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Date Submitted: 09/24/2012 03:22 PM

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Awareness of our emotions leads to awareness of our values, because we respond emotionally to things we care about. We are joyful at the thought of having things that matter to us such as our jobs, our friend, our family, and our successes. We experience fear at the thought of losing them. We become sad when we realized we have lost something we care about. And we became angry when we think the loss was unjust. Thus, by becoming aware of our emotions, we become aware of our values forms and important parts of self-knowledge. The familiar Socratic dictum “Know thyself” could be rewritten “Know thyself, know thy emotions.”

Some people will have difficulty following this dictum. They identify emotion with feeling and separate it from thought. Some identify themselves as “thinkers” and scorn “feeling types” Others admire feeling and dismiss thinking as irrelevant to the good life. These self-identified thinkers and feelers will have to broaden their views to become aware of their emotions. The thinkers will have to begin recognize their feeling, and the feelers will have to pay attention to their thoughts.

Even those of us who are ready and willing to develop emotional awareness find the task daunting. It is hard to catch hold of thoughts that go in and out of our consciousness. Nor do we find it easy to keep in touch with feelings that die down to nothing after flaming with intensity. Also we do not know what emotion we are experiencing