Navigating Emotions

The Logical Heart Knows Best

In my experience, I have been conditioned to negate my emotions. I was taught that if I expressed my feelings, specifically uncomfortable ones, or if I did not react in a certain way, I was criticized and punished, often unpredictably. So soon it was safer to not react at all. I began to disconnect from my emotions because they could not be trusted anymore. As a defense mechanism, to cope in my social setting, I denied my negative emotions as best I could, displaying only the emotions I knew beyond a doubt would be favored upon by my loved ones. Happy, positive emotions were easy, but pretty soon the pressure to act happy in certain cases was also a strain, it became a chore to show any emotion at all.

I admired Mr. Spock on the then-popular TV series Star Trek, I wanted to be logical and in control, so nothing could hurt me. Emotions were too messy and risky. If only I were Vulcan, then I would be perfect and my loved ones would be happy with me & I would have love, acceptance & peace. Emotions were illogical. Does anyone relate to this view?

Nothing could be further from the truth. It took me years to reconnect to the only reliable compass, my emotions. Go figure, huh? Why are emotions the only reliable compass? Because they are connected to our intuition & higher knowing, often our emotions speak to us first before we become consciously aware of what thought is causing the emotion. Our subconscious and soul pick up on clues and piece them together before our consciousness does, yet it can register as gut feelings…a higher knowing.

Well, all of my formative years practicing non-reactivity were a blessing in disguise. In my line of work, it is an invaluable asset, I can stay calm & be there to help those in need when most people would react. Yet I had to spend years reconnecting and finding myself again, honoring my emotions, noticing them, allowing them & investigating what was causing the emotions.

What causes emotions? I used to feel angry or sad, but could not connect to why because of denying “negative” emotions in my youth. As an adult there was a disconnect with my negative emotions, I denied them and there was often a delayed realization of why I was feeling sad, angry, etc. I lived unconscious of what was causing my negative emotions…I would cope with distraction, compulsive eating, binge drinking & rationalization, blaming fatigue or hormones, or my erroneous thinking. Ignoring and avoiding painful issues in my relationships, especially my relationship with myself.

Thoughts lead to feelings, emotions, I eventually determined. I had to simplify my life & spend much alone time & self-reflecting & reconnection with my inner self. I did The Artist’s Way book and inadvertently meditated, which helped me discover what I liked, what I wanted, instead of what others wanted, instead of trying to please everyone else. I employed lots of readily available tools, educated myself, took responsibility for myself,  to break free of codependency, and discover the real me. All of this led to healing and forgiveness and a reconnection with my soul which spoke its higher knowledge to me through my emotions and intuition. So now when I feel something I usually know exactly why, the thoughts I am thinking line up with the emotions I am feeling, they are connected, not free-floating, not denied though I still resist the negative ones.

Why is it important to honor even the negative emotions, they feel so bad, why not just hurry up and feel better? Well because you might stay in an unhealthy situation when if you stay connected to even the scary feelings you would end up feeling better much sooner because then you can make the necessary changes to correct whatever is causing the suffering. Purely common sense and absolutely logical right?

Yet one must prioritize and discern what is worth reacting over. It would be nonproductive to act upon every fleeting irritation. So I have become mindful & conscious of my thoughts and resulting feelings until I have a habit of refocusing my awareness on positive thoughts. I prioritize what I allow to upset me because now I am conscious of the connection between thoughts and emotions and how valuable & intelligent & logical it is to feel them so I can know what is true for me. I alone am in control of my thoughts & feelings and actions. Liberating yet also no one else to blame but me. I take action over important issues, work upon what is within my control and do my best to let the rest go. This requires good boundaries. Which I will examine in my next post.

So what about all this LOA….find the best feeling thought? Well yes, that’s after you have done common sense things within your control and changing the externals within your power first. For example, if you are in an abusive relationship, or if it’s just not a good fit and beneficial for you, do you stay and try to think good thoughts about it hoping that will stop the bad feelings or that things will magically improve so you won’t have to go through the discomfort of change, not to mention the displeasure of others? Really?

Being positive and practicing LOA does not mean you deny negative emotions. It does mean though that in your daily goings about you try to focus on enjoyment. And if you become adept at listening to your emotional guidance system, negative emotions become your friends and indicate chances to grow…propelling you to more of what you want. Your heart’s desires speak to you through those pesky emotions. It’s how you utilize them that becomes tricky, a constant process, to keep you growing and to allow more of what you are wanting to become reality in your life.

The logical heart knows best.

I still don’t like feeling bad, but I accept that if I didn’t have a full spectrum of emotions that would mean I could not have a full spectrum of experiences 🙂 Though Mr. Spock didn’t do too bad….oh yeah, he was half-human, so the fun bits he enjoyed? Human emotions, rock 😉

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Michelle Miyagi
Hi! I was an RN, BSN in mental/behavioral health for 27 years. Now I'm helping empower caring people like me to prioritize themselves by maintaining healthier boundaries for more freedom, peace, and joy. I am also active in Long Covid advocacy.

4 Responses to “Navigating Emotions

  • Wonderful Michelle. So though provoking. Throughly enjoyed it. You know I had quite the opposite; allowed to just express whatever, whenever. Maybe “allowed” is not quite the term but they just let me run wild. So, an entirely different experience. However, I note that as I “age” I have realized that the times I have really learned about myself is when I have had an experience where I have “released” some sort of “negative energy.” Unfortunately folks get caught in the crossfire; I myself get caught! But those are great learning experiences and as I continue I leave much to the wayside; there rarely is a time now where the negative wins. Positive experiences are beautiful and easy; calming waters. I relish the different passions that both bring to the table. 🙂 Love ya and love your words. They are soothing and real.

    • Thanks beautiful Kate! Thank you for your loving encouragement & positive words! Life gives us negative experiences to offer opportunities to create, learn, change, grow…releasing fears, expanding love. Wake up calls giving us a chance to change. To try something different by calling attention to what is not working. Gotta change in order to create different results. Our emotions guide us without fail, the trick is figuring out what is true and loving for us 🙂 I am always working on this mindful way of being to be responsible and allow the highest flow of love by consciously choosing. Love you too!

  • The Live Food Experience
    11 years ago

    Great post. This is a recent theme in my life as well. Buried emotions served me well growing up the middle child in a house full of boys. I’ve come a long way since then. Still have a journey ahead of me. Funny that you mention Spock, I watched “Wrath of Khan” tonight. Old school Star Trek. Love long and prosper.

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