Our emotions are not our friends. Or rather the knee-jerk reactions they so often inspire are often – if not always – totally inimical to what we really want.
For example take the scenario where a person comes home to find their concubine engaged in illicit coitus. This person experiences a set of emotions. What is the main meaning in this set of emotions? Why is the person experiencing them? It’s because the person loves their concubine and fears losing their concubine. If neither of these were the case then the person simply would not feel anything like what is typically felt by a person upon discovering that their significant other has been cheating on them.
What is the typical reaction that this medley of emotions causes? Isn’t it the very things the fear of which caused the emotions? Don’t people normally shout and cut of relations with their significant other when that other has been caught having extra-relational sex? See how our response to a situation based upon the emotion that situation caused in us causes the very event to happen the fear of which caused the emotion? This is so often the case.
You could even formalize it somewhat. There is an event x that a person does not want to happen. The fear of event x causes emotion y. Event z causes emotion y because a person believes – often subconsciously – that event z causes event x. Emotion y manifests as action a which causes event x. If the person were to analyze the situation they would see that the entire negativity came from their reaction to it and was not inherent in it.
Which is why if I ever have a spouse and I discover they are cheating the only question that will matter to me – if I actually love them – will be “Do you love me?” If the answer is yes then nothing else matters.