Are you reacting or responding?
- Are you feeling like an emotional roller-coaster? An erupting tornado?
- Are you defending your emotions while a loved one is telling you that it is causing chaos, pain or confusion for them?
- After all you have a right to feel what you feel, right?
- If they want you to change what you are feeling, isn’t that invalidating you?
Yes, you have a right to your emotions.
No, you are NOT your emotions, and if they are causing grief to others, they may also be causing grief to yourself. Becoming conscious and channeling your emotions does not invalidate you. It empowers you.
But what does that even mean?
What emotions are and what they do
Emotions are electromagnetic waves of energy carrying responsive or reactive potency as a response of thoughts or situations.
Because these waves are electric they charge us with potent power, like a power house. This power can fuel motivation, passion, perseverance, courage and many excellent responses to life.
Because these waves are magnetic, they attract allies, resources and matching frequencies.
We can say that emotions are a human superpower! Like all superpowers, they can be used for good or for bad.
Reactive vs. Responsive Emotions
One of the first aspects you need to become crystal clear and aware about your emotions at any given time is whether they are reactive or responsive.
When an emotion is reactive it usually has three easily detectable qualities:
- It is triggered automatically and immediately
- It is old and recurrent. It’s an old topic with you
- It is overwhelming and hard to subdue or channel
A Reactive Emotion controls you. You do not control it. It is triggered instantly by an event or by what someone says. What arises is an emotional tidal wave that is very hard to subdue and overrides your best intentions.
You get “emotional” maybe even irrational, though your logical mind may justify your emotions based on old interpretations.
The reason for this is that this is an old, learned emotion that has been embedded in your energy field and is connected to unresolved issues and traumas. You have not resolved these issues and the emotions connected to these issues have become part of what I call the Emotional Undertow. This quagmire of old, toxic emotions rises to the surface and brings ALL past emotions to the situation. That is why it’s so overwhelming.
The old learned toxic emotions now trigger the old events and the thoughts, beliefs, scripts and interpretations that you got installed during that event begins to repeat themselves over and over. You justify your reactive emotions with these scripts, overlaying them over the current situation.
At this point, you are in a Reactive Trance. You are no longer responding to the present. You are in the past, responding to the past. Yes, you see the person or situation. But no, you don’t see it as it is. It is distorted by your past story.
How do you know if you are in the Reactive Trance?
- Do you jump whenever certain words are said or certain things happen and start defending yourself or attacking others (you may feel that you are “putting them in their place”)?
- Do you feel trapped in a repetitive cycle where you say the same things and hear the same things?
- Are you talking over others? Are you constantly interrupting them to defend yourself because you are feeling attacked?
- Are they telling you that you are not listening, do they often tell you “this is not really what I said” or “That’s not what I meant”?
- Do you feel blamed and blame others as a reaction?
- Are you taking everything personally? If someone says that they feel bullied, do you immediately interpret it as them saying that YOU are a bully?
- Can you separate what you are feeling from the reality of the interaction? In other words: you may be feeling scared, but that does not mean that the other person is scaring, threatening or bullying you. (It may or may not be.)
- Do you lose perspective of who the other person is, their track record and history with you and may feel attacked or rejected by someone who loves you?
- Do you feel unsafe, attacked, rejected and chaotic?
These are all signs that you are trapped in a Reactive Trance. Some Toxic Field has been activated in you that carries an old program with old stories, emotions and interpretations and you are reacting from that place, unable to release yourself from its grip.
The problem is that you believe that what is trapping you and attacking you is the current situation, not any old story.
Emotional Work is the Foundation of your Success
The inner work of familiarizing yourself with your old stories and the emotions they carry helps you create emotional awareness of your Reactive Emotions, so that when they are triggered, you can slow down, breathe and release the triggers.
This is not a one-day job. Seek therapy, life coaching and group or individual help that helps you to understand, channel and master your emotions creatively and to be aware of your old stories and emotional triggers. Any investment of time and money you do in this area will pay out in all areas of your life, especially in relationships.
Responsive Emotions are emotions that are fresh, flowing from the actual current situation or interaction, spontaneous, full of intuitive insights and creating shifts, changes, connections and transformation.
This is not about “positive” emotions vs. “negative” emotions. Not at all!
This is about being present, unclouded by old issues and being able to truly respond to what is.
Reactive Emotions take away your ability to be present, connect, and respond creatively and intuitively in order to achieve collective transformation. They are emotional cages that keep you locked in the learned reactions from the past.
Responsive Emotions allow you to be present creatively, intuitively, in connection. They allow you to listen deeply, expand your perception, increase your connection and achieve a collective transformation.
How do you know if your emotions are responsive?
- Can you calm down long enough to listen deeply to the other, connect emotionally and NOT react until they are finished?
- Is there a deeper understanding of the other? Can you walk in their shoes for a while until you understand them and expand your perception?
- Is there progress being made? Is the conversation or interaction moving forward? Can you see more, understand more and connect more pieces?
- If there are any triggers, are they subtle or passing? Are you able to see them and release them?
- Are you able to separate any old personal issues from the present situation?
- Are you able to receive criticism and feedback and truly listen, seeing new things about yourself or appreciating how others see you, even though you may feel a bit defensive or disagree with their perception?
- Do you feel that there is honesty with respect coming from each person?
- Do you feel safe, no matter what is happening, because you are anchored in self-love and compassion?
A meditation to Release Reactive Emotions and become Responsive
The meditation below may help. Do it before you engage in a difficult conversation. If you see that you are in a vicious cycle in a conversation and going nowhere fast; or if you are speaking over another or feeling defensive, ask for a break in the conversation or simply stop, breathe and say this meditation in your heart before continuing. It has two parts.
Do a full cycle of deep, gentle, slow inhalation and exhalation for each one:
“I am in the presence of the Divine. I am loved and protected. I see a Sacred Mirror that invites me to grow. What can I see and learn about myself as old emotions arise? I see myself in this mirror and own my old stories.”
“I step out of my old stories. I am present here and now and listen deeply to this amazing new experience. As I listen, I walk on the others’ shoes. Now I am free of fear as I seek to understand. I grow and expand. Everything is in perfect divine order.”
You can also use these scripts to do EFT (tapping.) Embed the sentences in the middle of the process after you do the set up or use the storytelling tapping technique and use the sentences to prompt, express and release the old stories.