Understanding Emotions ©2007
Negative emotions like Fear, doubt, jealousy, anger, irritation and frustration. are a gague to let you know if something is wrong.
Positive emotions such as love, peacefulness, acceptance, joy, humbleness and patience are an indication that things are in balance and moving in a good and loving direction.
We are so used to rejecting, denying and trying to overcome negative emotions that we don't use them wisely to deal with truth in our lives. If we have a persistant pain somewhere, we wonder what's wrong and may go to a doctor for a check up so he can find out what is causing it and hopefully correct it. Not so with emotional upsets.
If we have a painful emotional response to something, we go through a range of thoughts about it from blaming someone to self recrimination. Our mind easily loses reason and we respond according to patterns we are used to.
Our emotional responses are instantly categorized and defind according to the norm. Jealousy is a good word to use as an example of this.
...I feel jealous because you are making me feel insecure in our relationship
...I feel jealous because you are making me feel left out, you are spending more quality time with your secretary than me.
...I feel jealous because I am afraid I might lose you to someone you want more than me
...I feel jealous because I don't think I can measure up to the appearance and intelligence of your secretary. The list can go on...
We define jealousy as a result of feeling insecure and lacking in self confidence and self acceptance. If I feel this way, you may tell me I am possessive and controlling. First, I will get defensive and then after more thought, I will began to push away the defenses and think, maybe I am wrong. I am over-reacting, maybe I am insecure...etc. I will be torn between defensiveness and guilt. First, I am hurt and become defensive, blaming you for my pain and then I will try to force away the blame and instead blame myself for being insecure and maybe making things up where there is no problem at all.
This is all because we have accepted that the word 'jealousy' or being 'jealous' is a negative response we have to overcome or an act that someone inflicted on us and is victimizing us with, or because we want something someone else has or someone else wants something we have and we may lose it.
Just for one moment in time, let's separate the emotions we are feeling from the word "jealous". Forget completely the word, "jealous" and what it means. Now, what are you feeling without the definition of what it means to feel that way?
You feel 'hurt' inside, maybe in the abdominal area. What is that 'hurt' telling you?
Maybe it's telling you something is wrong? Yes, of course it's telling you that. Now, instead of bringing in the usual "definitions" of what that hurt means, think about the immediate situation that brought on the hurt. Try to understand what the emotions you are feeling are pointing to in real time. Then, without reacting through the force of the hurt energy, discuss the events that made you feel that way with your partner or who ever you are having the problem with.
Emotions are energy flows. We have an aura around our physical body made up of energy we can't see but we can feel through our emotions because emotions are energy. The energy of emotions are felt not only from ourselves but others also. When energies clash and don't flow together, something is wrong.
When we care a lot about someone, our emotional energies are tied in to each other very strongly. When one feels something emotionally, so does the other.
This is what co-relates are in a relationship. We are attracted emotionally and thus physically to someone who responds to our particular inner emotional needs. Usually these emotional connections are negative but seem positive at first, masquerading as love because the energy pull is so strong.
In our relationships, when the negatives in our emotional needs are being revealed but not dealt with realistically, our energy does not flow peacefully together, but is chaotic and erratic.
When I feel hurt inside when I think of you and your secretary, there is something off in the energy in both of us. If I resort to defense or blame or both, I am buying into the common definition of the word 'jealous' and responding how I have been programmed to believe about it.
If I realize only that I feel hurt inside which is an indication that my energy is off, then I can go a step further and realize that it is connected with you in relation to your secretary. Without blame or guilt, I can look realistically at the fact that our energy is not flowing together harmoniously in that area.
There is always a reason when the energy is off between two people who care a lot about each other. In connection with the secetary, it is obvious because it's the thought of you and your secretary that makes me feel hurt inside.
The energy is wrong there, whether the relationship is more intimate than it should be, whether there is a secret affair going on, or whether its been thought about but not acted upon. There are a lot of possibilities, some which could be entirely innocent, but the fact remains, something is distorting the energy flow between us in relation to the secretary.
If there was nothing but friendly comaradrie between you and her, I wouldn't feel the hurt caused by the distorted energy of something being hidden. Maybe a thought could come into my mind about it, but without the hurt feeling, there would be no place for the thought to take root.
Thoughts take root and grow in the soil of the emotions which cause the energy flows to run smoothly together or distort. This is the place where all trouble starts. For the energy to distort, there has to be two energy flows. Energy is always being given back and forth between people. This is why there are problems and disagreements or positive and successful endeavors.
Uneasy feelings, doubts, wariness, distrust, are all feelings manifesting because energy is meeting and clashing somehow. Why didn't you get the job you applied for? Did you get any inner feelings during the interview or a thought that it wasn't going well in your favor? Did you have an instant feeling of fear because you lied about one of the qualities you emphasized to the interviewer? All these things can cause a glitch in the flow of energy between you and create a negative result.
When energy is flowing smoothly, peace is established, love is shared and endeavors can have successful results. This is what the word 'synergy' means.
When there are problems and people are feeling negative emotions and there are divisions and disagreements, it is time to get down to the reality of what's happening. Just as in the jealousy problem, each emotion has its own special energy components.
Say that your friend is angry at you because you didn't return the lawn mower you borrowed. He doesn't know that you broke it and are waiting for your next paycheck to buy a part and fix it before returning it. You feel dumb because you broke it and he is angry thinking you are careless of returning it. He doesn't know the particulars, but guesses at the possibilities and he feels angry and irritated inside when he thinks about it.
When you see each other at a community outing, you avoid each other and the problem does not get resolved. There is this distorted and chaotic energy between you. Being caught up in emotions with corresponding words defined by how you're supposed to think and react, neither looks at the facts that would easily resolve the issue.
It is simply that where there is a discordant feeling inside, there is a corresponding discordance in the actions of the one the feelings are centered on. The energy flow is disrupted and peace needs to again be established by dealing with the truth in all its aspects.
Not facing facts and working them out is the cause of divorce and all break ups and divisions.
In the case of "jealousy", I could just say "We need to talk about something bothering me". You could affirm that and if we are fairly mature, we should be able to discuss the fact that I feel uneasy about you and your secretary. Bringing it out in the open establishes a place of sharing feelings honestly if we both care about our relationship. If you care more about my feelings than those of the secretary, maybe she should be released from her position.
If you become angry and call me possessive, your defensiveness proves more connection with the secretary than you would want me to know. You care less about hurting me than her.
Our feelings, if we can read them wisely, not be afraid of the truth they reveal, and don't emotionally respond according to the patterned definitions of the words we are conditioned to acting on, can lead us into new growth and maturity.
When we overreact from emotions and feelings we really don't want to know the truth. We delude ourselves because we don't want to handle the possibly painful truth. Yes, if I feel this way, it is because of what I fear may be happening. There is a cord of connection between the fear and the feared event.
If someone in that connection says you are wrong, overreacting, controlling or judgmental toward them, they are defending themselves or attacting you because they don't want you to know. Sometimes they will accuse you of what they are trying to hide.
This is not the time to get into self recriminations and guilt trips that maybe you are controlling and overreacting. Nor is it time to fly off the handle and accuse and demean the other. It is time to go inside and study the feeling, what and who it relates to, what words are associated with it and what emotions does it incur. When all the facts are there, you know why you feel like you do. Confront it and decide how to deal with it realistically.
I think we live most of the time in illusory worlds we create so we can feel as little pain as possible. We convince ourselves our mate is inherently faithful, our boss is totally honest and is not going to let us go next month, our children are not taking drugs or having sex, and the pastor of our church is not spending the offering at the casino.
When feelings to the contrary come up, we push them away thinking we are being negative and silly. Of course we believe in those we relate with, care about or look up to and we trust them. We are always shocked when something terrible comes out in the news about someone we never expected to do that or be that way!
We could have had a lot of feelings about something and just never listened to them. We are admonished not to trust our feelings or our emotions. People will laugh at us or disregard what we have to say if they think we are being led by our emotions.
We need to learn to trust our inner feelings, accept the obvious evidence and reveal the truth in a firm and mature way. We may save the life of a loved one. Better to face the truth than to brush it off lightly as a silly thought, and continue to live in false security. When we confront someone with truth we feel, it should be alone when appropriate, and we should know deeply that it's what we should do after surrendering it in prayer.
Maybe someone will call you a liar and want to know what you mean to accomplish by saying something so offensive. The truth can be offensive, it can be downright disgusting at times, but if its not faced and dealt with, it only gets worse and contaminates all around it even more. We have been afraid of being wrong, rocking the boat, of stirring up resentment or of being looked down upon by others. This is the kind of thing that made Jesus so unpopular. He spoke the undiluted truth. He told us to speak the truth in love. Love means dealing with hard and even seemingly impossible issues at times. Love means you may at times risk being offensive to the people you care about or want to impress. It also means possibly facing danger to yourself because you are making others angry. No matter what, healing is always the outcome of truth spoken in love.
Jesus became angry several times. He spoke in no uncertain terms and threw the money changers out of the temple and scattered and tore down all of their goods. He said to the scribes and pharasees that their father was Satan! He never was overly sentimental, neither did he overlook any wrong. Sometimes love is righteous anger.
However, some people use truth as a weapon rather then a way to work things out and move on harmoniously. If the intent of your heart is blame and retribution or punishment you will not be able to discuss reality and work out the problem. You will be led about by your emotions and matters will only get worse. To maintain a calm emotional state throughout all the storms, we only need to be in control of the rudder of our ship. This rudder is the words we speak, inside our mind and outside to the world. Any person who speaks out everything he feels is called a fool in Proverbs and he is called wise when he only speaks what is necessary.
"He who guards his mouth preserves his life, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction." Proverbs 13: 3
Wisdom rests in the heart of him who has understanding, but what is in the heart of fools is made known." Proverbs 14:33
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness. Proverbs 15:1-2
Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him." Proverbs 29:20
Jesus also spoke about our words. "...Hear and understand: Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man." Matthew 15:11.
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