3 ways in which accessing your emotions can help you break repetitive patterns.
For the longest time, I didn’t know how to deal with emotions. In my 20’s the only way I could register or recognize what I was truly feeling was through getting sick or having unpleasant physical symptoms. I was so disconnected from my emotions that it literally took the physical pain for me to notice what was coming up for me at the moment.
I wasn’t completely numb, but I was definitely repressing lots of feelings. They were escaping my conscious awareness, and somehow my body became my only feedback mechanism. Emotion is a physical experience, and since to a large extent I shut my emotions off, my body had to “scream” to get my attention.
Strangely I got used to this “communication system” I had going with the emotional part of my being. I accepted it, learned to respect it and recognized it was serving a purpose. Otherwise, how would I know if I was overtired, overstressed or was pushing myself too far? How would I know if my boundaries had been crossed or I was being taken advantage of? The pain was an indicator something was off-kilter. It wasn’t an ideal messenger, but at least I was getting some feedback.
But I wanted to make things better. I didn’t want things to get to the point of physical distress. I wanted to be able to get in touch with my feelings sooner, much sooner, before I ended up in physical pain or had a stuttering relapse. I didn’t know how to circumvent the process. When my stuttering would temporarily return, the alarm bells would go off. Mostly because it was my worst fear realized and at the same time it was a sign I must have had been under a tremendous amount of stress, which had gone completely unnoticed by my rational mind. And knowing that was quite disconcerting.
In my search for answers, I got obsessed with body and mind connection, which was my first foray into the world of self-help and personal growth. Mind you it was before the mindfulness explosion and meditation was not as popular as it is now.
Why am I sharing this story? I am sharing it to illustrate what happens when we cut ourselves off from our emotional center. Most of the time is not something we consciously decide to do. It’s not as if one day we get up in the morning and say, “Since today I am repressing my emotions. I just don’t want to deal with them.”
I am sharing this story to show you that if you are disconnected from your feelings, you lose essential parts of yourself. You lose your inner compass, inner guide, and access to your inner protector.
It's crucial that you tune in and listen to the subtle cues your body is sending you and learn other techniques such as intuitive image making to get in touch with your feelings. If you do so, you will eliminate some of the common obstacles keeping you in stuck in repetitive patterns.
1. You will know what you want.
How many times we hear people saying, “I really want to know what my purpose is” - well, discovering life’s passion or a purpose is not an intellectual exercise. It’s not a mathematical equation, and two plus two doesn’t always equal four. Carl Jung (my hero) emphasized that our emotions are critical because they tell us what’s really important to us. If we repress our feelings or have difficulties getting in touch with them, we are going to have a hard time recognizing what we want. When we lose this inner compass, it’s very easy to succumb to external pressures and expectations of others.
2. You will break the pattern of indecision.
The lack of contact with our emotional side can profoundly impact our lives because we will have difficulties making decisions. It doesn't matter if it’s small day-to-day decisions or big life changing ones, the effect of this emotional restriction is equal in both cases. Emotions serve as a guide, and most significant life decisions are initiated by feelings. There are examples in neuroscience showing that patients who sustained brain damage to parts responsible for emotional processing have limited capacity for decision making or are unable to make decisions at all. We are not as rational decision makers as we would like to think. We rationalize our decisions but we are really driven by emotions, and any behavioral economist would agree with that.
3. You will be able to tell which people are safe and which ones are toxic.
Have you repeatedly been getting involved with the same type of person, even though technically “you should have known better”? Someone who was unsupportive, jealous or plain exploitative. Someone who would take but not give or was shooting down your dreams or minimizing you. If you were fully connected to your emotional center, you would have had sensed you were entering a dangerous territory, and hopefully taken a different route. But more often than not we just plunge ahead ignoring any intuitive stirrings, driven by old emotional wounds and unfulfilled needs and find ourselves in a repetitive cycle of unsatisfying relationships. Our emotions are here to guide us and protect us.
If you are feeling something, there is a reason you are feeling it. Don’t ignore it. It's your beacon, and it's calling you to action or non-action for that matter, either way, it's showing you the way. If we tune in and respect our feelings, we win every single time.
So if you want to break the old patterns of confusion, indecision and bad relationships, get in touch with your emotions. It will help you unlock your intuition, your authentic goals, and your decision-making powers.
You can quickly learn how to get in touch with your emotions using image and metaphor. The course will guide you through the step-by-step journey of accessing and transforming your feelings, so they become your allies not blockers.
Learn how to use image making and metaphor to get in touch with your feelings.
This mini-course will guide you through the step-by-step journey of accessing and transforming your emotions, so they are no longer blocking you, but instead become your allies.