One of the most influential relationships that you will ever have in your adult life is the relationship between your mind and your emotions.
We are just beginning to understand the sheer enormity of the power of our mind... But what about our emotions? Many of our emotions get a significantly bad press, and yet in my experience, all of our emotions are vitally important, even the ones we would rather not have!
I want to challenge the perception of negative emotions and create a case for our need to welcome in, embrace and appreciate, absolutely everything that we feel... Yes, even our most negative feelings!
Our emotions actually serve two main purposes. Firstly, they are our navigational system, they give us a continual flow of information. And secondly, they generate the energy that powers our thoughts into action.
We are all in a continual state of relationship, a continual flow and exchange of energy, and our emotions are an integral part of this exchange. As we receive energy, our emotions give us the information we need to define the experience that we are receiving. As we then move forwards in life, it is our emotional energy that powers us into action, shaping and coloring the way that we engage and relate in the world and this in turn flows back to us.
So our emotions are not designed to be static or to stay fixed in our system. They are transformational and their role is one of active creativity. This continual stream of information, this two-way exchange, is designed to be in a continual state of flow. It is an integral part of our natural evolutionary process of life and an integral part of our capacity to create, to live, and to thrive.
Wisdom is the creative outcome of knowledge and experience integrating and joining together and it is our emotions that inform and create this possibility. If you think about it, the speed at which our emotions inform us is extraordinary. The way that we feel can change in a moment, it's a SatNav system that literally works at the speed of light! To access the extraordinary transformational power of our emotional energy we need to be able listen to our emotions and have a healthy relationship with them.
Access to our emotions gives us the power to make informed and influential choices throughout our lives. When we are unable to listen to the emotional content of our experience, our emotions become stuck in our system, like an energetic roadblock. Our emotions are not designed to stay in our system. They are there and available to us, moment by moment and carry the potential for extraordinary transformational power. When we understand the nature of our emotions and the crucial role that they carry for us we can begin to understand why it is so important for us to develop our ability to be fully emotionally available to ourselves, to be present to our emotional experience and responsive to the way that we feel and to the information that our emotions are giving us.
We can begin to see why the relationship between our mind and our emotions is so significant and so influential in our capacity to become conscious adults.
Our mind is the extraordinary tool that gets to listen to this information, and make sense of it. Our mind is the extraordinary tool that gets to process our experiences in ways that enable a true integration to take place and for wisdom to become a natural part of our everyday, moment to moment, growth and evolution. Our mind is the extraordinary tool that gets to take charge of the steering wheel and it is our emotions that provide us with the SatNav information that we need to be consciously directional and it's our emotions that put fuel in the tank and oil in the engine.
So let's consider the value of everything that we feel... Yes, even the emotions that get culturally blacklisted.
Take fear for example. If we have no fear at all and then find ourselves in a dangerous situation, let's say a car comes careering down the road, we won't know to get out of the way. If we've learned to shut down a natural fear response we can find ourselves unavailable to the early warning signs of abusive situations, and then find ourselves in deep water. Without fear we cannot engage in any form of self-care or self-protection. We won't know how to look out for ourselves. One of the many problems that we have with fear is that once activated, we tend to hold onto it. It remains in our system and influences our future perceptions and interactions.
Let's think about guilt. If we have no capacity to experience guilt, then we will have no capacity to develop a conscience. At its best it is a profoundly valuable emotion, however when used inappropriately it can become a weapon of manipulation and when stuck in our system it becomes a significant emotional block. The power it carries is no longer transformational.
Anger is another classic example. At its best the energy of anger creates passion, pride, assertiveness, determination, motivation and a sense of justice. At its worst it generates hatred and violence. To engage in any form of creative change we need this vital and powerful energy.
The problem is never the emotion itself. Our problems occur when we are left carrying an emotional component that was never designed to remain static or be stuck within our system. When this happens we then use our emotional energy inappropriately, causing distress and difficulty for both ourselves and others.
Learning to be emotionally responsive is at the very core of our capacity to live creatively. Emotional responsiveness is the nature of true empathy and this responsiveness begins with the relationship that we have with our own emotional experience.
Thank you and take care.
Jenny Florence enjoys conversation with her readers.
Log on to her website, a-z-of-emotionalhealth.com to listen to Audio Talks about all aspects of Emotional Health.
Her first audio book, Emotional Health, the Voice of Our Soul, is now available on Amazon.