We have covered our thoughts and we have touched upon ego. This month we look at your emotions. Emotions control most peoples lives. They are an inexplicable force that the majority of us have to deal with on a daily basis. Think of your emotions in terms of energy currents. Imagine an energy field around you which changes shape, colour and texture as your emotions change. In spiritual terms this is called your astral body. Some people call this your emotional body or energy field.
Generally, your emotions serve your personality or your ego. If you wish to achieve a measure of personal development you must learn to master your emotions and not be ruled by them. I don’t mean suppress and control your emotions by avoiding issues or burying this powerful energy – mastery involves fully feeling your emotions. That way the energy is properly dissipated. This personal development is one of the first steps on the spiritual path of initiation and is also known as spiritually evolving. The goal of your personal development is to aspire to mastery of your emotions. Energetically this is like calming the stormy sea and symbolically, emotions are represented by water.
Mastering Your Emotions
Mastery of your emotions doesn’t mean that we do not ‘feel’ or that you should ‘shut off’ as many people do, on the contrary the only way to master your emotions is to get closer to them and actually find out what you really are feeling. Your emotional needs are often manifested in physical form. A simple example would be; eating, many people eat too many sweets. Sweets are often used as a reward by parents or eaten at celebrations and may be associated with happiness. People who are not happy have a subconscious craving to eat sweets. Emotions control this behaviour.
Other ways in which emotions dominate are numerous. You may seek to satisfy desire in many ways, food, money and sex are common ways to do this. Your subconscious emotional needs dominate and cause behaviour which is not ‘good’ for you.
We measure ‘good’ from a reference point of what you, the soul behind your ego, thoughts and personality wants. Through the veil of emotion and ego, a clear path is often needed before your true self is discovered.
The way to still the waters is to
1. Find out what you are thinking.
2. Respond, rather than react.
Reacting means you are usually expressing a negative emotion such as anger and jealousy. Please notice how I said expressing. If we respond rather than react we will still feel the emotion. We do not however have to express it in a negative fashion. This two step process is simple, but hard to put into practice, the heat of the moment often providing a difficult training ground.
The Energy Of Fear
A common way to overcome this difficulty is to work backwards. Start with the moments that cause you to react. Look at incidents that cause you to get emotional, situations where people ‘push your buttons’. Anger and Jealousy are easy places to start.
Look for the message about yourself, don’t just react. Your emotions originate from thoughts. Unravel the thread. Find the thought pattern behind the emotion. All negative emotions start with a fear. Take jealousy for instance. This is based on the fear of losing your partner. It also has it’s origins from the incorrect assumption that you posses your partner. This shows up as issues of self worth and it means that you are comparing yourself to another person and judging yourself as less.
Envy is another negative emotion and again the origin is fear. The focus with envy is on what we are lacking. What you are really thinking is “The other person has what I want” This is based on one of two ideas;
There is not enough for everyone and I might be inadequate
I am not happy with myself or my situation.
This manifests with you launching an attack or belittling the person or object of your envy. Statements such as “I didn’t want that anyway” “That’s no good because…” mean you are focusing on what you don’t have.
Change your thoughts, focus instead on what you do have. Once you are aware of the mechanics which come into play when your negative emotions are aroused, you have come a long way. What is required to finish the task at hand is a willingness to confront yourself. Remember, when emotions are raised in YOU, that is the signal for you to look inside. A common trap along the way is failure to look at yourself and instead look to the other person involved. This means you are not taking responsibility for your self. You need to shift the focus back onto you.
Finding and facing your fears is not always easy. All you need is light. Once you illuminate your fears to yourself, they quickly dissolve along with the accompanying emotion.
Aymen Fares is an International Life Coach with clients all over the world. He is based in Melbourne Australia.