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Monday, May 21, 2007

Expressing All Your Emotions

If you’ve been keeping up with my posts, it may sound as though I am suggesting that you focus only on feeling good, on keeping your energetic vibration or frequency high, and that you ignore or forget about your other, less agreeable emotions.

In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

Your emotions need careful looking at, careful calibration, and certainly, should not be ignored. If you are angry, this needs to be expressed. If you are sad, or grieving, again, this needs to be expressed. If you are feeling any kind of emotion, an avenue for its expression needs to be found.

But…the expression of your emotion needs to be a healthy one.

So if you are angry, yelling, fighting, or insulting won’t cut it. A healthy expression might be something along the lines of maintaining healthy boundaries (see my article: Do Your Relationship Boundaries Contribute to your Well-Being?), where you could choose to say to the person who has angered you: that is not acceptable to me. Or: your lack of respect (or consideration) for me is not acceptable. Or: I feel that you have not listened to me, not understood me, and I feel that you are totally ignoring my opinions about this matter. This makes me feel insulted (or hurt, or angry, or sad, etc.).

The point being, that as you express your emotions in this way, rather than by fighting, or arguing, or playing the one-upmanship game, you are showing yourself respect for yourself, and thus gain a sense of empowerment.

If the emotions you are feeling are grief or sadness, these must also be expressed. If someone you love is ill, or if you have lost someone you love, or if you have had a loss of another kind, you clearly can not gloss over this, and try to make yourself feel good. You must go through the process of the loss, or the pain. Nevertheless, the healthy personality will find – even in a situation of this nature – something positive to take from it, something to learn from it, something with which inner growth can take place, leading to ever greater inner freedom.

Here is where renowned thinkers or world leaders such as Viktor Frankl (Man's Search For Meaning), or Nelson Mandela (his autobiography), or Alexandr Solzhenitsyn (One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich) can help open your eyes a great deal.

One caveat: if you feel a need to express your negative emotions in such a way so that you can blame another for your feelings or for whatever it is that is happening to you, there is probably something else at work, than “just” your difficult emotions. In all likelihood there is an underlying issue…just the fact that you want to blame can clue you in on that…because no matter what the other has done, you are the one who chooses how to act and react, and you are the one who is responsible for how you feel (yes, you are!) and therein lies your choice for bondage or freedom.

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