“The key to working with happiness healthfully is to see it as a momentary passage and not a final destination.” – Karla McLaren, The Language of Emotions
In How to Always Stay Positive, Part 1 we discussed the merits of rephrasing our words and thoughts toward what is possible and the outcomes we truly desire for ourselves. The intent behind rephrasing our thoughts is to engage the feeling of capability and knowledge of our true desires.
If you followed the seven day challenge proposed last week, you may have realized that focusing on the “do” was not all that easy. Why? It often takes work to identify our true needs and desires. Whether we are dealing with our partners, co-workers, or situations such as debt – the question is the same. Are we committed to the realization of our true selves, values, and needs? If not, we may find it difficult, if not impossible to maintain a positive outlook on life.
“Getting to know yourself inside and out is a continuous journey of peeling back the layers of the onion and becoming more and more comfortable with what is in the middle, the true essence of you. “ Bradberry & Greaves, Emotional Intelligence 2.0
Embedded in last week’s post was a brief reference to acknowledging and processing our emotions. Most people tend to shy away from feelings such as anger, sadness, and fear. We prefer to skip immediately to joy, happiness and positivity! I would argue that all emotions, including those generally regarded as negative, present us with the very information we need to be healthy and happy.
Emotions alert us to some important piece of information; that we need halt our current actions and redirect our attention internally to assess, identify, and decide what steps to take next. Rephrasing our thoughts is not designed to avoid our feelings; rather, it is the outcome of learning from our feelings. The best way to stay positive is to lean in to our emotions rather than away from them. Allow them to run their course. Then, return to a state of confidence and peace.
“All emotions tell the absolute truth, either about the specific situation that brought the emotion into play, or about some area of the psyche. Even irrational, trapped, or repetitive emotions tell the truth about something.” – Karla McLaren
In the book, The Language of Emotions, McLaren suggests that there are healthy and unhealthy states of all emotions. Healthy states exist when we initially sense a problem, not after we have repressed our feelings and eventually blow up at the world! She helps us redefine common emotions to identify what they are here to teach us about ourselves:
Anger – “What must be protected?”
- Set appropriate boundaries, honor ourselves, maintain “healthy detachment”
- Connection to our authentic self
- Healthy expression helps us to avoid passivity
- Provides energy to communicate and behave respectfully
Fear – “What action should be taken?”
- Brings awareness to our surroundings, changes, glitches in the matrix
- Opportunity to prepare for what is about to happen
- Alerts anger to engage healthy boundaries
- Opportunity to avoid people and situations which could be unhealthy
Jealousy – “What must be healed?”
- Restore boundaries that have been violated
- Choose trustworthy people to develop relationships with
- Combination of fear and anger, specifically within intimate or very important relationships
- Opportunity to identify true risks to the relationship vs. personal insecurities
Sadness – “What must be released/rejuvenated?”
- Trust the natural progression of time and human relationships
- Release ourselves and others from unmet expectations
- Develop a new outline for deeper, more fulfilling relationships with loved ones
- Release self-defeating behaviors, listen to our natural wisdom
Grief – “What must be mourned/released?”
- Requests we become quiet and sit in the depths of our soul when there is no option but to let go physically (death) or figuratively (end of relationship)
- Opportunity to avoid repeated fear, anxiety, and trauma due to loss; connect to the real flow of life, loss, and death
- Make space for new connections; expands our capacity to love; respect for the fragility of life and relationships
- Help your intellect and spirit mature and experience wholeness
If we learn to use our emotions as our guide we can identify internal and external conflicts.
We can position ourselves toward a healthy state of being; ask questions instead of making grand assumptions.
We can begin to see the world for what it really is and, more importantly, what it can be.
Until next time my friends!