Because people often tell me they have trouble connecting a negative emotion with the persistent belief that initiated it, I’m making this the second part of my series. (The first part explained why negative emotions can help us.) In the first article, I quoted from the Seth Material, specifically from The Nature of Personal Reality. Seth says about emotions and beliefs the following:
“The free flow of your emotions will always lead you back to your conscious beliefs if you do not impede them.”
Put bluntly, this statement is saying get out of your own way. Often we’re afraid of what we’ll discover when we explore the contents of our thoughts. I’ve found it really helps to be curious, instead, and to do my best to be interested in what I discover.
“It’s Not My Fault, So It Must Be Your Fault.”
While I was writing this article, a situation arose where I realized I was in conflict with some friends about a proposed action. Nothing was inherently wrong about the action, but for me to have engaged in it would have contradicted values I was embracing about the value of my time, experience, and knowledge.
In theory, it might have been easy to simply state my position and discuss it, because these values came from the core of my inner being. However, I discovered I was experiencing negativity that prevented me from being able to do this.
In order to unearth this negativity, I wrote in my daily journal about how I was feeling. In the course of writing I discovered that I was blaming my friends for making me violate my principles. This was absolutely untrue. No one was making me do anything. I found it easier to blame others than to take responsibility for not having immediately realized that the action would have been for me a violation.
Once I realized that, I did some Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) work on it, and I could release blame all around and further resolve to be more aware of the inner voice that was telling me I didn’t want to do that. I also incorporated messages that I didn’t have to be perfect and that not immediately discovering my blockages didn’t make me a failure.
Finding Your Inner Compass
With the explorer’s attitude, we can think of negative emotions as a map. They developed from a specific event or series of related events, and if followed, they will take you back to the time(s) when you made a decision about how to react emotionally and mentally to a certain stimulus.
If you had a parent who told you were stupid, you may act stupid for the rest of your life. Any attempt to claim your native intelligence will seem dangerous because it doesn’t fit with the idea you were given for yourself. Any number of emotions could lead you to this discovery: buried anger that’s allowed to breathe, sadness and tears, resentment, and so on.
Another child might react to the “stupid” label with determination to disprove it. For this person, as an adult, any break from the relentless pursuit to prove one’s intelligence might be dangerous. To relax one’s guard for a moment might prove one’s parents right.
To engage in this kind or exploration requires learning to trust one’s emotions as friends and guides. It may be a wise idea to start small. Take a small irritation you have with yourself or someone else. Allow yourself to feel it fully. Ask yourself in your childhood irritated you. Ask yourself what you decided about people like that.
The Explorer’s Tools
Keeping A Journal
I mentioned that my discoveries came through writing in my journal. I do this at least once a day. I write about whatever is bothering me at the moment, without judgment, punctuation, or spell-check.
This method may not always yield immediate results, but as you persist at opening and deepening your connection to your unexamined thoughts and emotions, you will discover a rich source of enlightenment.
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
EFT is an energy practice that involves tapping on meridian points while speaking negative and positive statements. I’ve made some of my biggest discoveries in the course of doing EFT. This method continues to amaze me.
I discovered this method by accident. I was looking through a number of photographs from my childhood, and I discovered emotional stirrings. I looked more carefully and imagined myself back in the scenes that had the most emotional impact.
So many of our persistent negative beliefs were formed in childhood, and an examination of photographs from that time can help you to directly connect with your personal history.
Who Do You Dislike and Why?
This is a very valuable although often humiliating exercise. I have a habit of disliking people who need a lot of attention and often a lot of help. I was raised to be self-reliant. In principle this is a good thing, but it was a value externally imposed, not one I learned myself. The belief I didn’t realize I had about this value was that it was an excuse not to give me attention. The unresolved question from this belief was whether I didn’t get attention because I didn’t deserve it. Untangling this one gave me infinitely more freedom.
The habits of those you dislike may be ones you actively practice or they may be the ones you’d like to practice.
These explorations will develop your emotional muscle. Then you can increase the depth of your search.
Crystals and Essences
You can unravel a persistent emotion by choosing a related crystal or essence. I find essences especially helpful for this. If for example, you find that you’re frequently angry, choose Holly. Feelings of discouragement for a known cause (can’t meet the right person, find the right job, etc.) call for Gentian.
If you are really unsure, two Bach Flower Remedies called polycrests can help. Holly is one, generally recommended for people who are outgoing and expressive. Wild Oat, also an essence for those who have trouble when faced with an array of choices, is recommended for more introverted people.
A third helpful essence can be Star of Bethlehem. This is generally recommended for trauma. After a long study of trauma, I have concluded that the experts are right: most people have experienced unresolved trauma. Thus, taking Star of Bethlehem can open the door to discovery.
In terms of crystals, a very helpful approach is to ask yourself where you feel the emotion. Is your throat tight? Look at the blue and blue-green stones. Is it a solar plexus pain? Look at yellow, yellow-green, and coral-colored stones.