"Some people tell stories about other people.  This is the stereotypical Codependent of the joke about 'when a Codependent dies someone else’s life passes before their eyes.'  They will respond to an emotional moment by telling an emotional story about some friend, acquaintance, or even a person they read about.  They may exhibit some emotion in telling the story but it is emotion for the other person, not for self.  They keep a distance from their emotions by attributing the emotional content to others.  If this type of stereotypical Codependent is in a relationship everything they say will be about the other person.  Direct questions about self will be answered with stories about the significant other.  This is a completely unconscious result of the reality that they have no relationship with, or identity as, self as an individual."

*

"Emotions are energy.  Actual physical energy that is manifested in our bodies.  Emotions are not thoughts - they do not exist in our mind.  Our mental attitudes, definitions, and expectations can create emotional reactions, can cause us to get stuck in emotional states - but thoughts are not emotions.  The intellectual and emotional are two distinctly separate though intimately interconnected parts of our being.  In order to find some balance, peace, and sanity in recovery it is vitally important to start separating the emotional from the intellectual and to start setting boundaries with, and between, the emotional and mental parts of our self."


Welcome - this is a page of Joy to You and Me

The Web Site of Robert Burney and Joy to You and Me Enterprises.

Robert Burney is a codependency therapist, Spiritual teacher, and the authorof the Joyously inspirational book

Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

This page is entitled

The Emotional Frontier Within

There are 2 columns by Robert Burney on this page.

The Journey to the Emotional Frontier Within

"I had to become aware that there were such things as emotions that lived in my body and then I had to start learning how to recognize and sort them out.  I had to become aware of all the ways that I was trained to distance myself from my feelings."


Further Journeys to the Emotional Frontier Within

"Perhaps the most common story telling diversion is to get very involved in the details of the story   ‘she said. . . . . then I said. . . . then she did. . . . .’   The details are ultimately insignificant in relationship to the emotions involved but because we do not know how to handle the emotions we get caught up in the details." 

Quotations in maroon are from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls by Robert Burney (Copyright 1995). Quotations from columns & articles (Copyright 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999) written by Mr. Burney are noted  and in blue text. Blue text material that is not in quotes is from Robert's upcoming book Wounded Souls Dancing in the Light (Copyright 1998) unless otherwise noted. There are several authors quoted in excerpts  from The Dance of Wounded Souls, those are noted with copyright acknowledgment at the end of the applicable page.

 

The Journey to the Emotional Frontier Within

By Robert Burney M.A.

“Until we can forgive ourselves and Love ourselves we cannot Truly Love and forgive any other human beings - including our parents who were only doing the best they knew how.  They, too, were powerless to do anything any different - they were just reacting to their wounds.

It is necessary to own and honor the child who we were in order to Love the person we are.  And the only way to do that is to own that child's experiences, honor that child's feelings, and release the emotional grief energy that we are still carrying around.”

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“We cannot learn to Love without honoring our Rage!

We cannot allow ourselves to be Truly Intimate with ourselves or anyone else without owning our Grief.

We cannot clearly reconnect with the Light unless we are willing to own and honor our experience of the Darkness.

We cannot fully feel the Joy unless we are willing to feel the Sadness.

We need to do our emotional healing, to heal our wounded souls, in order to reconnect with our Souls on the highest vibrational levels.  In order to reconnect with the God-Force that is Love and Light, Joy and Truth.”

Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls  by Robert Burney
Emotions are energy.  Actual physical energy that is manifested in our bodies.  Emotions are not thoughts - they do not exist in our mind.  Our mental attitudes, definitions, and expectations can create emotional reactions, can cause us to get stuck in emotional states - but thoughts are not emotions.  The intellectual and emotional are two distinctly separate though intimately interconnected parts of our being.  In order to find some balance, peace, and sanity in recovery it is vitally important to start separating the emotional from the intellectual and to start setting boundaries with, and between, the emotional and mental parts of our self.

Many of us learned to live in our heads.  To analyze, intellectualize, and rationalize as a defense against feeling our feelings.  Some of us went to the other extreme and lived life based on our emotional reactions without any intellectual balance.  Some of us would swing from one extreme to the other.  Living life in the extremes or swinging between the extremes is dysfunctional - it does not work to create a balanced, healthy, happy life. 

If you learned to live life in your head it is vitally necessary to start becoming more aware of your body and what is happening in your body emotionally.  Where is there tension, tightness?  Where is the energy manifesting in my body?  I learned that when there is energy congregating in my upper chest it was sadness.  If it was around my heart chakra it was hurt.  Anger and fear manifest in my stomach.  Until I started to become aware of, and identify, the emotional energy in my body it was impossible for me to be emotionally honest with myself.  It was impossible for me to start owning, honoring, and releasing the emotional energy in a healthy way until I became aware that it was there.
I had to become aware that there were such things as emotions that lived in my body and then I had to start learning how to recognize and sort them out.  I had to become aware of all the ways that I was trained to distance myself from my feelings.  I am going to mention a few of them here to help any of you reading this in your process of becoming emotionally honest.

Speaking in the third person.  One of the defenses many of us have against feeling our feelings is to speak of ourselves in the third person.  “You just kind of feel hurt when that happens” is not a personal statement and does not carry the power of speaking in the first person.  “I felt hurt when that happened” is personal, is owning the feeling.  Listen to yourself and to others and become aware of how often you hear others and yourself refer to self in the third person.

Avoiding using primary feeling words.  There are only a handful of primary feelings that all humans feel.  There is some dispute about just how many there are primary but for our purpose here I am going to use seven.  Those are: angry, sad, hurt, afraid, lonely, ashamed, and  happy.  It is important to start using the primary names of these feelings in order to own them and to stop distancing ourselves from the feelings.  To say “I am anxious” or “concerned” or “apprehensive” is not the same as saying “I am afraid.”  Fear is at the root of all those other expressions but we don’t have to be so aware of our fear if we use a word that distances us from fear.  Expressions like “confused,”  “irritated,” “upset,” “tense,” “disturbed,” “melancholy,” “blue,” “good,” or “bad” are not primary feeling words. 

Emotions are energy that is meant to flow: E - motion = energy in motion.  Until we own it, feel it and release it, it cannot flow.  By blocking and repressing our emotions we are damming up our internal energy and that will eventually result in some physical or mental manifestation such as cancer or alzheimers disease or whatever.

Until we can start being emotionally honest with ourselves it is impossible to be truly honest on any level with anybody.  Until we start becoming emotionally honest with ourselves it is impossible to know  who we Truly are.  Our emotions tell us who we are and without emotional honesty it is impossible to be True to our self because we don’t know ourselves.

Of course there is a very good reason we have had to be emotionally dishonest.  It is because we are carrying around unresolved grief - suppressed pain, terror, shame, and rage energy from our childhoods.  Until we deal with our unresolved grief and start releasing the suppressed, pressurized emotional energy from our past it is impossible to be comfortable in our own skins, in the moment, in an emotionally honest, age-appropriate way.  Until we become willing to take the journey to the emotional frontier within us we cannot Truly know who we are, we cannot Truly  start to forgive and Love ourselves.

Further Journeys to the Emotional Frontier Within 

By Robert Burney M.A.

“The way to stop reacting out of our inner children is to release the stored emotional energy from our childhoods by doing the grief work that will heal our wounds.  The only effective, long term way to clear our emotional process - to clear the inner channel to Truth which exists in all of us is to grieve the wounds which we suffered as children.  The most important single tool, the tool which is vital to changing behavior patterns and attitudes in this healing transformation, is the grief process.  The process of grieving.

We are all carrying around repressed pain, terror, shame, and rage energy from our childhoods, whether it was twenty years ago or fifty years ago.  We have this grief energy within us even if we came from a relatively healthy family, because this society is emotionally dishonest and dysfunctional.”
Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls  by Robert Burney
Last month I mentioned two of the ways that many of us learned to distance ourselves from our feelings - ‘talking in the third person’ and ‘avoiding owning our feelings verbally,’ - a third very prevalent technique is story telling.

This is a very common method of avoiding our feelings.  Some people tell entertaining stories to avoid feelings. They may respond to a feeling statement by saying something like ‘I remember back in `85 when I. . .’  Their stories might be very entertaining but they have no emotional content. 

Some people tell stories about other people.  This is the stereotypical Codependent of the joke about when a Codependent dies someone else’s life passes before their eyes.  They will respond to an emotional moment by telling an emotional story about some friend, acquaintance, or even a person they read about.  They may exhibit some emotion in telling the story but it is emotion for the other person, not for self.  They keep a distance from their emotions by attributing the emotional content to others.  If this type of stereotypical Codependent is in a relationship everything they say will be about the other person.  Direct questions about self will be answered with stories about the significant other.  This is a completely unconscious result of the reality that they have no relationship with, or identity as, self as an individual.

Perhaps the most common story telling diversion is to get very involved in the details of the story   ‘she said. . . . . then I said. . . . then she did. . . . .’   The details are ultimately insignificant in relationship to the emotions involved but because we do not know how to handle the emotions we get caught up in the details.  Often we are relating the details in order to show the listener how we were wronged in the interaction.  Often we focus on how others are wrong in reaction to the situation as a way of avoiding our feelings. 

Here are two very typical examples of this type of emotional distancing recently.  A person in obvious pain spoke for twenty minutes about a loved one who was dying.  For 19 and 1/2 minutes of that twenty the person talked of what the doctor and nurses were doing wrong, of the details of incidents which happened.  For a few brief seconds the person touched on their own feelings and then very quickly jumped back to the details of what was happening.  The other example is my mother who is terrified of having a stroke and being partially paralyzed for several years like her mother was.  Recently her older sister had a stroke.  My mother, in talking about what is happening, cannot talk about her fear or pain, instead she talks about how her sister’s children are behaving incorrectly.

I am very sad to see people in this kind of emotional pain. I am sad that they do not know how to be emotionally honest about what they are feeling.  This is very typical and common in this emotionally dishonest society.  We have been trained to be emotionally dishonest and need to go through a learning process in order to retrain ourselves to allow ourselves to own the feelings.

An integral part of that learning process is grieving the wounds from our childhood and earlier life.  By not grieving earlier losses there may be so much suppressed energy that any current loss threatens to burst the whole dam of emotions.  This literally feels life-threatening.

When I started to do my own emotional healing it felt like if I ever really started crying that I wouldn’t be able to stop - that I would end up crying in a padded room someplace.  It felt as if I ever really let myself feel the rage that I would just go up and down the street shooting people.  It was terrifying.

When I first became willing to start dealing with the emotions it felt as if I had opened Pandora’s Box and that it would destroy me.  But I was led by my Spiritual guidance to safe places to start learning how to do the grieving and safe people to do it with. 

Doing that grieving is overwhelming terrifying and painful.  It is also the gateway to Spiritual Awakening.  It leads to empowerment, freedom, and inner peace.  Releasing that grief energy allows us to start being able to be emotionally honest in the moment in an age-appropriate way. It is, in my understanding, the path that the Old Souls who are doing their healing in this Age of Healing and Joy need to travel to get clearer about their path and accomplish their mission in this lifetime.

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Copyright 1995, 1996, 1997 by Robert Burney    PO Box 977 Cambria, CA 93428
 (The Columns  "The Journey to the Emotional Frontier Within" and "Further Journeys to the Emotional Frontier Within' by Robert Burney originally appeared in the Information Press of San Luis Obispo California)