Day 3 on ‘Emotions: Its Usage & Addictions’ of ‘Emotions’ Chapter
From ‘Remembering’ Series
[Listen to the audio with guided alignment at the end]
[The below sharing is excerpt from: Karla McLaren. “The Language of Emotions.]
In regard to our emotions, note that our interpersonal skills and intrapersonal skills are not a part of our formal schooling. Thus, we did not learn know how to identify our emotions or work with them skilfully.
Like how anger helps us set effective boundaries, that fear is our intuition, or that sadness helps us relax and let go of things we don’t need anyway.
Welcoming Our Emotions
Use Your Fear:
When we allow the fear to flow, it can help us to sharpen our senses as it tells us where our attention was and why we are startled. Which then help us to think of ways to prevent our inattentiveness in future.
Use Your Anger:
When we welcome our anger to make proper corrections to help us get away from unsafe situation. This properly honoured anger enable us to consciously build boundaries that protect us from recklessness of others. Which helps us to increase our awareness and skills. If we honour our anger, we acknowledge we are hurt and we can learn to rebuild what has been broken.
Use Your Sadness:
When we attend to our sadness, it slows us down which allows us to pay attention inwardly and stop pretending everything is alright. It is a form of release which helps us to relax and focus on what we need to let go of. When we honour sadness, we will find the healing and rejuvenation we need.
When these emotions arises, it will come and go because we have handled the emotions appropriately. Just like how the water flows, changes and moves.
Logical Intelligence, Emotional Intelligence and Spiritual
Karen mentioned on the importance of reaching balance in between our intelligence, emotions and spirituality. Because when there is a conflict or stagnation between any, the intelligence will always step forward because it is where we most exercised on based on how we were taught. When we think too much, it will be an endless of ‘what-if-ing’ and obsessing.
“Our logical intelligences can help us gather data and plot a logical course for the journey. Our emotions can contribute the skills and impetus we need to stay on course. Our bodies can help us walk toward the vision and make it real in our everyday world. Our visionary spirits can remind us, when we get tired or confused, about the excitement just ahead of us.”Karla McLaren
For example, when we have decided to change a career between two jobs, when we focus on the logic thinking, it is easier to choose the one with higher salary. If the finances apply on both options are the same, with no advantage over another, we might find it more challenging to decide.
When we honoured the emotional intelligence and the logical intelligence, there are more options. We could start asking, how would staying put feel? How would moving on feel? How would we feel about the people we have to work with? We might have a clearer sense of the options if we allow our body and emotions to enter the decisive process, the mind would calm down with such integration. Thus, our choice won’t limit to be merely intellectual, but emotionally grounded and wholly intelligent. You are supporting your intellect side from its countless revisits of ‘what-ifs’.
Imbalance is Common
How did we distract ourselves daily? Do you agree that we are wired and distracted for most of our waking hours? We distract ourselves from our loves, goals, dreams, traumas, innermost truest selves moving away from wholeness. Simply, we do not know how to and we did not know wholeness is attainable.
Note that, it is always the emotions we have about the thoughts or the pain that send us to avoidance behaviours. Such distraction is function as survival skills telling us we are overwhelmed by stimuli. Then, we will dissociate and enter into addictions and compulsive behaviours – via games, TV, movies etc, to help us function in chaos.
The key to move consciously into these emotions is when we know what these emotions are, which emotions are we avoiding and why.
If we can understand what sorts of relief these distractions give us, we can find out why do we move towards each one. It is until when we fully understand why we say ‘yes’ to the distractions, there is no way we can just say ‘no’ when we need them.
- Alcohol – brings a moment of flow to people who cannot balance water in their psyches which help to release repressed emotions
- Caffeine stimulants, excessive net surfing, gambling, sugar, sex addictions, overspending, shoplifting – bring a sense of flying, an airy swiftness and fiery sense of power which lift people out of their emotions and bodies
- Brain doping stimulants, drugs for attention deficit order, ADHD etc – increase brain power, reduce need for sleep and help to focus on boring tasks , disrupt body’s normal sleeping cycle, quiet the emotions and visionary aspects
- A subset of speedy substances: LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, ayahuasca, out-of-body spiritual practices, trance dancing, ecstasy – create a sense that spirit is away from the body, the mind and emotions which cause dissociation and make it difficult to reintegrate again
- Anaesthetics drugs and practices: painkillers, cigarettes, heroin, marijuana, excessive watching TV, reading, movie, overeating – help numb the body, emotions and thoughts so part of us can live in peace which these practices attempt to deal with flow by ignoring or suppressing pain, emotions, and thoughts. Such artificial stillness creates excessive flow in response, when we use an anaesthetic to repress emotions, our emotional intensity will increase when anaesthetic wears off. If we create barriers with the external world, such rush of flow will flow towards ourselves.
All addictions and distractions help to move away from our problems with relief but it is momentary, and with side-effects and damaging effects.
Moving towards balance from within
“Suffering ceases to be suffering as soon as we form a clear and precise picture of it.”Baruch Spinoza
We can listen to the voice within without forcing it with dissociative practices or substances
We can trust our mind to manage our workloads without doping our brains and forcing it to work like little machines
We can create a dialogue between the mind and emotion by feeling it, naming it, feeling it and naming it, to get closer to the issue without anaesthetising ourselves.
We can honour our bodies with enough rest, nutrition food, and a healthy environment without running from our emotional reactions to pain with stimulants or anaesthetics.
When we turn our awareness on our addictions and distractions, we can see the areas where we are most in need to work on.
Check in with yourself
Do you sit with your pain and honour them?
“Suffering is discomfort multiplied by resistance.”Buddhist insight
My personal addition and distractions are chocolates and excessive watching entertainment-movies-clips. When I feel overwhelm, I will go for these two mostly to pull my awareness away, what happen then is me spending too much time, in hours and over sweetness, I still did not deal with the original emotion. Thus, emotional imbalance with a tired body and clouded mind. I don’t find myself being more aware or capable, but with tons of reasoning that these will help me relax. My discomforts remains with increasing resistance and guilt for doing so.
I love how Karen put it in a case of a non-stop crying baby, there will always be noise and unhappiness. We check the baby’s diaper, feed the baby, comfort the baby, try to make the baby laugh with toys and when the baby laughs, we feel much better. Whatever that bother the baby is forgotten now. What if, we say to the baby, “you must be feeling sad now, things are challenging.” The baby would usually stop crying much faster if we just let the baby feel and support the way he or she feels at the moment. Because crying move discomfort into a place of awareness. When we use distractions to stop the crying, the baby missed an important growth experience. One will not able to let the feelings to tell what’s wrong and this would not strengthen own connection and awareness.
“We can’t go further into the world of emotions until we look at trauma seriously.”
[To be continued] On the next post, we will look into the role of trauma from the book.
May we honour the discomfort within by sitting with it and honour its truth.