Emotions - How To Understand, Identify and Release Your Emotions What Are Emotions – Feelings? Different people define emotions in different ways. Some make a distinction between emotions and feelings saying that a feeling is the response part of the emotion and that an emotion includes the situation or experience, the interpretation, the perception, and the response or feeling related to the experience of a particular situation. For the purposes of this article, I use the terms interchangeably. John D. (Jack) Mayer says, “Emotions operate on many levels. They have a physical aspect as well as a psychological aspect. Emotions bridge thought, feeling, and action – they operate in every part of a person, they affect many aspects of a person, and the person affects many aspects of the emotions.” Dr. Maurice Elias says, “Emotions are human beings’ warning systems as to what is really going on around them. Emotions are our most reliable indicators of how things are going on in our lives. Emotions help keep us on the right track by making sure that we are led by more than the mental/ intellectual faculties of thought, perception, reason, memory.” Why Bother With Emotions? Emotions control your thinking, behavior and actions. Emotions affect your physical bodies as much as your body affects your feelings and thinking. People who ignore, dismiss, repress or just ventilate their emotions, are setting themselves up for physical illness. Emotions that are not felt and released but buried within the body or in the aura can cause serious illness, including cancer, arthritis, and many types of chronic illnesses. Negative emotions such as fear, anxiety, negativity, frustration and depression cause chemical reactions in your body that are very different from the chemicals released when you feel positive emotions such as happy, content, loved, accepted. Belief Systems Underlying much of our behavior is what is called a belief system. This system within us filters what we see and hear, affecting how we behave in our daily lives. There are many other elements that affect our lives, including past lives and the core issues we come into this life for resolution, but our belief systems in this life have a major effect on what we think and do. Your belief system affects your perceptions or how you interpret what you see, hear and feel. For example, a person raised by an angry man or woman will view people in the future with beliefs that anger is bad or that it is something to fear. Another example would be someone who is quite intelligent but who has never been encouraged or honored for their intelligence, this person might believe they are stupid. Men raised in conservative societies might have the belief that women who work outside of the home are not as good as those who do not work outside of the home. It takes a lot of work to look at yourself and identify the beliefs that are affecting your life in a negative manner. However, knowing your beliefs will give you a sound basis for emotional freedom. I do believe that it’s wise to deal with the belief systems before dealing with the identification and release of emotions. First things first! Other People, Places, and Things Cannot Change How You Feel The only person who can change what you feel is you. A new relationship, a new house, a new car, a new job, these things can momentarily distract you from your feelings, but no other person, no material possession, no activity can remove, release, or change how you feel. How often do you hear people say things like “when I have enough money, I won’t be afraid anymore”, only to find there never seems to be enough money to stop being afraid. Or “when I’m in a secure relationship I won’t feel lonely any more”, and finding they are still lonely regardless of their relationship. We need to understand that we take our feelings with us wherever we go. A new dress, a new house, a new job, none of these things change how we feel. Our feelings remain within us until we release them. Emotions Are Not the Only Cause of Illness Emotions are not the only cause of illness. Little babies and young children get ill, and not always because of their emotional issues. There are many causes of illness including emotions, but they are not the sole cause of illness. The causes of illness today are quite different from the issues causing illness 20 or 30 years ago. We are living in a world filled with chemical, metal, and atomic poisons, radiation, pollution, and pesticides in our food. Two Basic Emotions In Life – Love and Fear There are only two basic emotions that we all experience, love and fear. All other emotions are variations of these two emotions. Thoughts and behavior come from either a place of love, or a place of fear. Anxiety, anger, control, sadness, depression, inadequacy, confusion, hurt, lonely, guilt, shame, these are all fear-based emotions. Emotions such as joy, happiness, caring, trust, compassion, truth, contentment, satisfaction, these are love-based emotions. There are varying degrees of intensity of both types of emotions, some being mild, others moderate, and others strong in intensity. For example, anger in a mild form can be felt as disgust or dismay, at a moderate level can be felt as offended or exasperated, and at an intense level can be felt as rage or hate. And the emotion that always underpins anger is fear. Physical Effects of Emotions Emotions have a direct effect on how our bodies work. Fear-based emotions stimulate the release of one set of chemicals while love-based emotions release a different set of chemicals. If the fear-based emotions are long-term or chronic they damage the chemical systems, the immune system, the endocrine system and every other system in your body. Our immune systems weaken and many serious illnesses set in. This relationship between emotions, thinking, and the body is being called Mind/Body Medicine today. You Cannot Control Your Emotions You cannot change or control your emotions. You can learn how to be with them, living peacefully with them, transmuting them (which means releasing them), and you can manage them, but you cannot control them. Think of the people who go along day after day seeming to function normally, and all of a sudden they will explode in anger at something that seems relatively trivial and harmless. That is one sign of someone who is trying to control or repress their emotions but their repressed emotions are leaking out. The more anyone tries to control their emotions the more they resist control, and the more frightened people eventually become at what is seen to be a “loss of emotional control”. It is a vicious circle. It’s important today to be politically correct. And that means not challenging or disagreeing with what the average person believes. It means not expressing negative emotions in public. Showing emotion in public in North American and European societies represents being “out of control” a great sign of weakness. People feel uncomfortable with those who express strong emotions. We are a society that is taught to hide our emotions, to be ashamed of them or to be afraid of them. Regardless, we are born with them and must live with them. This means learning how to know them, be with them, and release them. The Difference Between Core Issues and Emotions We each come into this lifetime with at least one core issue to resolve. Different situations will continue to present themselves in different but repeat patterns until you have dealt with the core issues in your life. A few examples of core issue are abandonment / victimization, demanding justice in all matters, living spiritually rather than materially. These are overarching issues that affect emotions completely. Many people find out about their core issues by learning to deal with their emotions. It is a gentle pathway that leads you into a deeper knowing of your core issues. Emotions and Emotional Abuse Emotional abuse is a form of violence in relationships. Emotional abuse is just as violent and serious as physical abuse but is often ignored or minimized because physical violence is absent. Emotional Abuse can include any or all of the following elements. It can include rejection of the person or their value or worth. Degrading an individual in any way is emotionally abusive, involving ridiculing, humiliating and insulting behavior. Terrorizing or isolating a person is deeply abusive and happens to children, adults, and often the elderly. Exploiting someone is abusive. Denying emotional responses to another is deeply abusive. The “silent treatment” is a cruel way of controlling people and situations. Where there is control there is no love, only fear. If you are living in a situation that is emotionally abusive please seek help from either a professional or one of the many helpful organizations present in most communities, to help you sort out your issues. Emotions stemming from emotional abuse are deep and complex, requiring ongoing help from those trained to deal with emotional abuse. “Go South” – Feeling Your Feelings People spend much time talking about how they feel. They attend workshops, they visit therapists, and they tell others who did what to them and describe how they feel about it. They talk and talk about their feelings but they don’t feel their feelings. They intellectualize and analyze their feelings without feeling them. People are afraid to really feel their feelings, afraid of losing control, afraid of the pain involved in feeling their emotions, of feeling the sense of loss or failure or whatever the emotion brings with it. People are afraid to cry. So much of life is about what you feel rather than what you think. Being strongly connected to your emotional life is essential to living a life with high energy and a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction. I was privileged to work with a professional many years ago when I was learning about my emotional self. I remember the day Fred told me that he knew what I thought about the situation, and then asked me “How did it feel?” I was smiling as long as I was providing a description of the situation. As soon as I looked for the feelings inside of me I began to cry. It did not feel very good. I was hurting. Fred used a term “Go South” to help me go to my feelings rather than an intellectual approach. He used to tell me to “Go South”. Many of our feelings reside in our midriff and navel area. Today I will often tell myself to “Go South” Mary, meaning, “How does it really feel Mary”? How We Repress Emotions When we have an experience that we find painful or difficult, and are either unable to cope with the pain, or just afraid of it, we often dismiss this emotion and either get busy, exercise more, drink or eat a bit more, or just pretend it has not happened. When we do this we do not feel the emotion and this results in what is called repressed, suppressed or buried emotions. These feelings stay in our muscles, ligaments, stomach, midriff, auras. These emotions remain buried within us until we bring that emotion up and feel the emotion, thus releasing it. Emotions that are buried on the long-term are the emotions that normally cause physical illness. The following are a few examples of the methods people use to avoid feeling their emotions. Ignoring your feelings Pretending something hasn’t happened Overeating Eating foods loaded with sugar and fat Excessive drinking of alcohol Excessive use of recreational drugs Using prescription drugs such as tranquilizers or Prozac Exercising compulsively Any type of compulsive behavior Excessive sex with or without a partner Always keeping busy so you can’t feel Constant intellectualizing and analyzing Excessive reading or TV Working Excessively Keeping conversations superficial Burying angry emotions under the mask of peace and love Symptoms of Repressed Emotions It takes a lot of energy to keep emotions repressed and buried. If you keep emotions buried for a long period of time, you lower your overall vibrations, and lower vibrations lead to illness and an accelerated ageing process. Buried emotions create fatigue and depression. The following are some major symptoms of buried and repressed emotions. Fatigue Depression without an apparent cause Speaking of issues/interests rather than personal matters and feelings Pretending something doesn’t matter when inside it does matter Rarely talking about your feelings Blowing up over minor incidents Walking around with a knot in your stomach or tightness in your throat Feeling your anger not at the time something happens but a few days later In relationships, focusing discussions on children/ money rather than talking about yourselves Difficulty talking about yourself Troubled personal relationships with family, friends, acquaintances A lack of ambition or motivation Lethargic – who cares - attitude Difficulty accepting yourself and others Laughing on the outside while crying on the inside Effects of Repressed or Buried Emotions Repressed or buried emotions can cause major difficulties in the physical body and energetic systems. They affect all your relationships, and they especially affect your ability to grow spiritually and shift your level of consciousness. Emotions repressed for the long-term can cause serious illness including cancer, arthritis, chronic fatigue, and many other major health problems. Since repressed emotions can rest either in your body or auras, they can cause holes in your auras, through which your energy leaks out creating fatigue, a sense of vulnerability, and low self-confidence. When you have repressed emotions, your behavior and reactions to events in the present moment are really reactions to past events as well as the present. This has a negative effect on all relationships in your life. You cannot be fully present with those you love in today until you have released your emotions from the past. You buried emotions because they were too painful and difficult to deal with when they occurred and your reactions to today’s events are affected by this pain and hurt that remains buried in your body. It takes a lot of energy to bury emotions and to keep them buried. There isn’t much energy left over for other activities when your energy is being used to keep stuffing these emotions back down. By nature, buried emotions want to come up so you can become aware of them, feel them and release them. You work very hard to keep them stuffed down. Our real purpose in being on Mother Earth is to keep increasing our level of consciousness and living a more spiritual or love-based life. The higher the consciousness someone has, the higher degree of spirituality in his or her life. The higher the spirituality the closer we are to being what we are meant to be, a fully integrated and loving human being. You cannot shift to higher levels of consciousness as long as you have major negative emotions buried within you. Committing To Emotional Health People who make a deep commitment to themselves to become emotionally healthy are willing to go to great lengths to learn about their emotional selves and to do what is required to release buried emotions. This is often an uncomfortable and difficult journey when you begin, but I promise you great joy once you’ve gotten over the first few hurdles. Once you make this commitment your journey to identify your issues and release buried emotions will become much easier. Methods To Identify Your Emotions Emotions are reliable indicators of what is really going on inside of us. There are many ways to identify emotions and you will have to choose the manner that is most suitable to your personality. Some people need to do this in solitude whereas others need to do this with others. Some will want to write while others will use a much more casual approach. Sometimes it’s best to combine a number of approaches for a deeper identification of emotions. The following are a few methods you can use to identify what you are really feeling about a person, place, situation or thing. Identifying your emotions is the first step to a rich and healthy emotional life. Use a number or all of these methods. Find the ones that suit you and use them to help you in your journey towards emotional health. Awareness is the first step of change! Become aware To Your Thoughts and Daydreams - We become so accustomed to thinking in certain patterns that we are no longer aware or conscious about our thoughts and daydreams. Catch those daydreams, hold the thoughts, bring them up into your conscious mind. This will tell you a great deal about yourself, what you love and hate, and about your relationships. If you possibly can, keep a written diary of these for a month or two. Writing down your thoughts and daydreams will help you to organize, experience, and understand your thought patterns and bring them into a higher level of awareness within you. If you keep a written record for a period of time you will begin to see important patterns in your feeling and thinking. Identify Your “Little and Unimportant Hurts”– More people walk around saying it’s not important or it doesn’t matter when it is very important and a big piece of hurting emotion is buried within them. They will describe this hurt and being small and unimportant. Men tend to do this rather frequently. Write down a detailed description of all the “little and unimportant hurts” that somehow don’t go away. Every little hurt that you keep remembering, that won’t go away, regardless of when it happened, must go on this list. Many people have many of these little hurts from childhood. These emotions are buried within creating difficulties with their health. Identifying these hurts will tell you a great deal about your buried and unexpressed emotions. Record What Makes You Feel Strongly For Two Months : Keep an ongoing record of strong emotions for 8 weeks. Regardless of the cause, if it’s the weather, the traffic, your husband, wife, children, politicians, the stock market, your fellow church members, whatever and whoever, add it to your list. Try to identify what really made you angry. Sadness is a mask for anger, and anger is a mask for fear. If you can identify you real fears, what you are afraid of losing or not having, you are well on your way to emotional health. Again, writing this down will help you see things much more clearly, increase your awareness, and help you to know your emotional self at a much deeper level. Memories That Won’t Go Away– If you keep remembering situations, hurts that happened some time ago, you are guaranteed to have repressed emotions around this person or situation. You will need to pull this situation out and re-feel the hurt around it. Try to document these carefully since these are more than likely causing you much physical distress. Forgiveness is something that occurs as a result of owning and releasing your emotions. We often reach for forgiveness without doing the work required to release emotions of hurt and anger. Forgiveness is a result of an emotional process. There are no short cuts. Keep a Journal of the Emotions in Your Dreams: Many people who begin to take Choming Essences find that they begin to remember their dreams, dreams full of emotions, stories and colors. Keep paper and pencil by your bedside and jot down your dreams as soon as you begin to waken. Write down the emotions you are experiencing in your dreams. The activity in a dream can be secondary, the emotions being experienced there are essential. The emotions in your dreams are the very emotions that you are repressing and burying within. Dreams can give you a deep insight into your emotional self. Be Specific About The Emotions You Are Experiencing:: Confusion occurs when people are trying to get to know their emotions because they speak in general terms rather than specific emotions. A good example of this is depression. You may be experiencing loneliness for people, loneliness for God (spiritual loneliness), boredom, and a lack of creativity in your life. You may be feeling abandoned because of a death or divorce. If you just say you are depressed you will have great difficulty releasing the emotion or finding a solution to the situation causing the emotion. A good example of this is the difference between jealousy and envy. Jealousy relates to being resentful of a person’s advantages be they in social standing, education, profession, or it can relate to resentment of a rival in love or affection. Envy is a discontentment or resentment aroused by anothers good fortune or success. Eating, Drinking, Exercising, or Any Type of Compulsive or Excessive Behavior:: We often go for weeks, even years acting in a manner that is normal for us – and what is normal for you may not be normal for another person. Then we will find ourselves overeating, working excessively, drinking daily, engaging in compulsive sex, working long hours, and many other types of compulsive behavior. We stuff down our feelings through excessive behavior, ensuring we do not feel them at that moment. We do this because the feelings are too painful or we are just too afraid of these feelings and where they might lead us in our thinking and actions. Try to identify the times when your excessive behavior was triggered and, as soon as you can, identify the emotion that is causing this behavior. It can be stress or fear related to a new job, the death of a friend or partner, difficulties with lovers or children. Document these emotions as best as you can. We never do anything without getting something from it. There is a reason why you are engaged in excessive or compulsive behavior. When What You Say and Do Is Not In Sync With What You Feel:: Men and women go through many situations telling themselves that “it doesn’t really matter” or “it’s not important enough to argue about”, basically buying peace by agreeing to something that deep down they do not agree with. They find themselves feeling unhappy, disgruntled, and angry with the individual involved. This type of situation creates tensions and unhappiness in relationships. Buying peace at any price creates negative feelings within you. Identify those situations where you have created depressing feelings within yourself by agreeing to something that makes you don’t really agree with. Write them down. This will be difficult for people who have difficulty saying no, or who are too anxious to please others. But the feelings generated by these situations are very important when dealing with your emotional life. Many times we need to excuse things and just overlook them. That’s normal in life. But we apply this to situations that affect us deeply. It’s these situations we need to identify. Positive Emotions: It is crucial that you identify your positive emotions during these exercises. You are probably very loving, caring, compassionate, trusting, forgiving, generous, many times in each day. Be certain to include the wonderful and good things about yourself as you identify your emotional self. This provides a realistic picture. If you record only negative emotions, your picture of yourself will be quite distorted and lacking in reality. Each one of us is born with all emotions and each emotion needs to be seen in its full and loving energy. The Gentle Whispers of Your Soul: Find a quiet place and time and listen to that inner voice of intuition within you. Each person has it. And listen with your heart rather than your head. Your heart will hear different things from your head. There is a very special time just as you are waking up in the morning but before you are fully awake. This is the time zone when you can often hear your sub-conscious speaking to you. Listen to your thoughts at this time carefully and you will pick up important messages, messages that can help you to identify your emotions, even your core issues. Crying About Your Experience: Crying is a normal releasing function for each human being. We are born with this ability because through crying we release pain, hurt, and associated stress. Please begin to cry about whatever hurts you. Crying or writing and crying about what has happened to you can help you sort out your experience and understand it. And understanding is crucial for many people. If you have had a very painful experience, write one sentence and sit with this sentence and cry. Then write another sentence and sit and cry. In time this process will relieve some of the sensitive pain around your experience and eventually make it endurable. With time, the pain around the situation will lesson, as long as you allow yourself to feel it. Writing About Your Emotions: We can play all sorts of games with our minds, denying reality is something we all do. However, it’s much harder to do that when we write things down. You don’t have to show your list to anyone, but for complete emotional health you have to fully accept your emotions. This acceptance will be accelerated if you write your list and share this list of emotions with one other human being. But be very careful and choose someone who will guarantee you confidentiality. I highly recommend a counselor, minister, priest, psychiatrist or someone trained in this type of work and who guarantees confidentiality. A professional can often help you put a healthy perspective on these emotions. Writing this list is important. Friends/ Counselor/ Minister/ Therapist: You might want to consider seeking the assistance of a counselor, therapist, or minister. They can help you to see things in a more balanced fashion, and help you understand more fully what you are observing in yourself. It can be difficult at times to be objective about yourself. We need friends who love us and care about us, especially when we are hurting. And usually this is not the time when you could say we are at our best. Tell your friends about what hurts you. Feel their comfort and love. Make sure they understand you may not want advice on how to resolve your issues. What we all need is a loving ear to listen to us with their heart. We need loving friends in our lives. Many people pay for a therapist to listen to them because they cannot tell their friends about their experiences. Take the risk and share these happenings and your feelings with close friends whom you can trust. How To Release Emotions Don’t be afraid of your emotions. Don’t fight them, run away from them, blocking them out. Welcome them, be with them, regardless of what they are. We were born with all emotions. They are neither good or bad, they just are. Emotions dissipate and slowly disappear if you feel them, and are present with them. Just close your eyes and feel them as deeply as you can. How To Release Emotions Don’t be afraid of your emotions. Don’t fight them, run away from them, blocking them out. Welcome them, be with them, regardless of what they are. We were born with all emotions. They are neither good or bad, they just are. Emotions dissipate and slowly disappear if you feel them, and are present with them. Just close your eyes and feel them as deeply as you can. Deciding How To Respond To Your Emotions: Once you have identified a certain emotion you will at times need to decide how to proceed in dealing with it. There are many options that need to be considered carefully. Certain approaches can have very serious effects. You could lose your job, or you could lose your marriage. It’s very important to consider your options carefully before saying or doing something that cannot be taken back. The following are a few questions you can ask yourself when deciding what response would suit a particular situation best – and each emotion, each situation is different. *Am I reacting to this situation or is this reaction partially a reaction to a past situation as well? *Am I able to discuss the issues with the person without venting anger? *Will I be able to talk about how I feel to the person? *Is a direct approach the best way to proceed? *What are the consequences of dealing directly with the person/ situation? *What do I expect from this discussion? *Are my expectations realistic? *Should I discuss this with someone before doing anything? By asking these questions you will be deciding whether a direct approach is the best approach, and if so if you are ready do this at the present time. If your anger is at a “rage” stage, you need to release some of this anger before proceeding to discuss this with anyone. The Physical Part of Releasing Your Emotions: There are a number of ways you can begin to release your emotions, especially those relating to anger and hurt. 1) Go into an empty room, or go for a drive alone, and scream, scream as loudly as you can. Scream the words “I hate” or whatever it is you are feeling. So many people have never screamed out their hurt, their rage. Continue to do this as long as it feels right inside. Cry, allow yourself to cry your feeling. 2) If you cannot scream aloud, imagine you are screaming your rage, hurt, and pain. Imagine it and imagine it. See it, and hear it, and especially, feel it as deeply as you can. 3) If you are a physical person, take a pillow and keep hitting a chair, your bed, something, feeling your hurt every time you hit that object with the pillow. Every time you hit that pillow say the words “I hate” or “I am frustrated” or whatever it is that you are feeling. 4) Get yourself a punching bag and hang it in your basement. Then take time to keep hitting that punching bag, releasing your rage. 5) Take your fists and keep pounding a table saying, “I hate” and just keep doing it. 6) If you like to write, write about your anger; write about your hate; write about how hurt you are; write about how afraid you really are. Journal about what happened and how it is affecting you today. Write about what you have lost, or what you have never had that has hurt you so deeply. Feel the feeling! Don’t be afraid of it! Under all the anger, rage, hate, and hurt is one emotion – FEAR! It’s essential to whatever method you choose to realize that you are hating, that you are full of rage and anger, and that this is a safe way to begin to accept your anger, your hate, and to own your anger and hate as your own. So often we are too afraid to lose control or just afraid of the intensity of our rage, that we run away from it and ignore it. The more you ignore it, the bigger it gets. One of the most important things about releasing an emotion is to concentrate on the emotion rather than what caused the emotion. Forget who did what that caused the emotion, forget about the person who did something to you, concentrate on the “I hate” or “I am angry” or “I am so hurt”. It’s the emotion you need to release. Don’t be afraid to feel your emotions. Feeling them means owning them. Transmuting Emotions: Sit in a comfortable chair, close your eyes, put your head back, and relax as best you can. Do the following exercise for 10 deep breaths. Concentrating on your breathing, inhale on the count of six, hold this breath to the count of six, exhale to the count of six, and rest to the count of six, then begin again. If the count of six is too difficult try the count of four or five. Concentrate fully on your process of breathing only. Keep doing this exercise until you feel more relaxed and your head noises have gone away. Then slowly look for the emotion, find where it is buried in your body. All repressed emotions rest in your body and at times in the aura as well. Anger rests around your belly button area but it can also be seen as a black thread-like substance all through the body. Sadness sits in the midriff area. Emotions can rest anywhere in your body including the muscles, ligaments, in bone joints. Take your time, find your emotion. Then take time to really see what this emotion looks like. I had a huge amount of sadness and when I finally found it I saw that it was the shape of a large mass of clouds, clouds so dense and thick that you couldn’t begin to even dent them. These clouds were a very dark gray color. Once you have found your emotion, and described it to yourself, stay with it, hold it, be with it. Do not try to do anything to it – VERY IMPORTANT - just be with it. By being with it you begin to integrate this emotion into your very consciousness and this is the next step in releasing your emotion. As you go back to visit your buried emotion week after week you will find the shape getting smaller and smaller, until eventually it just disappears. It takes many months to transmute an emotion in this way, but it is a powerful manner to release emotions. This is what is meant by “transmuting emotions”. Releasing Resentments: A resentment is a recurring anger where, on a recurring basis, we keep thinking about something someone has done to us, reliving all the particulars around this situation, with ongoing anger, hate, hurt, or whatever the emotion might be. Pray for the person you are resenting. Wish for this person every wonderful thing you would want to have in your most perfect life. Wish them blessing and good fortune in all things. In time, this type of a prayer will release you from your resentment. This is difficult. You can also write about this person. Write all the negative qualities you see in this person. Then write about all the positive qualities you see in this person. Eventually, by writing about the different qualities, a shift will occur within you, bringing you peace of mind. You can write about the situation, what the person did to you and how it affected you, how it made you feel. Write about how you reacted to this situation, what you said and what you did. When we accept responsibility for your own behavior, the resentment often disappears. The Power of Prayer: Certain emotions just hang on, regardless what you do. When human effort fails to produce the desired change, then it’s time to hand this over to the God of your understanding or the Divine Spirit of the Universe. Ask in prayer, that the emotion be lifted from you. My own personal experience has proved to me that this works, when all human effort has failed. There is one thing that I have included in my prayers for many years, asking for a grateful heart. In my late 20s, I was in deep emotional pain and did not believe life was worth living. I was taught to look for things in my life that I could be grateful for, regardless of the difficulty. It was hard to do this when I was in such emotional pain, but it was essential to my healing. This prayer for a grateful heart has stayed with me for the past 30 years. And today I do have a grateful heart. Being very human, it disappears at times, but it returns when my energy goes there. A Meditation With the Heart of the Universe: Close your eyes, sitting in a relaxed and comfortable position with both feet on the ground, your hands sitting gently on your thighs. Begin to breathe deeply, inhaling and exhaling slowly and gently, concentrating on your breathing. Do this deep breathing at least 10 – 15 times, concentrating on only your breathing. This will help you relax at all levels and clear the noises from you mind. You will have to practice this relaxation a number of times before proceeding with the full meditation. Once you have relaxed, feel your heart, be with your heart. Then go out into the Universe, and visit the stars and the spaces between the stars, until you find that sacred place, the Heart of the Universe. Approach it slowly, respectfully and with humility. Then ask that the love of the Universal Heart be more deeply connected with your heart, and that your heart be filled with the love of the Universe. Stay with this for as long as you can. Feel the love of this Universal Heart. Once you feel your heart has received the love it needs at this time, thank the Universal Heart for sharing its love with you and slowly open your eyes and come back into the present moment. We need to ask! Over time, this meditation will expand your ability to love more deeply, shifting out the negative emotions. It’s a powerful meditation. Shifting Your Perspective: Life brings injustice, abuse, bad luck, and emotions of hurt, anger, self-pity, and depression. It’s quite easy to look at what others have done that you consider to be wrong, and these wrongs are very real. It’s not as easy to look at your response to the real wrong or injustice done to you. Someone might have demeaned you and degraded you. Did you punish them in some manner for their behavior? Was your response to the situation a healthy and loving response? Emotions around injustice of any kind are complex. Once we accept personal responsibility for our responses, the emotions around a given situation tend to lose their hold over us. It’s important to honor that an injustice has occurred. But it’s equally important to be ready to release that from your life, which involves looking at your own behavior, and accepting responsibility for your own actions. Detach Yourself: When your emotions are running high and you are having difficult reducing the intensity, try to detach yourself from the situation and the emotion. Try to imagine the same situation happening to someone else. Try to see if the behavior would be the same if someone else were in your situation. If the answer is yes then you can begin to see that the experience is not necessarily being focused at you. The other person is probably acting unconsciously, and you just happen to be the individual “in their way”. Detaching yourself in this manner can help you move through very difficult situations without taking the abuse personally. You might need to terminate the situation causing the emotions, but your detachment allows you to look at things more rationally and quietly. Knowing Your Fears: What are the fears underlying your emotions? You will need to know and understand your fears. To do this you will have to swallow some pride and admit and accept that you have many fears that are affecting what you do each day. These fears are often not at the conscious level. Are you afraid of being alone; abandonment; the unknown; adventure; losing face; ridicule; not having enough money; loneliness; death; suffering; losing prestige; not being honored for your work and effort; losing your wife or husband – the list is endless? Fears are tricky things. There are some that you need to ignore and just act as if you were not afraid. For example, if you’re afraid to say no, your fear will leave as you begin to say no when you need to say no. At times it’s like exercising a muscle. The more you use it the easier it gets. Other fears are a healthy warning that something is very wrong. For example, a person might be afraid of another person. This fear might be the signal to avoid that person, to leave the relationship. As you become aware of your fears and own them to be truly yours, a day will come when you will notice that one of them has somehow disappeared. That’s the way it is with fear. As you live a life in tune with your emotions, a life focused on coming from that place of love, you will find that many of your fears will just disappear. Accepting Responsibility For Your Emotions: Taking care of ourselves is the greatest way we can love ourselves in a wholesome and healthy manner. And this means accepting responsibility for our emotions. Remember, emotions are not good or bad. They just are. But be careful and don’t punish yourself or be too hard on yourself. Balance is the key work. Each human being is very human, and that means each one of us is born with a full range of emotions. Conclusion Living In Peace: Once you have completed the looking, the understanding, the releasing of your buried emotions, you may find you have become accustomed to being in a more intense emotional state. The exercises above will heighten your overall emotionality. If you are relatively certain you have done what can be done, make a decision to live in peace, at peace with yourself, and at peace with others. You can decide this. Avoid those situations that you know will create conflict and upsets. You cannot change others, you can only change yourself. There are times where it’s important to stand and fight. It takes a lot of wisdom to “accept the things you cannot change, and change the things you can”. Wisdom to know the difference brings peace of mind. With Love and Caring, Mary Buchowski-Kurus. Vibrational Consultant.