Myth #2: Emotions Aren't Spiritual
[Originally published 4/2/16]
Have you ever felt guilty for having a “negative” emotion?
After an exhausting week, Susan was grateful to relax on the couch and watch a movie with her husband Bob. During a sad scene in the movie, a few tears began to stream gently down Susan’s cheeks. Bob looked over at her and jokingly said, “Uh oh. Here come the waterworks again!” Susan immediately felt a bit embarrassed and then angry with Bob for his teasing, but did her best to keep up a friendly façade. As she stewed over how judged and misunderstood she felt, she became angrier and angrier. Then she began to feel guilty for feeling that way because after all, Bob had been nice enough to let her choose the movie and had even put his arm around her while sitting together. How could she consider herself to be a loving person yet feel such deep anger toward her partner over such a small thing?
Guess what? All your emotions are helpful to you on your spiritual journey!
Among some of the “spiritual correctness” out there, I have seen a lot of what I call emotion-bashing. There is a prevalent belief that our emotions somehow have the potential to lead us down the nonspiritual path. More specifically, the idea is that we have spiritually based emotions (such as joy, compassion, and love), and we have ego-based emotions (such as anger, jealousy, and rage). But I am here to cry “foul” to this dichotomous self-judgment!
Our emotions provide us with an internal guidance system which helps us navigate our way to a more soul-led life. If we recognize our emotions to be divine messengers, it totally changes the dynamic we have with ourselves. Those “positive” emotions let us know what is important for us on our journey. What are known as “negative” emotions communicate one of two things: (1) what is discordant to our soul, or (2) where we have pain which needs to be explored and released in order to experience love and life more fully. Whenever an emotion arises, the key is to step back and assess its underlying message so that we have the opportunity to make new choices which support us on our journey.
In the example above, if Susan had let go of her self-judgment and assessed what was going on, she may have found one of two things. She may have realized that Bob can be unaccepting of her emotions, which is getting in the way of experiencing the kind of connection her soul craves. On the other hand, she may have recognized that she is sensitive because of family ridicule she experienced as a child, which contributed to closing her heart in certain ways. In either case, Susan’s emotions could guide her to greater clarity and love.
If we stop judging our emotions as good or bad and lovingly accept them all, then we are welcoming divine navigation to more spiritual living.
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10/24/2022 09:00:03 am
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Like you, I am on a journey--a path filled with joy and sorrow, expansion and contraction--with beautiful lessons and fascinating insights each step of the way. Thank you for joining me for a small part of my journey. I look forward to connecting with you on yours.