Understanding Emotions

Taking the plunge on such a complicated topic as emotions is something that I wanted to do long time ago. In fact, this post is staying as a draft in my MacJournal for more than 2 months now. I always wanted to start writing about it, but also felt a little uncomfortable with it. It was like something was not still clear. I had the overall idea but there was some inconsistency in my approach.

Today I’ll go for it because I simply feel like doing it. Noticed the reason? “I simply feel like doing it”. The trigger for starting to write this was an emotion. A feeling.

Being A Prisoner Of Your Own Emotions

I always was quite an emotional person. I am a Scorpio sign, which is a Water sign, and Water signs are well known to be extremely emotional. My rising sign is Capricorn, an Earth sign. Among all the Earth signs, Capricorn is known to be the most sensitive. Quite an emotional super mix here, right?

When I was younger I was always emotions driven. My emotions were so intense that I often mistaken them for thoughts. I often acted out of impulse instead of reason. I was so immersed in my own emotional field that I was convinced that I’m thinking when I was in fact only reacting to some stimulus, same way as the Pavlov’s dog.

Needless to say that when you act only and only by emotions you get hurt . Sometimes you get hurt big time. But your acting pattern is already set and even if you promise to yourself not to repeat the same mistake again, you’ll do it. You say you won’t do that thing that caused you pain, but you go straight to it. And get hurt again.

I’m sure many of you experienced the same pattern. You get emotional on some situation, act, do something wrong because you acted only as a result of that emotion, and then get hurt. And then do the exact situation again. You get hit by the same emotion, do the exact same thing and get hurt again.

Sooner or later you start to feel embarrassed by your own emotional system. You start to actually feel bad on a whole different level, by being able to predict how you will act on a certain circumstance. I won’t see this movie because it will make me cry. I won’t meet those people because I’m shy and I’ll do something stupid. I won’t talk to my parents because I always felt like they wanted to control me.

You don’t do a rational assessment of the situation, you just remember you acted in a hurting way, and start to avoid the whole situation, regardless of the potential. Each and every circumstance has a potential. Most of the time is about a learning potential. But if your actions are emotions driven, you won’t see that potential.

Acting only by emotion is the easiest way toward manipulation. The more emotional you get, and the less assessment you put into your life, the easier for you to be manipulated. You will attract people or situations in which you will be the puppet, and they will be the puppeteer. You won’t even realize that, of course, you will just notice how your life becomes more and more miserable.

Emotions As A Feedback System

It took me some time to understand that emotions are just a feedback system. As strange as it may seem, emotions are not part of “us”. They’re only with “us”. Our main being, so to call it, has nothing to do with emotions. It can exists pretty much without emotions. But it needs them in order to give us feedback about what we’re doing.

Seeing emotions as a feedback mechanism was a healing way to look at my life. Breaking apart from my emotional system gave me the space and light needed to assess whatever triggered those impulses that causes hurt. Didn’t happened at once, and I’m not always completely detached from my emotions. They’re still part of my system, but they’re not the leading force, just the co-pilot.

The biggest mistake people make about emotions is to deny them. To repress their feelings and try to obey to a path of correctness or “spiritual health”. That’s even worse than acting only by emotion, without assessment.

Emotions are a fantastic tool and they should be used as such. Imagine how you would walk into a dark forrest without a compass. You won’t know where you’re heading. You won’t know where you are. The forrest may be dark and scary, but that has nothing to do with your compass. The forrest is not your compass.

Thinking that the compass is the only possible answer to your quest is just dumb. The compass will just show you where you are. It will also tell you what to do, but if you don’t do it, don’t blame it on the compass. To get out of the forrest you need to act, and take into account what the compass is telling you.

If you deny the compass you’re also out of track. You will rely only on luck to get out of the forrest, and that’s stupid. If you have such a good tool with you why ignore it? Just because you ignored it in the past and didn’t do nothing? Acting only by emotion is to pretend you’re following your compass, when in fact you didn’t. You just talk about it and expect things to change around. Well, a compass wouldn’t change stuff around. You will change stuff around.

Follow Your Thoughts And Be Guided By Your Emotions

Emotions are just informations about your path. You walk on your path by following your thoughts. Every single thought you had it will materialize sooner or better. It will become your reality, one way or another. I won’t go now into details about how this will happen, I plan to write about this in more detail later. For now it’s ok to understand that your thoughts are the drivers of your vehicle.

If you still think that your emotions are part of your being, you will tend to mix emotions into your thoughts. Some thoughts will please you, some don’t. Some thoughts will seem easier to follow, some will seem really scary. You will even twist your thinking patterns based on emotions your thoughts triggers.

If you separate your emotions into an external feedback system, your thoughts will be just thoughts. You will think to do something and that’s that. After the thought has been released, it will be followed by an emotion. It will generate a feedback. But not in the same moment, a little bit later. That’s your emotional feedback mechanism.

How can you use this feedback mechanism? Well, there are permissive emotions and non-permissive emotions. If you experience joy, enthusiasm, hope, you’ll be on the permissive side. If you’ll experience sadness, anger, depression, you’ll be on the non-permissive side.

The permissive emotions are green lights. The non-permissive emotions are red lights. Whenever your thoughts trigger a permissive emotion it will be like “go” signal. Your thought is ready to be transformed in action. Whenever your thoughts trigger a non-permissive emotion it will be like a “stop” signal. Don’t go there, don’t do that, your thought won’t be worth of becoming an action.

When used like this, your emotional feedback mechanism will prove to be incredibly helpful. It will not be a cause of pain. You will understand that the only one who creates pain is you. The one who creates happiness is also you. And you will be told that by your emotional feedback mechanism. It will be an enlightening experience. Simple, but enlightening.

Following this feedback mechanism is not simple though. Yes, when you manage to follow it in a constant way you will experience alignment and happiness. But until you manage to do it completely and correctly you will have to spend some time. There are people that think this is the whole purpose of the life. Finding happiness is only a matter of aligning your thoughts with your emotions, and then release the positive thoughts into actions.

Twisted Feedback Mechanism

What’s happening if your compass is broken? If your emotional feedback mechanism is corrupt? If the thoughts triggers are chaotic and your actions are inconsistent? Well, you fix the compass. That’s all you have to do. And if you know that this is only a compass, and is outside of you, you will save yourself same shame and guilt by thinking that is “something wrong with you”.

The vast majority of people has broken compasses, in fact. They act in disharmony with their true emotional feedback mechanism. That mechanism has been broken long time ago and they’re still using it. Many people don’t know there’s something wrong with their emotional feedback mechanism. But it is.

One of the biggest emotional corruptions is fear. Fear is the anticipation of something that might be going wrong in the future, and experiencing the outcome in the present moment. You fear something that it isn’t real, but it might be. Fear is one of the most powerful emotions we have and in fact it is only a modified version of hope. Hope is the anticipation of something that it will go right in the future, and experiencing the outcome in the present moment.

Many awaken people give advice to follow your fears. Or at least to confront them. Facing the fears equals to face the worst outcome from the future in the present moment. You fear confrontation with a business associate? You’re afraid of what this can do to your business status? It’s only in the future, it’s only a potential of this current reality, better bring it in the present. And confront it. You will see that the negative outcome was just something you created in your mind. It’s not real, only your fear makes it real by projecting it into the future. Bringing your fears in the present moment will destroy the projection.

Fear is an emotion that you should follow. Back in time, fear was a very healthy way to stay alive. If there was something bad in meeting a leopard with your bare hands, and that leaved some scars, well, your emotional feedback system will trigger some fear next time you’ll be near a leopard. You know what fears tell you, that you had negative experiences in the past, and then you’ll do your acting. You may confront the leopard or run. Fight or flight.

But fear was so corrupted during the last hundreds of years. It is used as a social conditioning mechanism. Traditional media – tv, newspapers, et all – is projecting potential bad outcome and that triggers fear in a lot of people. That raises the “fight or flight” state in all the media consumers. Why? Because it’s easier to control people in a state of fear. They will try to protect themselves from the future bad outcome and they will do whatever it takes for that.

This is the most relevant example of a twisted emotional feedback mechanism. There are also a lot of false hopes floating around, like fake religions, and a lot of physically induced positive emotions, like drug addictions. These are all corruptions of your own emotional feedback mechanism. If you want to travel safely, just keep your emotional feedback system away.

It’s crucial to trust your emotions. It’s crucial to rely on your own feedback in order to avoid traps. Denying your emotions or allowing them to be twisted by false fears, false hopes, or drugs, will be as bad as breaking your compass during a storm. You might get out of the current storm, but nobody guarantees that you will survive the next one.

Your journey is fantastic. You have so much to do, so much to learn and so much space to grow. Your travel must be well guided so you can experience all what you deserve. Keep your compass clean. Trust your emotions, but don’t become a prisoner to them, as they are your only true friend. Don’t let anyone twist your emotions. Follow your heart means trust your true self, face your fears and search for real, deep and simple joy.

Running For My Life - from zero to ultramarathoner

The spooky thing about depression is that it sneaks in. There aren’t really trumpets and loud voices announcing: “Hail, hail, this is depression entering the room, all rise!” Nope. It’s slow, silent, creepy. It doesn’t even look like depression. It starts with small isolation thoughts like: “Maybe I shouldn’t get out today, I just don’t feel like going out”. And then it does the same next day. And then the day after that and so on. And then it starts to whisper louder and louder in your ears: “Why would you go outside, you loser? Didn’t have enough yet? Want more people to make fun of how much of a big, fat loser you are?”

And then you start to breath in guilt and shame, instead of air. Every breathe you take is putting more dark thoughts into your body.

Until you get stuck. You can’t move anymore. At all.

If you want to know how I got out of this space, eventually, check out my latest book on Amazon and Kindle.

Running For My Life -from zero to ultramarathoner

Dragos Roua

The guy who started all this. Entrepreneur, ultra-marathoner, tanguero, father and risk taker. I'm blogging here, but I also spend a lot of time in this marvelous space.. You're invited, by the way.

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Since you say emotions are only with us, not part of us, how do you rid yourself of its company? As in how do you get rid of emotion? Im starting to see now how it is more a liability than a pleasure. So how do I rid myself of this excess weight?

  2. @DTucker you don’t need to get rid of the excess, you only need to assess it. Emotions are a feed-back mechanism, and as so they are really an asset, not a liability. The way you look at them might become a liability, though. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  3. Great article. I agree that emotions are indeed part of our feedback system, but separating them from ourselves will only create further divisions within us.

    In my opinion, what we need is to learn to experience our emotions fully without being held captive by them. I’ve written a related article on Living at Peace with Your Emotions which you may be interested to read. Thanks.

  4. […] underestimate your emotions. Or overestimate them. Your emotions are your feed-back system and for that they are very important. Trying to ignore your emotions is […]

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