The key to understanding emotions is to accept them as they are. Contrary to what most of us have been taught, they are not to be gotten rid of or changed. By learning their true purpose they become a great ally!
Ever wished that you could have a feedback system that gave you information about where you're headed that is always precise and crystal clear? And wouldn’t it be great if this feedback system could always be immediately available?
Well guess what, you have one!
I know, it sounds wacky, but it really is true. :-)
The quickest route to understanding emotions is to invite you to try a little experiment with me. Just sit quietly for a moment and imagine yourself engaged in an activity that you love.
As you contemplate doing this activity, notice how you are feeling. If you picked the right kind of activity, you’ll be feeling some kind of positive emotion: joy, openness, vitality and maybe even love. Allow yourself to indulge in those feelings for a few minutes.
Now, let that scene go.
Let’s picture another scenario. You’re working at a job doing something that you really dislike doing, but somehow you got roped into doing it. Imagine yourself on the job, doing this work.
Notice how you’re feeling. If you picked something that you truly dislike doing, you will feel a stream of negative emotions: perhaps resentment, irritation or even anger, and maybe a feeling of contraction inside.
Now let all that go….
Another point that has been valuable for me in understanding emotions is the realization that there is really only one source of energy. This energy is the essence of who we are. Aligning with it – actually tapping into this Source Energy – is the direct route to wellbeing. This is the heart of love, openness, joy, expansion and growth.
Then, on the other hand, there is resistance to that, which produces negative emotion within us. The resistance makes it appear that there are two basic energies, but I experience it as only one: There is love/joy/aliveness and then there is resistance, which tries to slam on the breaks to the flow of life.
When we are thinking about something that is not in alignment with this core essence of who we are, our emotional guidance lets us know that immediately by producing a negative emotion. This lets us know we are veering off course. By continuing in the direction we are headed, we are resisting love.
On the other hand, when we are contemplating doing something that is in alignment with the truth of who we are, with our heart, then we will feel a positive flow of emotions – excitement, joy and expansion. Noticing this is a big step in understanding emotions.
Basically, we only have two emotions: one that feels good and one that feels bad. The one that feels good is giving you a yes answer to whatever you’re doing or thinking, and the one that feels bad is giving you a no answer to whatever you’re doing or thinking.
So, with this immediate feedback, we can shift our attention away from a stream of thinking that takes us away from where we really want to go, and place it on one that does take us in a more positive direction.
In understanding emotions it is important to see that although there are basically only two emotions, there is a whole kaleidoscope of textures and nuances of what we can feel. These emotions may seem haphazard and disconnected, but actually they are connected like colors of the rainbow, flowing into each other, from the extreme positive pole to the extreme negative pole of the emotional spectrum.
I have found this best described by the teachings of Abraham-Hicks. They are masters at understanding emotions. The material presented in the next section is based on what they refer to as “The Emotional Scale” (from Ask and It Is Given – Learning to Manifest Your Desires by Esther and Jerry Hicks, The Teachings of Abraham).
At the extreme negative pole of this emotional spectrum is fear, grief, depression and despair. It is the place of utter and complete powerlessness, where we feel the most disconnected from the vibrant truth of who we are.
The next “color” of the emotional rainbow from there as we rise up, heading back to the direction of love and being in alignment with our heart, we begin to feel some relief from total powerlessness and now we are feeling unworthiness, insecurity, or guilt. Still not great, but better than utter powerlessness!
Then rising up into another dimension in the spectrum, we might be feeling jealousy, or maybe hatred or rage. Now we’ve moved from a place of lifelessness to beginning to feel energy again. Not great energy, but energy!
Next in the spectrum come revenge, anger, discouragement, blame, worry, doubt, disappointment, then feeling overwhelmed. After that comes frustration, then pessimism. Still not wonderful, but a heck of a lot better than where we started out at powerlessness and despair.
From here we pass into boredom, which is a more neutral state than before. We can feel our aliveness in a much clearer way, but it is an uncomfortable restlessness.
Then, the next step along the way is contentment, followed by hopefulness and optimism. Hey, this is starting to feel pretty good! From here we can move into enthusiasm and happiness, then passion! Then at the place of complete alignment with the truth of who we are, we feel joy, empowerment, freedom, love and appreciation. This is the heart of all the positive emotions.
If you’re in a place of depression and despair, make an intention to reach for a thought that feels better than the ones you’ve been thinking, one that you still believe is true. If the thought is too big a stretch for you, and you don’t quite believe it, you’ll probably feel fear, or some other negative emotion.
So, therefore, that particular thought won’t take you into the positive direction you want to go in.
Instead, from this place of depression and powerlessness you could look around and find one thing that you do have power over and do that one thing.
Maybe it is as basic as getting up and taking a shower and putting on clean clothes. Even thinking about that could make you feel better. You will feel relief and may have “graduated” from powerlessness to insecurity or unworthiness.
Then, reach for another thought that feels better from this new place. Say you want to go out and take a walk but you’re feeling discouraged. You start to blame the weather for being lousy, then you notice that you’re actually feeling better with that thought.
Blame is a little higher up the scale than discouragement. Again, just noticing this little bit of relief and how you got there is key in understanding emotions.
The universal Law of Attraction is “like attracts like.” We are all energy beings and are therefore always emanating a vibration out into the universe. And because we are magnetic, we are always drawing to us circumstances that are in sync with whatever energy we are holding within us.
As you keep focusing attention on this new direction, always reaching for a better feeling thought that brings relief, you will literally change your vibration. And as your vibration changes into a more positive one, the circumstances of your life will shift in a positive way as well, which in turn produces more positive thoughts, which create even more positive circumstances and so on.
I’ve found that as I go along and consciously keep making the effort to focus on positive thoughts, that I am also deepening in understanding emotions. Now I am grateful for them.
As you move through the spectrum of emotions (or actually, they move through you) as you move along on your journey of understanding emotions, be kind to yourself. Don’t judge yourself for what you are feeling as they pass through. This is extremely important.
Emotions are just energies moving through us. They aren’t who we are. They’re like weather patterns that move through a city, but they aren’t the city. Don’t take any of the feelings personally. They don’t define who you are.
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You might also be interested in WellBeing Alignment Sessions, where you are guided and supported in discovering and resting in Awareness, and letting all suffering unwind on its own.
It just takes a few seconds. :-)
Thank you! Love and blessings of light, joy, love and healing to you my friend...
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