OUR EMOTIONS - DO WE NEED THEM?
So how important is it to feel our emotions?
Well, we have them for a reason….
Emotions are ENERGY
Letting them FLOW unrestricted, we enable their HEALING effect on our psyche.
It is our valuable feedback system.
Take sadness for example. Going through its notion returns us to a state of balance - it allows us to let go of stuff which no longer serves us. It is an act of letting go which frees us of old baggage.
Emotions, together with our intuition, are a very reliable INTERNAL system of looking for answers. It helps us to navigate through life. If skilfully managed, it is an irreplaceable tool which makes us human. Without emotions we are degraded to mere robots. This is why it is so important to understand them and their guidance.
Understanding our emotions implies PRACTICING LISTENING. It is a process of fine tuning into their language, which requires willingness and courage. Willingness to WANT to know what we are feeling. Courage to face our WHOLE emotional spectrum - including the not so pleasant emotions.
Note: I am referring to challenging emotions as unpleasant, NOT as ‘bad'. Why?
To understand this you will have to forget everything you know about emotions, and become a blank canvas. Because as you will learn NO emotion is bad. All emotions have their valuable role. We labelled them ‘bad’, sadly, and to our detriment, to have an excuse, an escape route. To AVOID them altogether. It is easier short term. We feel more 'in control' over ourselves because the energy of our emotions can be a destructive force. If we don’t know how to manage it, regulate and channel it. Incorrect channelling implies INTERNALISING (storing) this force inside us where it causes havoc, and damage long term, like neuroticism, anxiety or depression.
Or, we channel it in destructive ways EXTERNALLY, causing drama, behaving in unkind and disrespectful ways.
Children don't know much about emotions and how to manage them, just that the more CHALLENGING ones make them feel out of control, that they are somehow unmanageable. Their emotional waves leave them feeling frustrated and powerless.
Imagine that their parents aren't on hand to help them face these challenges. Particularly if the adults meet these challenges poorly themselves. Automatically the child starts to shut down to avoid FEELING altogether. Because in child's eyes emotions represents a monster, frustration, unhappiness and pain. They make them feel powerless. If the adults aren't skilful in expressing their emotions in healthy ways, in an emotional management, they cannot teach this their offspring.
Family environments with two emotionally crippled parents (who are bound to be insecure), ensure frequent drama, emotional manipulation, mental and physical abuse. This alone is a very threatening environment for a child. He/she experiences HIGHLY EMOTIONALLY CHARGED CONFLICTS, and learns that emotions are only a source of pain between mum and dad.
In a family with calm, centred parents, on the other hand, without drama, a child is taught that it is OK to be emotional. That it is healthy and that it can be managed. He/she feels safe to express emotions knowing that they are NOT threatening to his/her wellbeing. He/she won’t practice emotional avoidance, but learns how to work her/his way through the more challenging emotional currents, realising that no matter how unpleasant a feeling it can be dealt with. He/she feels empowered rather then feeling powerless.
A child who never gets to realise how empowering and healing this process can be, will practice emotional avoidance.
Narcissists, sociopaths and alike, are devoid of their emotional feedback. They consider emotions a weakness. In our society till fairly recently emotions equalled a disadvantage.
Yes, it is a disadvantage in jobs where no conscience and lack of empathy is 'an advantage' - there is very high prevalence of narcissists and psychopaths is amongst CEOs of big companies. Why? Because they are ruthless workaholics with one aim - gaining power. Anything BUT feeling POWERLESS. They have ZERO empathy and conscience. In those environments feelings are considered a weakness, because if these people were able to 'FEEL their way to success' they would never reach to the top. With their emotions in tow, they wouldn’t be able to selfishly exploit their employees, and neglect their families.
It is a cost not every human Being is prepared to pay. Only those for whom their feelings are a worthless nuisance…..
Thank you for reading. If my article contributed to understanding yourself, please be generous and share it with others.
Copyright © 2016 Michaela Patel