During the early stages of my spiritual journey I learnt something that changed my life. I learnt about emotions and how to deal with emotions. Most of us are somewhat in the dark when it comes to emotions, what they are and what to do with them. When I say in the dark I simply mean that we lack information, that is what darkness is. Light is information or consciousness, darkness is lack of information.
What are emotions?
Many of us also confuse emotions and feelings, they are not the same. An emotion comes from within as is a feeling BUT an emotion is a reaction TO something, whether ‘positive’ or ‘negative’. Happiness, excitement or sadness and anger are example of emotions. Emotions also keep us in duality. Meaning that we go in the extreme of a scale.
Feelings also come from WITHIN but they are NOT a reaction to something, they are a knowing, or what we call ‘gut feeling’, an intuition. Often we will ADD an emotion to a feeling but if we didn’t attach an emotion to a feeling, it would just be a simple knowing. Feelings are not subject to the law of duality. They are neutral. Feelings feel like stillness, deep peace, joy and gratitude. There are no opposites. Feelings are what we ARE without the ego.
Feelings and emotions are very different and they also create different outcomes.
We aren’t really taught to differentiate between the two. As a result we tend to believe an emotion when it arises whilst we tend to dismiss a feeling. And we wonder why our life isn’t going ‘right’.
The ‘problem’ is when we identify with the emotion as it arises. Everytime we do this (identify with it) we make things a bit more complicated than they are meant to be. The truth is an emotion is simply an energy in motion. e-motion. Yet as it arises within us, we don’t just feel it as is intended, we also start judging it, believing it and that is how we identify with it.
There is a great eye opening movie about the topic of emotions. I highly recomment watching it.
Emotions = energy
E-motions are in very simplistic terms energy waves that we feel through our body. The e-motions give our bodies sensations. It is those sensations that we tend to label. The ego labels the emotion. And because we label them (e.g: I am sad, I am angry, I am hurt) we become reactive to them. This means that instead of letting the e-motion move through us as would be the ‘ideal’ practice, we solidify it by holding onto it with our mind. We create stories around the e-motion and why we feel the way we feel and what we need to do to ‘fix’ it and/or get rid of it (when we’ve judged it as bad or unwanted).
In truth, an e-motion doesn’t need to be fixed, it just needs to be felt. An e-motion is just a passing energy, like a cloud is passing in the sky. Yet for us humans, the moment we feel an e-motion, we make it stick to us, because of our need to justify it and change it. We also stop the energy from moving through us. As a result it remains blocked inside of our bodies, it is ‘trapped’. This stops the natural flow of energy and creates energy blockages which in time manifest physically, as dis-ease.
So how exactly do we deal with emotions?
It’ a good idea to remember that e-motions are not really our ‘own’. Imagine e-motions as little bubbles of energy with a specific frequency floating around and as they find a matching vibration (us) to theirs they will attach themselves. Just like that. When they do, you will feel sensations in your body that hold the frequency of that bubble and your ego will automatically go into its cabinet of all past experiences you ever lived searching for MEANING. To label that e-motion and deal with it. Then comes the story around why you feel how you feel.
In other cases you might actually have entered the field of a person with a specific e-motion (let’s say anger) and suddenly you will experience exactly that (you’ll start feeling angry and will start remembering something that makes you feel that way) not realising that the e-motion was not yours in the first place. That is what ‘mood swings’ can be amongst other things. We can go from being happy, then someone walks past us grumpy and we end up feeling grumpy and we don’t even know why.
Now the point is not to BLAME anyone for how we are experiencing the e-motion. That’s just more ego. The aim is to become AWARE of the e-motion . To become aware of what e-motions really are and how they are expressed through the body.
The challenge is that the ego gets involved. The ego will either want to make the emotion : right, wrong, good or bad. It will want to create loads of stories to justify it and most of all it will want to blame others (when it feels negative) for how that e-motion feels inside the body.
The truth is, none of it is true. Nothing that comes from the ego, is true. The ego REACTS to the emotion, our true self (the you that is behind the ego) doesn’t. The ego wants to get involved, it wants to get rid of OR hold onto. The true self doesn’t.
What I have found works with emotion however is to ALWAYS feel it but without going into the story of it. The idea is not to suppress it or get rid of it. The idea is to acknowledge it and then to leave it alone. It’s never necessary to get all involved with it. Imagine getting involved with all the clouds that pass, giving them reasons for being, stories and blaming them. That’s a very difficult and emotionally strenuous practice. The moment we stop identifying with the emotion is when healing can happen a whole lot faster. Meaning that instead of taking months or even years to process an emotion, it’ll take much less time… (with practice)
What matters is to remember that we are NOT our emotions.
That emotions are passing bubbles that have attached themselves to us because they matched in frequency with an aspect of our being but it is NOT who we are.
Getting involved in the emotion NEVER works. It doesn’t. Because it’s ego stuff. The only way the ego is satisfied is when it is made right. Imagine needing to be right over every single emotion that you experience. How exhausting. But not just, it is simply insane.
When we practice feeling the emotion without attachment meaning without identifying with it, we build a muscle. We become less emotional and more aware. And like anything else, the more we practice, the easier it gets. Stepping out of emotions and not being emotional is essentially what spiritual growth is about. A detachment from the ego.
Not being emotional doesn’t mean that you are cold-hearted, however it allows you to look at life from a broader perspective. You become more aware, you are not in reaction to something or someone, instead you are tuned in from the perspective of source. It’s a perspective of non judgement and THAT is where freedom is. When we no longer need to get invloved in the trauma and drama of an emotion through our ego, we come back to that inner stillness.
When we allow our emotions to flow through us with ease without holding onto it, we become lighter. Because we understand that emotions are just that.
It’s not an easy practice but with time, the benefits of dis-identifying with emotion is bliss. We no longer get all worked up in our head, we no longer contrat our bodies and maintain the pain stuck inside our bodies for months, sometimes years. We no longer get stuck on loops of trauma and drama. We become lighter. We free ourselves. Instead of focusing our energy (and usually A LOT of energy is required when we deal with an emotion) we focus on how it feels inside the body and we let it move through us.