Think back to a situation where someone really upset you! You were angry for days. Maybe you are still upset. Or that feeling of disappointment simply doesn't go away. You don't know why. Most likely you even blame the other person for how you feel. Or maybe you just try to put your feelings aside and not deal with them at all...
.Not dealing with your feelings is not the way to go as your subconscious mind brings them up in other ways. You can find out more about how to get clarity about your feelings in one of my blog posts. Today, we focus on the next step…
We look at the distinction between a feeling and an emotion!
In day to day life, we actually use these two words synonymously. There’s a huge difference though – not just in spelling but also in how they impact our life.
A feeling – which is anger, sadness, fear or happiness – is caused by a certain situation in the here and now. It usually only lasts a couple of minutes. Think about kids – they start crying for now obvious reasons. As soon as you distract them with something else, they start laughing. Feelings of sadness and happiness come and go.
An emotion is a feeling from the past, that you have not dealt with! Most likely you are not even aware that it is a feeling from the past! These feelings are stored in our subconscious mind and are responsible for two things:
- You explode for a silly reason, because someone said something or did something that is triggering an old emotion. Think about the saying: He/she pushed all my buttons!
- If these emotions follow you as a shadow, they manifest themselves as pain and ailments in our body. After all, they want to be seen and dealt with.
Let me give you an example from my own life.
For years, I had no idea why I felt sad if friends canceled a catchup or if my boyfriend preferred to do things without me! I acted like a total bitch! Worst of all, I was clingy and of course 100% convinced that I’m in the right.
Years ago, I did a guided mediation, like a hypnotic session. I saw myself in hospital. I was two or three years old. I was sitting in hospital bed and my mum and dad left again. I started crying as I didn’t want to be alone. I felt totally exhausted at the end of the meditation. Crying. Feeling a massive sadness in my chest that didn’t go away for many days! I hit the check-pot! This was the issue I’ve never dealt with: my mum and dad leaving me behind in hospital.
At that age, you don’t understand why your parents leave you again. Not that they had a choice anyway; back then parents were not allowed to stay with their kids. I saw my mum and dad once a week! It was believed that it will be less stressful for the kids. Considering that I spend most of my early years in hospital (until I was three years old) for up to six months at a time, am not surprised that I felt so sad and angry when people I love, do something without me!
So what to do when you seem stuck in an emotion?
The most important step is to realise that you are caught in an emotion. Instead of just accepting it and saying ah well what can I do, it’s critical to acknowledge that this emotion is just an ‘energy’ that is currently taking control over you. Therefore, it’s in your hand how to deal with this energy. You can either drown in it or you can deal with it. First, start observing what is happening. As soon as you start observing, you create a certain distance between yourself and your emotion. Second, ask yourself why you feel angry, hurt or upset. Third, ask your emotion what’s the message. Journaling is a great way to help me dealing with emotions. As soon as you understand why you are acting a certain way, you have control over your emotions, not the other way around.
Every emotion has a message for you. It is a memory of something in the past, we have not dealt with. Like my old memory from hospital, where I felt left behind and alone. This means, every old emotion we clear, is a step further in our healing journey.
So to summarise…
- Identify, if it’s a feeling or an emotion you are dealing with.
- Acknowledge your emotion and just sit with it. Observe it.
- Start asking questions. Listen to the answers.
- If you notice, that you are not able to overcome your emotions, I recommend to work with a qualified counsellor.