Different people define emotions in different ways. Some make a distinction between emotions and feelings saying that a feeling is the response part of the emotion and that an emotion includes the situation or experience, the interpretation, the perception, and the response or feeling related to the experience of a particular situation. For the purposes of this article, I use the terms interchangeably.
John D. (Jack) Mayer says, “Emotions operate on many levels. They have a physical aspect as well as a psychological aspect. Emotions bridge thought, feeling, and action – they operate in every part of a person, they affect many aspects of a person, and the person affects many aspects of the emotions.”
Dr. Maurice Elias says, “Emotions are human beings’ warning systems as to what is really going on around them. Emotions are our most reliable indicators of how things are going on in our lives. Emotions help keep us on the right track by making sure that we are led by more than the mental/ intellectual faculties of thought, perception, reason, memory.”
· Why Bother With Emotions:
Emotions control your thinking, behavior and actions. Emotions affect your physical bodies as much as your body affects your feelings and thinking. People who ignore, dismiss, repress or just ventilate their emotions, are setting themselves up for physical illness. Emotions that are not felt and released but buried within the body or in the aura can cause serious illness, including cancer, arthritis, and many types of chronic illnesses. Negative emotions such as fear, anxiety, negativity, frustration and depression cause chemical reactions in your body that are very different from the chemicals released when you feel positive emotions such as happy, content, loved, accepted.
· Belief Systems
Underlying much of our behavior is what is called a belief system. This system within us filters what we see and hear, affecting how we behave in our daily lives. There are many other elements that affect our lives, including past lives and the core issues we come into this life for resolution, but our belief systems in this life have a major effect on what we think and do.
Your belief system affects your perceptions or how you interpret what you see, hear and feel. For example, a person raised by an angry man or woman will view people in the future with beliefs that anger is bad or that it is something to fear. Another example would be someone who is quite intelligent but who has never been encouraged or honored for their intelligence, this person might believe they are stupid. Men raised in conservative societies might have the belief that women who work outside of the home are not as good as those who do not work outside of the home.
It takes a lot of work to look at yourself and identify the beliefs that are affecting your life in a negative manner. However, knowing your beliefs will give you a sound basis for emotional freedom. I do believe that it’s wise to deal with the belief systems before dealing with the identification and release of emotions. First things first!
· Other People, Places, and Things Cannot Change How You Feel The only person who can change what you feel is you. A new relationship, a new house, a new car, a new job, these things can momentarily distract you from your feelings, but no other person, no material possession, no activity can remove, release, or change how you feel.
How often do you hear people say things like “when I have enough money, I won’t be afraid anymore”, only to find there never seems to be enough money to stop being afraid. Or “when I’m in a secure relationship I won’t feel lonely any more”, and finding they are still lonely regardless of their relationship. We need to understand that we take our feelings with us wherever we go. A new dress, a new house, a new job, none of these things change how we feel. Our feelings remain within us until we release them.
· Emotions Are Not the Only Cause of Illness
Emotions are not the only cause of illness. Little babies and young children get ill, and not always because of their emotional issues. There are many causes of illness including emotions, but they are not the sole cause of illness.
The causes of illness today are quite different from the issues causing illness 20 or 30 years ago. We are living in a world filled with chemical, metal, and atomic poisons, radiation, pollution, and pesticides in our food. We are bombarded with all types of electricity. These energies affect the physical, mental/ intellectual, energetic and emotional health of people.
As we travel more, moving with ease from country to country, different types of infection causing elements are spreading around the world more easily. Infections of parasites, worms, viruses, and different types of infectious bacteria are many times greater than 20 years ago. Our water supplies are filled with chemicals and metals. The benefits of antibiotics have also brought with them the difficulty of the candida fungus overgrowth and other physical and emotional difficulties. The causes of illness today are different.
· Two Basic Emotions In Life – Love and Fear
There are only two basic emotions that we all experience, love and fear. All other emotions are variations of these two emotions. Thoughts and behavior come from either a place of love, or a place of fear. Anxiety, anger, control, sadness, depression, inadequacy, confusion, hurt, lonely, guilt, shame, these are all fear-based emotions. Emotions such as joy, happiness, caring, trust, compassion, truth, contentment, satisfaction, these are love-based emotions.
There are varying degrees of intensity of both types of emotions, some being mild, others moderate, and others strong in intensity. For example, anger in a mild form can be felt as disgust or dismay, at a moderate level can be felt as offended or exasperated, and at an intense level can be felt as rage or hate. And the emotion that always underpins anger is fear.
· Physical Effects of Emotions
Emotions have a direct effect on how our bodies work. Fear-based emotions stimulate the release of one set of chemicals while love-based emotions release a different set of chemicals. If the fear-based emotions are long-term or chronic they damage the chemical systems, the immune system, the endocrine system and every other system in your body. Our immune systems weaken and many serious illnesses set in. This relationship between emotions, thinking, and the body is being called Mind/Body Medicine today.
· You Cannot Control Your Emotions
You cannot change or control your emotions. You can learn how to be with them, living peacefully with them, transmuting them (which means releasing them), and you can manage them, but you cannot control them.
Think of the people who go along day after day seeming to function normally, and all of a sudden they will explode in anger at something that seems relatively trivial and harmless. That is one sign of someone who is trying to control or repress their emotions but their repressed emotions are leaking out.
The more anyone tries to control their emotions the more they resist control, and the more frightened people eventually become at what is seen to be a “loss of emotional control”. It is a vicious circle.
It’s important today to be politically correct. And that means not challenging or disagreeing with what the average person believes. It means not expressing negative emotions in public. Showing emotion in public in North American and European societies represents being “out of control” a great sign of weakness. People feel uncomfortable with those who express strong emotions. We are a society that is taught to hide our emotions, to be ashamed of them or to be afraid of them. Regardless, we are born with them and must live with them. This means learning how to know them, be with them, and release them.
· The Difference Between Core Issues and Emotions
We each come into this lifetime with at least one core issue to resolve. Different situations will continue to present themselves in different but repeat patterns until you have dealt with the core issues in your life.
A few examples of core issue are abandonment / victimization, demanding justice in all matters, living spiritually rather than materially. These are overarching issues that affect emotions completely. Many people find out about their core issues by learning to deal with their emotions. It is a gentle pathway that leads you into a deeper knowing of your core issues.
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