On Negative Emotions
The more we explore our mind’s inner terrain and undergo self-analysis, the more repressed emotions we tend to uncover.
Each event from childhood, for example, leaves its mark on the psyche. Each time a salient experience occurred, our minds saved the related emotion in its database. Every negative emotion we’ve ever experienced—every emotion that hasn’t been “processed out,” deleted, or removed—is brewing quietly within us.
Generally, we are unconscious to most of these stored emotions, which is why we call them “repressed” emotions.
Negative emotions are like ancient programs—software that’s been running in the animal brain computer for millions of years. Emotions like shame, grief, guilt, apathy, fear, desire, anger, and pride represent primitive energies.
When we get angry at someone, we project the cause of anger onto that person. We might say, “You made me angry.” In reality, however, that person’s actions merely triggered the “anger program” within us. If that anger wasn’t available, if we didn’t have repressed anger, we wouldn’t be able to experience anger.
Many of us have so much repressed emotions like anger that we project hostility onto others and constantly expect antagonistic situations, which then becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The more repressed emotions we have, the more they dominate our thoughts, actions, and behaviors.
Conversely, the more negative emotions we’re able to transcend, the more freedom, peace, love, and joy we’ll experience. We don’t need to try and be more peaceful, loving, or joyful; these Divine qualities shine forth when we remove what’s blocking them: negative emotions.
Four Ways to Help Transcend Negative Emotions
- Twelve Step programs help us uncover these repressed emotions (largely through “Fourth Step work”—taking a moral inventory) and then letting these emotions go (Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Step work).
- A Course in Miracles teaches us how to forgive the past, thereby letting go of our resentments and grievances, allowing us to perceive the world anew.
- Releasing techniques like the Sedona Method help us release our negative emotions using the more cognitive approach of a well-crafted, question-asking process as well as teachings ways to “experience out” the negative emotions themselves.
- The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) helps us remove stored negative emotions by “tapping them out” via specific acupuncture points.
There are many other programs and techniques available and new ones continue to emerge. I reference these four programs and techniques with frequency because I’ve personally found them to be invaluable in dealing with negative emotions.
If we don’t consciously adopt means of letting go of negative emotions, these lower energies can dominate our lives, and often lead to serious illnesses (repressed emotions can lead to ulcers, allergies, and a barrage of other illnesses).
The amazing thing we learn by adopting these various methods is that we need not be afraid of negative emotions. All negative emotions have a limited amount of energy and when we welcome these emotions within us (instead of repressing or expressing them), we uncover an extraordinary sense of inner freedom.
So be brave. Become mindful of the negative emotions swimming below the surface. Dive down and meet these emotions full on. They can’t hurt you.
Each time you process out a negative emotion, you’ll become lighter. Building momentum, you’ll come one step closer to realizing your natural Self.