We are more aware of our physical aches and pains than our emotional ones. The latter, hard to clearly define or pin down, include feeling states such as low self-esteem, worry, depression, feelings of inadequacy, low self-confidence, and the fear of being judged or rejected. These exist only as shadows of the behavioural choices we elicit.
For instance, a fear of rejection forces us to avoid others, inhibits a true and authentic expression of the true self, blocks our ability to form intimate romantic relationships, hampers our career performance and impedes clear and focused thoughts. All this makes a person lead a lonely and unfulfilled life. Although, the consequences are clearly evident the source of the problem i.e. the fear itself remains hidden and pulls the strings.
Throw those demons out
Since emotional discomforts remain hidden deep in the unconscious part of the mind, they become inaccessible to us. Making things worse is the fact that most people have not developed awareness or language to discern or discuss such internal experiences. So where does this leave us? Disempowered and controlled by an elusive inner force that we refer to as our 'inner emotional pain'.
As long as we choose to remain oblivious to what controls us, we will lead an unfulfilled and empty existence. This will only add to the emotional aches and pains we are already suffering from. So, feelings of disillusionment, disappointment, unhappiness, failure, despair or despondency will team up with the existing unconscious demons.
Diffuse emotional landmines
Can anything be done to stem this tide of negative emotional turbulence brewing within? Absolutely! It's also easier than one might think. I have to qualify this, however, because it took me over 20 years of training in psychiatry to find the solution. It arrived not from my training; rather it came from personal insights into why everything that I had been taught did not work at all.Before I expound on the answer, I must explain a few basics that will help you appreciate its significance and simplicity. So if you're ready, here it comes:
- An emotional ache and/or pain, in whatever form, results from some old negative painful emotional experience that a person had as a child and that got stored in the unconscious mind and body as a memory of that event. That memory metaphorically, like an open physical wound that never healed, remains vulnerable to being re-injured, or re-ignited.
- I have coined the term 'emotional landmine' as an apt metaphor to bring to light how the old unconsciously submerged painful feelings from old negative memories can easily become re-triggered by causal and seemingly insignificant events in our day-to-day life. When this happens, we are not only overwhelmed by the emotional intensity associated with the eruption of pent-up old feelings, but also surprised at how such a 'small triggering event' could have made us so unstable emotionally.
- Similarly, if we envision ourselves tripping off a real landmine we will immediately know that the explosion is the result of a tremendous amount of potential energy getting released in a short space of time. This is exactly what happens when emotional aches and pains are experienced.
Plan the diffusion
Now, with this background, you will appreciate two things. Firstly, common approaches to dealing with such aches and pains are to:
- pretend they don't exist.
- attempt to suppress them or cover them over with drugs, medications, and other forms of addictions or distractions.
- make friends with them and understand them through such strategies as psychotherapy and the like.
Secondly, we will recognise that it might simply be easier to deal with these landmines if someone could figure out how to find them and permanently diffuse them so they never get set off again.
Choose your option
So, which option above feels preferable you the first or the second? If you prefer the latter, try the following: place one hand over your heart and as if you are speaking from there, simply say the statement that follows:
"I would like to become fully aware of what emotional landmines live in my unconscious mind and then I would like to find a way to permanently diffuse them so that they no longer pose a threat to me and my life."
Now, take a moment and notice how you feel inside. If you are sufficiently discerning you may notice some interesting and desirable feelings such as peace, stillness, lightness, relief, contentment, the ability to breathe more deeply and so on. If you like any of this, then simply affirm that to yourself as if you are speaking from your heart and it will get stronger.
Now, here comes the interesting part. The reason you felt anything at all after those statements is because you are beginning to tap into a deep inner wisdom that has been dormant inside of you for probably as long as you have been alive. That wisdom is sourced from what I call your Life Force Energy—the energy of consciousness, strength, confidence, resilience, peace, clarity, joy, and life itself.
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