A fascinating thing about emotions explains why the first area we humans’ “study” in life is emotions.
Emotions allow us to have memory! Without activated emotions, memory is eroded or deficient.
Also, when we freeze emotions, which occurs when we don’t allow ourselves to feel them, we suppress memory. When we hold anger inside, it leads us to work hard to keep that expanding anger under control and we have the energy for little else.
You’re living life, yet don’t have the rich, full memories of your experiences you could have. Memory is compromised. If you allow anger, merge with it, and partner with it for your learning, you’ll develop anger mastery. and memory is better. Non-development of emotional mastery creates erosion of the memory of the life we’re living, not entirely a bad thing, yet we lose richness.
What price do we pay for “freezing” emotions instead of working with them?
Life events that involve intense emotions build stress in our bodies, leading to internal chemical events, debilitating our immune system. Emotions are energy-in-motion, which grow in power when held onto. Internal pressure thus created adds to stress. Pressure builds relentlessly, until we address those emotions. Stress compromises our ability to make decisions, be successful, and relate well with others.
Evidence reveals that every human illness or disease is impacted by emotions, from holding emotions in (damaging our immune systems) or being unskillful in processing emotions that related to the illness we have. Emotions are not inherently negative, but can become negative when they grow inside us. Once more powerful, they facilitate the shutdown of our physical system, depriving us of our life force. Failure to work with the emotions arising in us and masterfully partnering with emotions to improve and ease our lives, shortens our life.
When emotional energy compounds inside of us, it’s usually because we haven’t developed the understanding and tools to process them. Our established pattern of holding onto emotions obliges us keep them under control through constant monitoring. Constantly threatening to escape, we dedicate ourselves to doing all we can to keep those emotions under our control (not possible, but it’s what we strive for!). Our attention is consumed by these efforts. Most of us want to be as successful as we can be. When we don’t develop emotional mastery, we become frustrated and stressed, rather than successful and fulfilled. Most of our energy is consumed with monitoring. Feeling disempowered, limited, and unhappy, we experience only moderate success.
We have limited energy for maintaining relationships when we’re busy watching emotions to keep them from erupting! To feel good inside, we need to operate with integrity, be spontaneous, take responsibility for and be honest with ourselves. All of these characteristics are compromised when we haven’t developed emotional mastery. Instead of moving with the flow and spontaneity of life, we focus on monitoring the emotions we’re attempting to hold inside, struggling with life.
These are big prices to pay. Fun, meaning, and success are withheld from us. It is not the way life is meant to be.
Come, rethink emotions with me.
Let’s help you become an emotional master, putting yourself in charge and responsible for your own life. How is this done? First, create a new perspective on emotions.
Did you ever wish you had a navigation system that could help you decide what actions to take in life? Every one of us comes equipped with a navigation system which is available 24/7/365, giving us immediate feedback and signaling us what actions to take. Has anyone ever told you about this system? Everybody has one; it’s comprised of emotions.
Each emotion gives us a different signal, telling us the best action to take. Together, emotions are designed to guide us through our lives. For them to do their work, we need to be the conductors of this emotional orchestra, rather than allowing all of our emotional musicians to take over and run the show.
Emotions draw our attention to an area that needs attendance!
All we need to do is pay attention, hear the message, and use the help. When, instead, we react (usually out of proportion) to things that happen in our adult lives, our attention is being drawn to still-sore spots from childhood, giving us opportunity to heal and eliminate that sore spot!
By changing what we do today, we can heal emotions from the past (and the healing extends into our future). By healing the emotion, we free up our energy that’s been tied up through all the years we held onto that pain.
In my book, Emotions in Motion, (emotionalmasteryforlife.com), I share a funny story about running afoul of my neighbor by rototilling my garden late at night, which resulted in me healing my past relationship with my father. Check it out. It’s a great illustration of this point.
Amazingly, there’s an entire system set up in our lives to allow us to heal those old emotional wounds, learn lessons, and empower ourselves to lead more satisfying and fuller lives! Re-thinking emotions reveals that emotions are provided for our benefit. We need to start using them! NOW is the time! Bring emotions to the light of day, hear what they’re trying to tell us, utilize their message, empower, and free yourself through emotions!
What does this mean for your own life? It means that:
- You lead an emotionally balanced life, regardless of the experiences of your early years
- You handle and learn from every emotionally-laden experience that arises in your present
- You get free of repetitive emotional patterns
- Your self-esteem improves, the quantity of energy in life increases, and the joy you take, daily, from what you do, grows
And all of this is at your fingertips! Constantly. To access it, just re-think emotions and dedicate yourself to becoming emotionally masterful.
Stay tuned for part 3 of this series this time next week!
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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.