Updated: Jul 26
Part 1 is for those who mostly feel one emotion (mine was irritability / anger).
Part 2 is for those who already feel a range of emotions and want to release the negative ones.
1. I watched my spaceship circling round and around, and then it disappeared. My mother found me crying, shirt soaked, hand deep in the toilet. Pulling me into her arms, she murmured, “Don’t cry dear; it's alright. Don’t cry.”
That evening, I was calling my dog.
As I stepped off the back porch, my father broke the news: He had bitten the mail carrier, and Animal Control had taken him away.
For a long time, my mother tried to console me, saying again and again, “It’s okay Dear. Don’t cry. It will be alright.”
Finally, my father yelled, “Stop that crying, or I'll give you something to cry about! Stop it now!”
“And you did,” said the tall, bald psychologist, Dr. J (who my wife had forced me to see).
“Did what?” I asked, opening a clenched fist.
“Why did you want this session?” countered Dr J, who had an annoying habit of switching topics.
“You know, my, uh, wife left me.”
“She says that I don't share myself, that I am too distant.”
“And so you are,” he said. “At forty-two years old, you continue to obey your parent’s directive: ‘Don’t feel.’”
“But I feel!”
“What?” he challenged, “What do you feel?”
“I, uh, anger,” I said.
Again, I realized my fist was closed and casually opened it.
Dr. J leaned forward and said, “Anger is often an ‘instead of ’ emotion, a defensive emotion. When was the last time you felt something else, like
hurt for example?”
I sat thinking, searching my memory, reaching back. Dr. J finally motioned with his hands to hurry up. I blew out an exasperated breath, admitting defeat.
Dr. J smiled sadly and said, “Your wife just left you.”
He let that sink in and added, “You stop yourself from feeling negative emotion. If you felt more, you could share more, with your wife and others.”
I heard the whine in my voice, as I asked, “How am I supposed to do that?”
He countered, “A few years ago, when your mother died, how did you handle it?”
“I went right back to work,” I said, with a touch of pride.
“And last week when your wife left?”
“I, uh, I've been working more.”
“Working more,” he repeated voice flat. “And when you are not working, what do you do?”
I shook my head, trying to keep up with him: “Uh, I like to read, watch movies or hang out with friends.”
Then I blurted, “Wait! I don't understand!”
“Come on,” said Dr. J. “At the first sign of a negative feeling, you distract yourself with work, a movie or people.”
“No!” I blurted. “I've been working more because I have the extra time.”
“Do you snack when you're not hungry?”
Reluctantly, I admitted I did.
“So, there is yet another way that you avoid negative feelings. And
there are many other ways that people use: alcohol and/or drugs, gambling, food and sex to name a few. Addictions are basically distractions.”
“Alright, okay,” I said, “just tell me what I have to do to bring my wife home.”
“You must be willing to feel uncomfortable.”
“Okay, I can do that,” I said. “I am willing to feel uncomfortable. Is that it?”
Dr. J laughed and said, “In that first moment, when you want to begin what might be a distraction STOP. Take a moment to gently ask yourself what you are feeling.”
As I opened my mouth to reply, Dr. J added, “Also, when you feel irritable or angry, take a peek underneath and, again, ask yourself what is really there.”
He pushed himself out of the chair and began pacing, something I was not allowed to do.
He continued, “And whenever you catch even the hint of a feeling, voice it. Say, ‘I feel sad, hurt, afraid’ or whatever you even guess you might be feeling.”
He was now motioning with his hands and waving his arms.
“Say it aloud. Say it several times. Shout it from the rooftops!!!” he yelled.
I began to laugh and abruptly stopped.
“Hurt." I said. "When my wife left, I felt hurt; angry too, very angry. And hurt.”
My eyes began to tear, as I thought "Maybe this counseling stuff isn't such a good idea."
Part 2: If you already feel a number of emotions and want to...
Release Negative Emotions (like bitterness) Forever
When I was eleven, my cousin stole my birthday money—all of it.
As a young man, the love of my life told me she was moving - out of state - in a few days! And nothing was said about staying in
A co-worker went on a campaign of backstabbing lies to the boss. And he got what he wanted. My position.
Have you noticed how easy it is to be bitter?
I hope not, but if so, you will know how hard it is to stop; and rightfully so, because being hurt gives us certain, undeniable rights.
We have the right to feel angry, resentful and even hateful, if that is what we are feeling; and we have the right to hold onto our bitterness as long as we want, decades even; we even have the right to make ourselves sick with it.
Yes, sick. Studies show that when I am sinking into any negative emotion (like bitterness), my body is tightening, breath shortening and blood pressure rising.
A long period of negative emotion can cause permanent medical damage and even shorten life; and it does.
What makes it all worse, what makes it absolutely appalling, is that the target of my bitterness is out there living life; he or she is not feeling much if any of this; her or him is entirely unaware or completely ignoring me.
For those caught in this agonizing web of pain, for all who have at least thought of stopping, the question is How ?.
1. Know that those negative thoughts and feelings keep coming up because they are trying to release; but we tend to (automatically) tighten body and breath to keep from feeling them.
2. Release those negative emotions by breathing out the body's tension, especially in the stomach, shoulders and neck. With each exhale, feel yourself grow heavier.
And as you relax, feel whatever is there: to feel is to release that feeling; let the negative emotion pass through you and out.
3. Ask: How long will I let those that hurt me keep holding me back, dimming the quality of my life and keeping me from the happiness I deserve? How long will I let them keep hurting me?
Even if, by a miracle, the offenders did eventually give us the satisfaction of seeing them apologize/pay, it would still be up to us to move on—to push ourselves on if necessary.
Yes push! Right out the door to pursue our interests and fulfill our dreams.
To choose life. And live it to the fullest.
1. Whatever emotion we do not feel (from a traumatic or emotional moment) is left behind as emotional baggage.
2. That which is left behind, though mostly hidden, continues to affect our lives -- negatively.
3. Feeling a negative emotion can not make us a negative person. We can be feeling negative and choose to speak and behave in positive ways.
4. Most of us tend to (automatically) distract ourselves from feeling negative; but, feeling less of the negative always means feeling less of the positive (like true surprise, delight and curiosity). Raising the floor always lowers the ceiling.
5. Feeling a negative emotion is the same as releasing it. The more we feel / release, the less emotional baggage we have. And the more we can (eventually) feel more of those positive emotions.
6. And inner strength increases every time, because we are facing what we do not want to face and feeling what we do not want to feel. We grow a bit stronger every time.
One Essential Ingredient
Negative emotion toward others can release faster with forgiveness. But, forgiveness has little to do with those that hurt us; it is about freeing us from the pain of those negative events and people:
All She Ever Wanted Was...
Her: She was saying, “If only I could find the right guy, I would give myself to him, and—
I stopped her and asked, “Give your SELF?”
Her eyes widened as she realized what she had said and what she had been doing.
Him: Free Insights
His business was deep in the red, and he was now desperate.
I asked him, “If there was one person on the planet holding you back, who would it be?”
He immediately said, “My Mother.”
She was giving him money to keep his business afloat.
She had also given him the down payment for his house and had recently taken over the payments.
His insight: "I'm 30 years old and still (like a child) dependent on my mother!"
Both Him & Her: The power of a deep insight is that it cannot be unseen; it will tend to keep prodding, motivating and pushing Him and Her into a permanent change (no resolutions needed).
And That Power is Now Yours:
Either one of these 2 simple techniques can bring you a life-changing insight, one that leads to permanent change.
Both are complete (nothing held back)
And sent directly to your inbox with this link:
How Many ?
How many people, no matter what they try, spend their lives not losing Weight, or in unfulfilling Relationships (or none), or with Money problems or a Stalled career?
But one, eye-widening moment can begin leaving that pain behind
* Imagine seeing the present and past in an instant and knowing that it is no longer you
* Imagine taking control over that part of your life
* And imagine the relief of knowing that you are finally moving on, once and for all.
Click this link and get your free techniques now:
* Your email address is 100% secure
For more about releasing emotion:
Why Feeling Bad is Good
How to Feel Your Feelings
.....Negative emotions? How to accept THAT part of your body: https://www.danielsperaw.com/single-post/How-to-Accept-THAT-Part-of-Your-Body
The Anatomy of Guilt
The very foundation of personal improvement is self-care/self-love. At this link: https://www.danielsperaw.com/blog/the-essence-of-personal-improvement