Emotions – what their purpose is and how to use them to evolve to a new level of power and fulfilment.
I used to be like virtually everyone else on Planet Earth. Whatever I felt, I thought was real. If I felt good feelings towards someone, I took for granted that person was fabulous. When I got excited about things, I thought they were possible. When I felt shame, I assumed that I was a bad person. If I felt depressed, I saw no point to anything. If I felt fear, I assumed that either my life or my identity really was in mortal danger. If I was angry with someone, I really did think they were assholes. If I felt pessimistic about anything I totally believed in its impossibility.
In the earlier part of my adulthood I was subject to an emotional experience that told me I had nothing to give to life and life had nothing to give to me. So, I ended up crumpling into an object heap and lying around like a wounded animal resigned to being put down. Not to brag, but I’ve heard a lot of hitting rock bottom stories and I’ve yet to hear one where I go, “Crap, that’s worse than what I went through”.
So there are two important things I’ve learned about emotions: 1) They express your underlying beliefs about yourself, others and the world, not what is actually going on, and certainly not the full range of possibility available within yourself or any situation. In other words, they’re an unreliable guide to what’s going on in you and your life. 2) The actual function of emotions is to drive decisions. There are so many variables in a decision that they would be impossible without something that just compelled us to make a choice. If the emotional centres of the brain are cut out, as happens sometimes in brain surgery, the person who has lost their orbital frontal lobes can’t make decisions anymore.
So taking the first point, and looking at so called negative emotions, I have learned and observed that fear is related to trust. When we have trust issues we don’t feel physically or emotionally viable in life and experience a corresponding anxiety or terror or something in between that tells us we are not safe. Frustration corresponds to control, or more specifically the notion that we don’t have control. The idea that we are not good enough is conveyed by a sense of emptiness. Anger reflects a short-term sense of powerlessness. Right now, things aren’t the way you want them to be and you feel powerless to change that. Depression is a long-term sense of powerlessness, the belief that your condition or situation is more or less permanently hopeless. Like you might be angry if you get arrested but become depressed when you go to jail…God forbid.
No one in my ten-year tortured experience ever told me that how I felt about myself and life wasn’t real…that it was just a reflection of my beliefs. And I saw every kind of physical and mental health expert and alternative practitioner. So, I succumbed to my perceptions in ever intensifying degrees.
But what everyone wanted me to do was stop feeling the way I felt. Doctors, friends, family, co-workers, lovers, everyone. Because no one can handle emotional instability or tension. We’re terrified of inner conflict because we identify with it, which means we believe what it tells us. So, we want to mask it. We want it to go away, assuming like ostriches do, that if we can’t feel it, it’s not there. That our underlying sense of weakness has been conquered.
No one in that grim time helped me appreciate that inner conflict is the best tool for self-awareness. Those emotions actually speak to us, and if we listen to them, they tell us plainly in English (or whatever our native tongue is) what we believe about ourselves, others and the world. And that when we are able to be with them without identifying with them or reacting to them, we actually take the power out of the beliefs they express. Where do you think the expression “the truth will set you free” comes from??
It’s not just that deconstructing our emotions consciously leads to them settling down, which is often a significant benefit of doing so. The same process allows us to get in touch with our own spirit, the genius part of ourselves connected to everything through all time and space. Our all-powerful Natural Ability, as my friend Kris Barkway taught me to call it. This side of us always has an alternative view of ourselves and our potential and purpose, and an infallible strategy for actualizing all of that.
The average person, sadly, only has a relationship with their identity, and thereby their own sense of limitation. They’re identified with their separate, mechanical, chemical nature. And society only encourages them in that view of themselves. As mythology reminds us, Hobbits don’t want any other Hobbit to leave the Shire. So not only do most people believe what they feel is wrong with them, they also believe that it can only be fixed by means of mechanical and chemical tampering, which can even include belief clearing techniques, as they put the power in belief structures.
But as I learned, when you face what you believe about yourself, discover what is higher within yourself, and put the power in the higher through your self conscious focus, lo and behold, your whole experience of life can change very magically. That is what turned my life around and allowed me to live my life more as an expression of my potential, rather than as a victim of my belief system. And I’ve seen countless other people achieve the same by the same shift in consciousness.
Emotions are a very powerful force. When any emotion has the power, it will drive your perception of reality and what you have to do about it. For example, the feeling of depression might direct you to give up in defeat. And by the way, trying to override that emotion will only give it more power. But when you feel some sense of inspiration, that emotion will put you in an inspired state of mind and lead you to inspired action.
The Alchemists talk about using the higher vibration against the lower vibration, and I’m convinced they’re talking about emotion. When you are empowered to see what is going on for you both at the level of lower emotion AND at the level of higher emotion, it is then possible to self-consciously choose which emotion you want to have the power, which emotion you want your subconscious to take its cues from.
Training and practice in this ability leads to true transformation, a condition facilitated by a power greater than what we will ever likely understand. Which is why we call it magic, I guess. When we are empowered to leave the Shire, we cease to be so subject to the mechanical nature of the Universe, and wondrously take part in the mystical nature of Life.
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