- Mental Health
Your Emotional Guidance System
How are you feeling right now; right this minute? Really, can you identify what emotion you are experiencing? Some experts say, most people are actually feeling an average of five prevalent feelings at any given time.
If you can you are, in my experience and opinion, in the minority. Surprisingly, and yet not so surprisingly when you think about it, very few people are aware of what emotions are dancing around inside them, taking the lead. We are socialized to focus on the world around us. We are more likely to know what other people are feeling than what we ourselves are feeling.
Quite often when running one of my groups, the first thing I do is go around the table and ask each person, “How are you feeling right now?” There is a very significant reason I ask this question. When people ask us “How ya doing?” we often answer, “Fine” or “Good” without putting a second’s thought into the true answer. From the beginning of our lives, most of us have been given the message from others in one way or another, “Whatever you are feeling is not ok,” unless you are feeling an emotion that is comfortable for another, or better yet, that benefits the other. After years of being exposed to a multitude of different ways to disregard or disapprove of our feelings, we have, for the purpose of protecting ourselves from rejection and heartbreak disconnected ourselves from our internal world.
Many rehab centres use something that helps others get around the social conditioning to stifle their emotional energy and expression. When someone answers, “fine”, to the question, “How are you feeling?”, it is not accepted since “fine” is actually used in society to cover up what some are really feeling, which is often F-I-N-E – Fed up, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional. So, “fine” is not acceptable when attempting to heal. Healing from an addiction requires real connection and expression to real emotion.
The stirring and healing truth is…
Whatever feeling we are feeling, is the right feeling, it’s a significant feeling. I really do believe we are actually made to live our lives mainly based on two inner factors – intuition and emotion. And yet, these two essential tools are all but disbanded from our awareness in our younger years, for one reason or another. So, we live life blindly and on autopilot, making decisions based on what our outside world dictates.
Consider this – is it possible you have been going through life stumbling in the dark, experiencing by trial and error?
This is absolutely ok. If we had all this in tact all along, we’d probably just take it all for granted. All happens as it should. As “humans being”, we value and appreciate what we first lose, once we get it back.
As I’ve mentioned previously, we are now in a time of personal shift. Now is the time to find what we’ve lost, our inner worlds. One way we can get in touch with our emotions is to simply ask ourselves periodically, “What am I feeling?” If this is a difficult question to answer, as it is for many, you can keep a list of feelings with you to review. The ones that you are currently experiencing will jump out at you from the list.
Your Emotional Guidance System
Once you are in touch with these life-affirming entities within, you can use them to guide you along your path. Are you being true to yourself? Are you getting your needs met? Or are you stumbling off path? You can use what is called an Emotional Guidance Scale to help you figure these answers out. Here’s a basic example of a scale:
Joy / Knowledge / Empowerment / Freedom / Love / Appreciation
Enthusiasm / Eagerness / Happiness
Positive Expectation / Belief
Optimism / Competent / Secure / Important
Contentment / Happy
Frustration / Irritation / Impatience
Worry / Anxious
Anger / Aggressive / Defensive
Hatred / Rage
Insecure / Guilty / Unworthiness
Fear / Grief / Depression / Despair / Powerlessness
So, what are you feeling right at this very moment?
Find that emotion, or one that is similar to it, on the scale. The higher your current emotion is on this scale, the more aligned you are to being true to yourself, to being on your path, to having your needs met right in this moment. The further down the list, well, you know.
Some emotions are like a smoke detector
When a smoke detector goes off in your home, you know its time to either take some kind of action or get out. This is also true if you are experiencing anger, stress, anxiety or fear. You are responding normally to a situation you need to take action and make some kind of change or remove yourself.
The first step is to learn to feel comfortable (and not feel guilty, wrong, over-sensitive or over-reactive) with your anger, understanding it’s there for a reason. Then, and only then, can you learn to directly communicate and release it. You can ask yourself these 4 questions to help understand the cause of your anger:
1. Am I in a situation where I feel my personal control is being taken from me?
2. Is someone violating one or more of my human rights?
3. Is my anger actually a secondary emotion I am creating in order to replace my real emotion that makes me feel vulnerable? (such as fear, hurt, disappointment, betrayal)
4. Is my current situation triggering a similar situation from my past?
When using your emotions to guide you along your path, always be aware that the emotions you are experiencing in the present are connected to your present and not your past. Feelings connected to your past are just habits and addictions that keep you living in autopilot. They are triggers to past issues that need to be excavated from within, faced, and released from your core because they are like toxins that give you whispering false threats when your trying to live your present life.
Also, and I can’t stress this enough because you are definitely deserving of this, pay attention when you are experiencing some of the top half of the scale. You are where you are supposed to be. Don’t question it – just enjoy. Life is meant to be light. It’s always your choice of course, but by not following the happy trail, you just might miss out on your dream!
See how important it is to be aware of your emotions? Think of it this way – what would happen if a fire started in your home, and you’ve taken down your smoke detectors?