Some people may think emotions are unreliable. However, when we use emotions to inform the rest of our experience we have much better outcomes. And, in this hyper-cognitive time, connecting to our emotional experience can be something foreign or unfamiliar.
Have you ever thought about what emotions are? Have you ever wondered why humans have them? Throughout human history emotions have developed to help people survive. We have fear, sadness, guilt and many others to help us get through challenging events.
Take fear for example. We have all experienced moments when the hair on the back of our neck starts to stand up. We may be in an unfamiliar place, or suddenly we notice that danger may be lurking. This is fear telling you that things are not right. Without this emotion we wouldn’t be able to tell when we are potentially in danger.
EMOTIONS KEEP US SAFE
An example of this could be something we have witnessed or experienced in our lives. Imagine being with a new group of people. There may be feelings of nervousness and uncertainty. Suddenly one of the members of the group begins to chastise you. They tell you that you aren’t worthy of being in the group (in so many words). What is important is to feel anger and defensiveness. You need to tell this person that what they are saying is not acceptable and they need to stop it (in so many words).
If this doesn’t happen, if there is no access to your anger, you could be ostracized from the group and lose social status. This can be very traumatizing for people. In this case anger is your friend and helps you to insure your survival.
However, if we have spent our lives learning from caretakers that anger is not acceptable and we should not feel this emotion we may not be able to access anger. We are somewhat defenseless in this situation.
Another example could be someone who doesn’t feel guilty when they hurt someone else. Guilt is a very important emotion that allows us to self-correct our behavior so that we don’t treat people poorly. If we don’t learn how to change certain behaviors that are disruptive we may be pushed out of the group again.
IN MY WORK
My work with my clients is to identify the emotions they may not be comfortable feeling and giving them permission to start to feel those emotions again. It takes time and is not usually a comfortable process. However, the benefits are quite enlivening. Suddenly a person that was struggling to survive in certain parts of their lives is given the emotions that can help them to take better care of themselves.
In my own experience becoming a more embodied, emotional man has allowed me the benefits of surviving better but also the capacity to connect with those around me in joy and playfulness.
If you are noticing in your life some emotions that are not allowed I encourage you to contact me about how you can reengage these emotions.
Wishing You The Day You Need To Have!