ZIAM Episode 36: When to Let Yourself Feel Emotional or Not
Do you ever have really emotional days? Maybe you get really angry or resentful for everything that you’re doing in your life or how hard you’re working? Or maybe things aren’t working out. Maybe you get really sad or really depressed. How do you know when you need to work on your personal development to get your life happier or when you need to wallow and just be with the emotions that you are having? Well, today I’m going to tell you a little bit more about how to decide which way to go when you’re feeling emotional so that you can really be healthy and strong in your emotional awareness state.
Sometimes I get to this place where I’m really down or I’m really angry. There’s a tool that I use, the internal guidance system, to let me know whether or not I need to be with these emotions, fully wallow in them, let them happen. It doesn’t matter whether it’s anger, bitterness, resentment. It could be feelings of depression or really deep levels of sadness. Should I lift myself up? Should I change my state? Should I look at what’s happening? Is there a story I’m running in my head? One of the things to know is that first of all, of course, I’m using the tool the internal guidance system. You can find a video that walks you through this tool that you have, you were born with. It’s located in your body between your throat and upper chest area, and you’ve been physically feeling it your whole life. If you want to get in touch with it and feel what I’m talking about, go to zeninamoment.com and do the video. There’s a short, little exercise. It’ll give you an awareness of what I’m talking about.
This internal guidance system, what it does is lets you know whether the thoughts you’re thinking are in alignment and true for you in your life or whether they’re out of alignment and not true. What happens is that our emotions are a biochemical reaction that happens in the brain to a story that we’re making, to ideas that we’re having about our past, our present, or our future, about the people around us, about ourselves. They’re stories that are being generated by our mind based on our belief systems about who we are, how people are with us, and what is possible for us in our experience, in our world, in our life, in our hopes, in our dreams, all of that. In these stories, there is meaning. Let’s say someone you know is diagnosed with cancer. That has meaning, the possibility of losing them or the possibility of you needing to take on added work in your life in order to support them getting through this healing. Maybe you’ve had many people beat cancer and come through it. They’ve had this miraculous new life come through this difficult, challenging experience, and you are actually feeling excited and thrilled. Of course, worried, but also thrilled that this person is going to get an opportunity to have this new way of looking and being in life.
Whatever the meaning is that your mind makes up about something creates a chemical reaction that is your emotional body. It’s your emotional state. Now, these emotions can be just like your thoughts, either true and in alignment or not true and false, a story you’re making up. The difference is, just like using your IGS, one will be opening if it’s true and in alignment. These emotions that you’re feeling are connected to a story that is true, that is actual, that is going to happen or has happened, or is real or not true, and it’s not going to happen, but then you’ll feel a closing sensation. An example could be making up a story about one of your children, about what’s going on in their life. Maybe you’re making up a story about a limitation that you feel they have, and there’s a sadness attached to it. If the sadness is opening, that limitation that you’re feeling is true. It will be a rich experience that you’ll be able to move into and through, and support your child in becoming even more extraordinary with what they have to work with, more authentically themselves. If it’s not true, you’re making up a story, possibly from your own childhood, or a worry that you have, a way of seeing the world. If it’s not true that your child has this limitation, you’ll feel an uncomfortable suffering, anxiety feeling attached to that story about a limitation. That means the limitation doesn’t exist.
Throughout our lives, we are in the midst… I know this may sound a little complex, but hang in here with me… Throughout our lives, we are in the midst of an emotional experience. Our emotions can either be attached to meaning that we’re putting on stories whether they’re true or not. If they are true, if the emotional experience is true, it’s in alignment, then even if the emotion is uncomfortable, whether it’s resentment or anger, rage, or depression like a sorrow, or just a deep feeling of malaise, it’ll be opening. What that means is you won’t have any suffering. You’ll just be with the pure experience of the emotion. That means that in the opening, that emotion needs to be felt. It is an authentic part of your spiritual being-ness, your soul. Regardless of what it is, if you’re open, you must express that feeling.
Now, oftentimes we’ll shut those down because, especially in the United States or in developing countries where we’ve got a lot of success, and wealth, and things, there’s this theme that we have to be happy all the time, that all of our emotions need to be pleasant or there’s something wrong with our lives. But that’s not true. We are rich, extraordinary beings. For instance, an example is when my mom died. I was 23 years old when she died. She was my best friend, and I loved her I adored her. When I would hold thoughts after her death of how much she brought to my life, I would have this powerful sense of loss and grief that was so important for me to feel, but I was open. It was healing; and it was beautiful; and it was rich; and it was important to be expressing that deep love and the grief of loss. When I would shift my thoughts…It could be even 15 minutes later…to woe is me, self-pity, who’s going to be there when I get married? Who’s going to teach me how to raise children and give me feedback? My mom gave me great feedback…and this woe is me experience would happen, I would close. It was hollow. Even though I was still feeling grief, it was this hollow, sick feeling. There was no rejuvenation in it. There was no health. There was no power in it. It was just a collapse. It was just ugly.
There are times when you may get really angry, and you’re closed. It’s ugly and it’s collapsing. That means what you’re thinking, the story you’re generating, is not true. Or you get depressed or you get sad, and that hollow feeling of suffering and anguish, it means what you’re thinking is not true. You need to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and get over your shit, and figure out what lie you’re telling yourself that’s unempowering you in your life and keeping you away from your greatness, and your richness, and your soul’s purpose, and growth.
Then there’s other times when you may need to take the day off work. You’re feeling desperately sad about something in your life. You may not even know what it’s connected to in the moment, but that sadness is opening. That means that the cellular level of your body and the being-ness of your soul needs to feel that hurt, or that pain, or that sadness, or that anger. It’s opening and it’s healthy. What comes out of that is like rich compost. Compost is full of rotting shit, but it’s good stuff to put on your garden. That compost is a very powerful tool for change and for you to have a healthy body, and a healthy being, and a healthy soul, to come to a place in your life where you’re feeling very clear, once you’ve moved through that emotion, about a change you need to make, or a communication you need to have with somebody, or something you need to let go of.
As you’re learning to use your IGS, you’re going to have these emotional experiences come up. It’s your job to gauge is it opening? If so, look at what you’re thinking, because those thoughts are true and important. Or is it closing? Then look at what you’re thinking, because that means what you’re thinking is not true, and that is a story that is not serving you, and it’s hurting you. It’s actually hurting you on a cellular level with your own personal physical health all the way through to your spiritual development level and the people around you. The opening emotions, even if they’re unpleasant, when you bring them out, other people can empathize with you, and love you, and support you, and get you, and understand where you’re coming from. Even if it’s anger, they’ll hear you. Anger is a powerful change agent in our lives if it’s opening. It’s destructive if it’s closing, but it’s a powerful change agent if it’s opening. Start playing with this. Notice what’s going on with your emotional state and what your IGS is sharing with you about the meaning of the story you’re making up.
Powerful lesson today, a lot of information. I’m going to keep moving on this. We’re going to be working on boundaries. I would encourage you if you’re in this, the boundaries would be the next podcast to listen to, which will be the next one we’re doing. It’s a three-part series that I’m doing to enable you to begin learning what to do with these opening emotions, one outlet, which is boundaries.
This is Zen in a Moment. It’s a podcast that I’m giving you to help you have the most joyous, happiest, stress-free life. Please share it with a friend, family member. If you know somebody that you feel could really use this podcast, forward it along to them. Give me some comments below. We need a five-star rating on iTunes. If you use iTunes, please, please, please. It helps this content get out there, because the more five stars we have, the more that iTunes puts us up in the search. When someone is searching for anger, stress, parenting, momhood, anxiety, fear, overwhelm, any of those things, we come up. Please give us a five-star rating. I just want to thank you for being here and listening. In the meantime, until we get an opportunity to get to be together again, remember, I am sending you love and blessings.