So often, it seems like our emotions make no sense. Why do we get so upset about the littlest things? How can we be so calm when big things happen?
Some of us are more emotional than others. I happen to be one of those emotional empathic types. I cry more easily. I became enraged when I think there’s injustice. I feel emotions BIG. I’ve learned that I can feel other peoples emotions, sometimes even more easily than I can feel my own! I’ve had to create some unique skills so that I don’t feel nuts all the time.
Oh yes, I am an emotional Pisces. And yet, if there’s a trauma happening or a crisis, I can be cool as a cucumber. Maybe it has something to do with being a mom. I feel like I developed a skill to set my own emotions aside so that I can tend others, starting with my kids.
Well, when you are a sensitive emotional type like me, you either learn to work with your emotions or you go bonkers. I’ve tried both. And I’ve decided that I like working with my emotions better than feeling like I’ve lost my mind. 😉
Here’s what I’ve learned. Each one of my raw emotions has a wisdom message for me. But that wisdom message is not about the what my brain is saying went wrong, who is at fault, or why I’ve been done wrong. The wisdom message is simpler than that. It is elemental. And it is different for each emotion. I want to share what our 3 main emotion categories are signaling, and how you can use this information to make your emotions allies of wisdom and support.
Let’s start with anger. Whether I feel just a little “frustrated“ or whether I am roaring with rage, I am channeling the raw essence of anger through me. It can be a pretty intense experience to feel the fullness of an anger response. And I have learned to question my own blaming thoughts that tend to go with it, because they tend to create a bunch of drama before I even figure out if they’re true.
In its purest essence, I have learned that my anger is a perimeter alarm. It means that something, or someone, has intruded or penetrated my boundaries. And sometimes, they are trouncing my boundaries simply because I invited them to do so, and they didn’t know better. So I can’t really blame other people all the time, even if I feel really mad.
Check this out for yourself. When you feel angry, instead of believing what your brain is telling you right away, you might ask instead, “How am I being intruded upon right now? What boundary do I have that is being trounced? How is another energy or person drawing energy from me that I don’t want to give?“ And then listen. It might be something simple. “He didn’t respond when I told him I loved him! I opened and pulled him in, and now I realize I don’t want him in here!” “She still hasn’t done the dishes from last night! That’s a breach of our agreement!”
When you inquire in this way, you might discover that the person or energy that is intruding means you no harm. Maybe you even invited them in without realizing. Or you realize you didn’t communicate clearly with them. This can really help de-escalate anger, make sense of it, and use it to remedy the situation.
What about fear? I’ve learned that fear is my system telling me to pay attention to something important. Sometimes, it is an actual danger I need to pay attention to in order to protect myself. But more often, it is simply something I am ignoring or glossing over. For example, sometimes I feel anxiety if I haven’t moved my body in a while. I feel nervous and antsy. I’ve learned that this is a signal from my emotional body to tune in, get quiet and listen to what I am ignoring. And there it is. My body is begging to move. OK. Now I know what to do. Go for a walk. Pick up the kettle bell. Move the energy.
So when you feel scared, you might try this too. You can stop and ask yourself, “OK what? What do I need to be paying attention to right now?“ And let the fear direct your attention to the place that needs your energy. It is not likely a tiger hiding behind a bush. It’s probably something simpler.
Then there’s grief. Grief is such a rascal. Sometimes grief feels like sadness, sometimes like exhaustion, sometimes like it’s almost irritation. But underneath it all, grief is a calling to surrender and give up what no longer serves.
So if you wake up melancholy, feeling a vague sense of grief or loss, you might ask yourself “what am I clinging onto that actually needs to go? What can I surrender into for more ease and peace?“
As you can see, communicating with emotions in this way really ruins the whole victim game. I mean, sometimes I don’t feel like being this conscious about my emotions. The little girl part inside of me wants to find a bad guy and just blame them. Easy! But it usually creates drama that doesn’t get her what she wants, anyway.
That little one inside wants attention. Love. Understanding. So this process requires compassion for that little one as go. Even as you have these conversations so reasonably with yourself, it’s also important to cuddle all the tender parts inside that are suffering with fear, rage, and sadness. Emotions can be intense and scary for your inner kid.
I do find asking these questions to be so useful. I hope that you can make use of them in your own way and in your own life. I’d love to hear how it goes for you here in comments.
Working with emotions in this way is one of the skills I teach in my Intuitive Genius program and when I walk people through Healing the 9 Life Passages. Accelerating your intuitive development, and integrating it into a life well lived, requires these kinds of skills. If you are curious to learn more about this work with me, please take my Work With Me Assessment to check it out.