January 28, 2020
2 min read

Be a Witness to Your Emotion

When we were children we most likely did not have the guidance to work through our emotions. Our emotions became monsters we had to overcome or run away from. For most of us, we made a choice to build a wall around our heart to protect ourselves. If this sounds familiar, ask yourself what kind of relationship do I have with my emotions?

Types of emotional relationships:

1. The overidentification type

Oxford Dictionary defines overidentification as the action of identifying oneself to an excess with someone or something. Hence, as it relates to your emotions, you may have the tendency to build elaborate stories around your emotion. You may talk about what was “done to you” in a great degree. You may experience yourself as a victim of your emotion. It’s important to note how you identify to your emotion determines your level of suffering. Overidentification keeps you stuck.

2. The rejector type

You may find yourself in a constant struggle with your emotions. You may dislike how you feel so you find yourself over analyzing your emotions. You think you are controlling your emotions, but you are really placing a lid on a pot that’s waiting to explode. You may say hurtful words to push people away because you don’t want to feel rejected, but what you don’t realize is that you are rejecting yourself by rejecting your emotions.

3. The runner type

You run away from your vulnerable emotions. Instead of experiencing the feeling of your emotion(s), you run to the gym, food, alcohol or drugs, and sex in an excess. However, it is important to remember that anything you runaway from, will persist. Wouldn’t it be nice to stop running? Even a marathon runner rests.

Light at the end of the tunnel:

Good news, you have a way out. You don’t have to keep struggling, controlling, running, or stuffing your feelings. All you have to do ... drum roll please ... ACCEPT... Accept your feelings as they are.

Acceptance is the key to freedom. I am not saying you will feel nirvana, but you will feel lighter. Acceptance is a powerful choice because in accepting you are declaring you are willing to let go of the following:

1) Judgment (good vs. bad)

2) Analyzing (which keeps you stuck in your head)

3) Victimization (which personalizes your experience and keeps you stuck)

Thus, accepting your feelings as they are and not identifying with your emotions sets you free. This practice will let you feel your feelings, rather than being engulfed by your emotions. A great tool is to write your feelings on a piece of paper. Next time your stuck in a situation, ask your feeling, “what are you trying to teach me?” And then let the words flow out onto your paper. You will be surprised. Go ahead... give it a try.