Recently, a lot of people have been talking with me about their experience of going round and round with the same issues, the same emotions.
They say they don’t like going over the pain of rejection again, or the anxiety of feeling not enough again. They also talk about how difficult it has been for them to go through the same emotional issues over and over, while working hard, (often with limited success), to stop this process. Most end their statement by throwing their hands up asking, “but what are you going to do?”
When I hear these statements and the utter helplessness people express about ending repeated emotional situations and issues, I’m aware that almost all of us are working hard to deal with emotions; yet we’ve been given incorrect information about how to do this. It often leaves us feeling like we’re running on an endlessly turning “gerbil wheel,” which keeps us engaged but takes us nowhere. It leads us to the unsatisfying experience of concluding that working with emotions is difficult, (if not impossible), and that repeating emotional issues and experiences is just part of being human.
Nope! Not so.
These endless, very similar, emotional challenges occur because we have been given false information about why we have emotions, how they work, and how to work with them. We keep encountering them because we don’t know how to complete their message and let them go. It\’s time for a major change!
Completing the message, learning what emotions bring us, then letting them go, is the stuff of the system of Emotional Mastery I have developed over the past 48 years. Becoming emotionally masterful changes this entire scenario; putting you in charge of your relationship with emotions and taking you off that wheel.
On http://www.emotionalmasteryforlife.com, and in my book, Emotions in Motion: Mastering Life’s Built-in Navigation System, there are more complete explanations about how this all works than I can give here. For now, look at this 12-item outline of the Emotional Mastery system. I want more people to be able to break through their run on the “gerbil wheel” and move on to more satisfying activities!
Here’s the outline:
- Our earth is designed as a “giant school;” to which we’ve all come in order to learn and grow.
- The name of our teacher is, Experience.
- Every experience we have offers us an opportunity to grow.
- Each experience is accompanied by emotions.
- Emotions are a gift, like pencils and erasers put into a student’s backpack, to help us complete lessons successfully in this “school.”
- Each emotion, (which is a form energy takes), offers us a specific message. When we hear, heed and use this message, we are better able to learn the lesson(s) of experience. These messages tell us what action to take and the action that will be the most effective for the situation and our life.
- When we know and follow the message, it is then more possible to decipher the lesson experience brings us; allowing us to complete it. Messages are simple, such as; “come closer” (love), “pay attention and be careful” (fear), “bring energy in” (loneliness), “trust yourself” (hurt), and, “change your idea of how things are supposed to be in the world” (anger).
- Once experience presents us with a lesson, it does not stop presenting it. If we don’t take time to explore what has happened, it may appear the lesson has disappeared. It is circling for yet another presentation; which comes when we least expect it.
- Each time the same or a similar experience or opportunity to learn comes around, it is a harsher lesson. (This is what happens when we keep going around on the “gerbil wheel.”) It’s as if The Universe is not giving up; offering us harsher experiences so we’ll wake up, pay attention, and learn.
- The second we do the learning and complete the lesson; it is over.
- When we learn the lesson, just as in regular school, we’re free to move on. We get “promoted” to the next level of learning.
- Unless we conspire to keep the accompanying emotion around, it, too, is free to move on. We no longer need it and can go on with our life.
When you follow this process, you’re actually “partnering” with the emotions that accompany your experience(s) and arise in you. Hence, you receive help in dealing with life\’s challenges and you co-create your life.
All of life occurs from “the inside out.” Whatever we do inside of us pairs with what goes on outside of us. People outside of us “mirror” what we hold inside. The good news is that when we hit a snag, all we have to do is work with ourselves. We don’t have to trouble ourselves to figure out what others are doing, or try to change them or their behavior. Those things don’t work.
The next time you notice that you’re married to the “same woman or man,” that your relationship with your boss is a lot like what happened between you and your father or mother, that different friends treat you in the same distasteful way usually, or that no matter how hard you try, you’re not successful the way you want to be, that’s when it’s time for you to ask yourself; “What is this situation attempting to teach me?” Ask for help to obtain the answer; even if you ask it only within your mind. Keep asking for help, while continuing to do your best to complete the learning on your own. Respond to answers, too!
After a time of living your life in this way, you’ll notice you no longer run on a “gerbil wheel;” things do work out for you and you’re happier and more satisfied with your life.
Getting off the “gerbil wheel” results from becoming, and moving toward emotional mastery.
See you back here this time next week for Part 2 of this series!
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Ilene Dillon, MSW, has dedicated her life to helping people resolve personal challenges once and for all, then design life to be what they want it to be. A Transformation Specialist, she has worked 50 years as a psychotherapist and 15 years as a coach. She is a global speaker, Amazon International Best-selling author (The Wellness Universe Guide to Complete Self-Care, Volumes 1 and 2), podcast guest, and plans to give her first TEDx speech (on Anger) later this year. Ilene is also the author of Emotions in Motion: Mastering Life’s Built-in Navigation System and End Manipulation: Stop Being Jerked Around by Toxic, Energy-draining People. With her little dog, Pi, Ilene lives and travels full-time throughout North America in her RV, writing, teaching, and speaking along the way.