Today I want to talk about emotions.
I think that there’s a really strong cultural component as to how we perceive our emotions, and that there’s something that we are victims of that we’re overwhelmed by if they are a negative sensation in our body.
We tend not to do that so much with experiencing joy or anticipation or trust, but the other emotions such as sadness, and anger, and disgust, and fear, and surprise, we tend to act as if they’re some kind of invisible force that comes upon us and overwhelms us and leaves us yeah, I guess I would say in a victim state.
I think the reason why this happens is because people are not really cognizant of the reason why they have those feelings and they tend to attribute it to a lot of externals that they see as running their life rather than attributing it to an internal signal that’s keeping them safe.
So, when you’ve experienced a big loss, whether it’s a death, or a divorce, or a breakup, or failed relationships within your family, whenever you experience loss, there’s a lot of emotions, a lot of negative emotions that come up with it.
And they often feel like they’ve been compressed to a point where it’s kind of hard to distinguish them, and they’re just a bad feeling, and you get little flashes of an experience of one or maybe another, or you use one to avoid another. I think a lot of times people use anger to escape sadness.
It’s like a hyper aroused state of separation that they use to avoid actually feeling sad because feeling sad is too terrifying.
And this experience of never really unpacking the dynamics or the harmonics of your emotions leaves you struggling. You’re holding like a lot in your state, and it’s preventing you from being able to slowly put each one of them down and get to a clear reference point in terms of your felt experience.
I’m going to use an example of like music, like chords of music. When we play chords of music, they’re normally made up of notes that are separated by intervals and when we play them all together, they create a sound that’s normally quite harmonic.
It can be dissonant as well, but it’s kind of hard to hear the notes apart from each other when you’ve got a chord playing unless they’re being played with a separate intonation. If you put your, say your hand down on a piano and you play three or four or five notes at the same time, you get a feeling from that cord but it’s not going to give you a distinct soundbite of what those actual notes are. It happens the same way with feelings.
In the process that I like to take people through, we explore this. We start deconstructing the music of the feeling, so to speak, or the harmonics of the feelings, and try to distinguish the root of each expression and figure out the story behind it and why it’s causing conflict for you, or why it’s making your lived experience difficult.
There’s a common idea and you see it a lot in the literature, particularly scientifically that these emotions, they’re like a survival, the behavioralist would say they’re a survival kit. And they are our survival kit to a point. I totally agree with that, but we’re not existing in isolation.
We experience them within a thinking feeling mind, within a life, within a systems and relationships and cultures, and even propaganda.
So, it’s important to understand that they’re not just a set response to a stimulus of what you’re experiencing personally, there is another layer of all these other stimuli that affect how you perceive that feeling, how you express that feeling, whether you express that feeling.
Some people have extreme sensitivity to their feelings, and it leaves them up and down and very, very hard to keep kind of an even keel because their body is constantly being flooded with all of these chemicals and it makes it really tricky to have kind of like a homeostatic emotional response to anything, there’s no baseline, and then other people because they don’t know what they don’t know tend to just acknowledge that it’s not comfortable and then suppress it, but it’s still there.
So, it comes out through the way they talk to people, the way they behave, the way they conduct themselves in the world, and even though they might not identify personally, self identify, say as perhaps being an angry person, that would definitely be the perception from everybody else because it’s an energy that’s trapped inside them that they have not been able to process and develop a relationship with.
So, that’s just my little take on what I’m offering in terms of a response with emotions, and what I understand is our aim as conscious people to take responsibility for our emotions and rather feel like we’re just being slammed by a wave of this and a wave of that and, “Oh, it’s also terrible all these external events that are happening to me, and they’re making me feel this way, and I can’t do anything because I’m caught in the feelings.”
I think that that surrender of responsibility is what puts us in a victim state, and I think other people who don’t have a really cognizant understanding of their own emotional responses are always quick to put people that have suffered a setback in that victim state as well.
So, you end up buying into a narrative that everybody else is feeling that you that because things haven’t gone right for you that this feeling state has undone you, but it doesn’t need to.
In the same way that you can address and approach other things that aren’t working in your life and take guided steps and considered measures to make things better, you can also do that with your feelings. They’re not some nebulous force that just kind of takes over you and renders you helpless. You are in charge of your emotions and you’re in charge of your lived experience.
So, I hope this is resonated with you, and if it has, please subscribe to my channel below. Feel free to leave a comment, I’ll be more than happy to reply and have a little dialogue with people about these ideas. Thanks for your time and will look forward to talking to you soon.