Emotions are often seen as an inconvenience - as things that do more harm than good. And, when someone has this outlook, they are likely to experience a lot of ‘negative’ emotions.
Consequently, they may alternative between being overwhelmed by how they feel and disconnecting from how they feel. Just being with how they feel is going to be a challenge for them.
If they had the tendency to feel good, there would be no reason for them to have this outlook. But, through having experienced so much emotional pain, it will have caused them to believe that the emotional part of their nature doesn’t benefit them.
Removing this part of their nature may be seen as something that would allow them to finally experience life differently. There is the chance that they will spend time with other people who have a similar viewpoint.
The Forgotten Area
Someone like this might know how to cook wonderful meals or to manage a large company, for instance, yet they won’t know a great deal about their emotions. The understanding that they have of their own emotions will be no better than their understanding of what it would be like to live on another planet.
However, this doesn’t mean that someone like this is the exception in today’s world. In many ways, the kind of relationship that they have with their emotions is simply a consequence of living in the modern-day world.
The Defining Factor
The type of relationship that someone has with their own emotions is usually the result of what took place during the beginning of their life. So, if someone’s early years were a time when their needs were generally met, they are likely to have a healthy relationship with their emotions as an adult.
On the other, if this was a time when their needs were rarely, if ever, met, they probably won’t have a healthy relationship with their emotions as an adult. There are exceptions, of course, as someone can develop a healthy relationship with their emotions as an adult even if they didn’t get what they needed as a child.
Throughout someone’s time in the education system, it is unlikely that they would have been given any guidance on their emotions. The years would then have gone by and the pain within them may have got even worse.
And, if they were to go to their doctor, they may end up being put on some kind of medication or referred to a behavioural therapist, for instance. The first option probably won’t allow them to gain a better understanding of what is going on within them and the second option might not be a lot better.
A Common Point of View
When it comes to the behavioural approach, one can end up coming to believe that their thoughts always define how they feel. The way to control how they feel will then be to control how they think.
Being mindful of what takes place in the head and choosing to think the right thoughts may work, then again, it might not have much of an impact. At this point, they may start to wonder if their thoughts always control how they feel or if this is simply a half-truth.
What the approach above ignores is that while what is going on up top can define how someone feels in their body, what is going on in someone’s body can also define what is taking place up top. Said another way, it is a two-way system, and what is going on down below can have a far greater effect on someone’s life that what is going on up top.
This is why the body has been seen as the unconscious mind, as it is where someone keeps the parts of themselves that they don’t want to face – their shadow. Trauma and emotional pain is stored in the body.
What has taken place during someone’s adult years will have played a part when it comes to the emotional pain that is in their body, but what took place when they were growing up is likely to have played an even bigger part. One way of looking at the pain in their body is to see it as being the result of the many different selves/split-off parts that they are carrying.
These selves will be crying out to be heard and acknowledged; the last thing they want is to be ignored or controlled. And although these selves won’t reflect their true-self, they can end up taking over.
A Mater of Survival
The reason they have so many wounded selves within them is likely to be because they were unable to handle the pain they experienced as a child. Each time they felt overwhelmed, they would have had to disconnect from how they felt and to push it out of their awareness.
They wouldn’t have had the ability to handle how they felt at this age and no one would have been there to support them, so this would have been the only option available. This would have been a defence mechanism that their mind used to ensure that their life didn’t come to an end.
In most cases, these split-off parts are likely to exist due the fact that their caregivers were unable to be present when they were younger. This is why presence is what will allow these parts to be integrated, thereby allowing them to function as a whole human being and to express their true-self in the process.
Thus, this is not about someone trying to force or to change anything; it is about acknowledging these selves/parts and allowing them to speak out. They may have numerous different selves within them, which is why this is not something that will happen overnight.
This is a process that can take place with the assistance of a therapist or a healer. What this will also do is allow them to develop a better relationship with their emotions and to feel more at peace.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.