Connect to Your Emotions to Build a Brighter Future
By Melissa Karnaze
Emotions Reflect Belief Systems
For centuries human civilizations have constructed emotions as the polar opposite of rational thinking. Today, many of us believe that not only our emotions and rational thinking opposites—they are also pitted against one another. Many of us believe that emotion/feeling/passion is a threat to thought/logic/rationality, as the virtue of logical left-brain activity is increasingly sanctified in the Western and globalised world. But, if we see emotions from a more balanced perspective based on findings from our improving sciences, we see that emotion and thought are not against one another—they work in symbiosis and actually complement each other.
There is a growing body of scientific publications in psychology, cognitive science, and affective science (especially with respect to appraisal theory) showing how feeling and reason are entwined in the brain. This growing research is revealing how our thoughts, beliefs, assumptions about the world, and the subconscious all directly affect our emotions. Often times, if not always, it is because of our belief system framework that we experience certain emotions in certain situations; studies have shown that if we change the way we think, to some extent we in turn change the way we feel.
So when we say that a particular emotion is illogical, what we really mean is that the underlying belief systems that lead to that emotion are illogical. But what does logic mean exactly? Logic is the process of inference based on a certain body of knowledge. It is making the "best" or "correct" choice—the most statistically favored choice based on what is already known about some natural phenomena.
For example, if you know from experience that all the people you have encountered are mortal, and you meet a new person, it is logical for you to presume that they are also mortal. It is logical for you to infer this because: they are a person, statistically speaking all people you have encountered are mortal, and the statistically favored choice (based on what you know) is the logical one.
Since logic is based upon statistics, there are times when making the logical choice in a given situation can be improved upon. This is especially important to remember when trying to determine what is "logical" human behavior. Given the complex nature of consciousness and subconsciousness, it is very difficult determining what our conscious knowledge base actually is at a given point in time, and to what extent or how our subconsciousness is affecting that body of knowledge (e.g. – through subconscious cultural and/or childhood programming).
What we can determine, however, is how we respond emotionally to events in our life at a given point in time (as long as we are not suppressing our feelings). Our emotional reactions, many of which are subconscious or automatic, are simply the physical body's way of communicating the importance/meaning/saliency of internal and/or external stimuli, and how it relates to our personal well-being. Therefore, while we may not be able to know what our knowledge base is at a given point in time, we can see what beliefs are being triggered by our emotional responses.
Emotions are body-based experiences that have evolved over time to mobilize us to respond to our internal and/or external environment so that we may optimize our personal health and pursue our goals in life. However, because emotions are also affected by our cultural programming, they may at times not act in our best interest—if the cultural programming is not in our best interest. Thus emotions do not only serve as positive adaptations for survival; they are also susceptible to inaccurate, unbalanced, and unhealthy thoughts, beliefs, and assumptions about the world, and subconscious programs.
Consequences of Polarizing Emotion & Rational Thinking
- Promoting fear and secrecy so that we lose touch with our common humanity and therefore cannot work together as one people to counter the global elite's efforts.
- Polarizing us so that we focus on blaming others for our problems rather than finding real solutions in ourselves and being able to solve problems at a larger and more global scale.
- Distracting us from our deeper purpose in life so that we are consumed by superficial gains rather than in active pursuit of finding our meaning in life and how we can make the world a better place.
Furthermore, when we have an unbalanced perspective on emotion—whereby we view emotion as the opposite of reason and therefore dangerous to us because it is "illogical"—the global elite can control humanity for their own purposes by:
- Promoting fear that our "negative" or socially unacceptable emotions are harmful, dangerous, and destructive, so that we: keep our emotions hidden or secret, for fear of negative consequences; invalidate our emotions, thus cutting off our link to our the subconscious beliefs which hold much power in our behaviors and constrain how we construct our life and well-being; and neglect our true needs by not fully expressing our feelings and being emotional present and thus available in our closest relationships.
- Polarizing our "emotional" self from our "rational" self so that we focus on the "problem" emotions rather than the problematic beliefs or situations that give them cause to exist in the first place.
- Distracting us from our deeper purpose in life so that we feel compelled to consume superficial gains under the illusionary impression that they will bring us the deeper meaning we strive for in our lives. Superficial gains may include: buying a consumer product with hopes and even expectations that it will bring us greater happiness or satisfaction in our life and relationships, turning to outside forces for the love and acceptance we truly seek from within—from ourselves; and turning to addictive/compulsive behaviors to avoid how we are feeling and thus avoid processing and learning from our emotional pain and using our fears as an invitation to growth.
Each of these is detrimental to our personal well-being because each of these disconnects us from our emotional self, polarizing us from within. When we are polarized from within, we have no framework from which to determine our goals and values and life, let alone implement them through our actions. And when we do not know what we believe at a core level or what world we want to create—we allow others to make those decisions for us, others who may not have our best interests at heart.
Moving Toward a Brighter Future with a Balanced Perspective of Emotion
Our future shines brighter when we improve our relationship with ourself—with our emotional self, and with our ego. The ego is merely our subconscious defense system which protects us from past painful situations repeating themselves; it needs our acceptance and validation, and it needs for us to work with it to understand what dysfunctional programming we need to change.
When we see that there is reason behind each of our emotional responses, we see that is in our best interests to explore that reason, how it came to be, and whether we believe it to be true.
When we see that our emotions are part of who we are as physical and spiritual beings, then we see why it is so important for us to express them in safe and appropriate ways, rather than suppressing, censoring, ignoring, or invalidating them.
When we see that emotions are simply biological signals for what is good/bad, pleasant/painful, desirable/undesirable, useful/detrimental to us, etc., it is clear that we must listen to these signals, assess how accurate they are, and respond to them with mindfulness.
As we improve our relationship with ourselves, we begin to accept all of our emotions as having the right to exist and as being invaluable tools for discovering who we are and what we believe…so that we may choose healthy, balanced beliefs that will allow us to build a brighter future, together.
Melissa Karnaze writes more about emotions & health and emotional intelligence at: http://mindfulconstruct.com