in their lives. Avoid the wolves in sheep’s clothing. Save yourself to be filled with new life that will bring out the best in you.

Seek out the ones who are emotionally stable, who create a calm within their own storms, who are strong, gentle, and wise. Seek out the ones who will listen empathetically, who will the good of your soul, and who cherish your worth. These people will guide your emotions and thoughts toward good things, will freshen your mind, will help lead you toward greener pastures, will pick you up gently when you’ve fallen and dust you off, and who will accept all of you, whatever condition you are in, as someone worthy, valuable, and a great blessing to this world. These gems will see greatness within you and desire that you learn to see it too. When there is someone such as this you can turn to with vulnerability, and their presence, their insight, their tenderness, their strength, and their heart brings you peace, spend more time with them. Learn from them. Adapt to their way of thinking, feeling, and coping with life’s ups and downs. Soak up their energy, knowledge, and healthy decision-making. Their spirit is magnetic and will begin revealing your greatest qualities from within you as well.

I have learned that when I confide in people who strive to develop themselves and who will help me develop into a better person myself, then I start rising into a better person. Their energy, words, and presence in my life are powerful and stir my soul in deeper ways than I thought were possible. Even a simple conversation with someone who is gifted with good counsel can begin changing one's mindset, and once your mindset is changed, your life always follows in abundance.