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
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.