Sources of Emotions

In my book MindWorks, I describe nine sources of emotions. Here, I will explain just two of them and describe how they create conflicts and repressions in our bodies.

Sometimes, people notice that some of my practices seem contradictory. That’s good. It means people are paying attention and at least somewhat skeptical of my work.  I’ll cover why sometimes some lesson practices appear to contradict each other.

If I were teaching breathing and we worked on inhaling with the diaphragm, it might seem like a contradiction later when I taught exhaling. Both inhaling and exhaling are needed. These are opposing actions, but as a larger process, they work together.

When you go to the gym and exercise, you work on strengthening muscles. In the process, the muscle tightens and shortens.  Then, we must do a contradicting action, such as stretching to lengthen the muscle. Multiple steps are needed for a well-lengthened stong muscle.

In lesson 1 on Gratitude, I invite you to practice focusing on what you are grateful for. This may be new, and so you might have to apply a story to create those feelings of gratitude. The essence is to use something about you or around you to build feelings. This lesson will help you connect with the emotions you feel inside by connecting you with emotions that feel safe to begin with.

In Lesson 2 on Abdication of Power, I tell you to catch the moments when you are generating emotions and pay attention to the story/belief that might be at the source. You go from ascribing your emotions to things outside of you and considering your programmed beliefs are generating them.

Notice thoughts like, “I’m frustrated by this slow car” and refrain from believing it.  This might sound like I am saying, “Don’t get frustrated.”  I’m not suggesting that at all. Nuance on these details is essential. Frustration is a normal emotion in this scenario. We just don’t know yet whether it is generated by an Implicit natural response or by belief in expectations of how a driver should drive. In this lesson, you practice skepticism of your thoughts and consider some of their programmed beliefs.

Implicit Emotions

Emotions are natural responses. We feel emotions in response to all sorts of experiences. If we are threatened, it is natural to have a fear response to flee. It is also natural to have an anger response that gears your body up for a fight. Children naturally love, laugh with joy, and feel fear, anger, frustration, and emotional pain, all before they learn to speak with words.

These implicit natural emotions will help us in our lives. We may move away from people who are unkind or disrespectful. We will move towards those who treat us with love, respect, and kindness, as they will invoke good feelings in us.

 Emotions  From Programmed Beliefs

It is natural to feel anger, cry out, and have tantrums as a child.  We aren’t skilled at expressing ourselves, and we don’t use much language yet. From about the age of 2, and maybe earlier, our parents responded to our anger tantrums with some kind of punishment. We didn’t get to be a terror with no boundaries. They put us in timeout, sent us to our room, scolded, shamed, or beat us when we acted out with anger at a young age

We might have first responded with more anger in the early stages of their trying to control us. After all, they tried to repress our emotions, which might have been more implicit pain. A natural response to pain is feeling and expressing more anger.

However, we are a toddler, and they are an adult. At a certain point, they aren’t puting up with it. They likely escalated their punishment of us until we came to the awareness that our anger tantrums were not going to work. They could overpower us with their punishments until we stopped expressing the emotion of anger. It was painful, but we held it inside because we figured out that expressing it was going to lead to something worse.  We became more afraid of their punishment pain than the pain of holding our emotions in. We repressed implicit pain with conditioned pain.

With repetitions over time, we defaulted to this stuffing down of our anger. We developed an automatic belief program to repress our anger. By “belief program,” I mean using an energetic force on our thoughts, emotions, and body to hold back that anger.  It mostly had to do with feelings and energetic moving of emotions, but the word narrative would be something like this:

  • My anger is bad

  • – If I have anger then I am doing something bad ===> feeling guilt.
  • – When I get angry I am a bad person  ===> results in feeling shame.
  • – Over time, the belief may grow into, “I am a bad person.” Or perhaps, “something is wrong with me.”

We acquire these belief system program associations through our parents’ treatment of us, and our responses to this conditioning. Having these experiences is not a conscious choice at this age. It is our best response a the time to adapt.

I also want to make it clear, it is very much an energetic and emotional response and the word description above is just a surface part that the mind thinks at the surface.

As toddlers, we might have done this sequence of responses until it became an automatic response to feel guilt and shame when we begin to feel anger. We might feel guilt and shame when we think we might get angry.  This is how our emotions and behaviors are programmed. In this case it causes us to repress our implicit emotions before they can be felt.

This could go further. Our brain anticipates that our parents will shame and guilt us if we show anger. Our mind plays past punishments when we are around them as a reminder to be careful.

Our mind plays the loop of “IF we do THIS, then THIS punishment will happen.” Our brain can play this loop until we are afraid that we will have an angry reaction even when we are away from them. At this stage, we fear being angry when we are by ourselves. Fear is an emotion, but it is not from what is going on in life. It is an emotion generated from a looped movie in our brain anticipating and expecting something later.

At this stage, the loops in our brain no longer need our parents to “domesticate us” with punishments and rewards. Our brain is “self-domesticated” or “auto-domesticated”.  Our loops provide reinforcements of “punishments” from memory and project what might happen in the future.

Two Sources of Emotions Conflict

I’ve described two sources of emotions so far. Those that arise as a natural implicit response, and those that arise from our belief systems other people programmed us with. In either case, we want to respect that we have emotions. They are a normal response to events we experience and to our beliefs/stories being activated. In my book MindWorks, I actually cover nine different sources of emotions. But let’s keep it simple here and just work with two.

If you want to change implicit emotions, you want to have more experiences that feel good and boundaries with unpleasant experiences.

If you want to change the source of your emotions from your belief system, you need to identify your internal beliefs and shift them within yourself.

If a person is mistreating you to the point you feel fear when you are around them, then perhaps you place a boundary by no longer spending time with them.

However, if you are alone and fear how they will treat you when they aren’t even around, you will need to change your belief system to overcome the fear.

Both approaches will address fear. However, there are two different sources of fear, so the approaches are different.

These two approaches, of creating a boundary and changing beliefs, are not in contradiction as the sources of emotion are different.

More layers of Emotions

A Bullying Scenario

Let’s say that toddler then grows up and goes to school.  He gets bullied at school. He has an implicit natural response of anger to defend himself.  However, his implicit anger is a trigger for his programmed beliefs. His programmed beliefs repress his natural anger response to defend himself.

He now has these emotional layers.:

  •     Anger arises as an implicit emotion.
  •     Feel fear that his anger might come up
  •     Repress the anger as this is dangerous, and parents will punish him
  •     He feels he has done something wrong and is guilty
  •     Feel ashamed for being bad.
  •     Feel a fear-flight response as an implicit emotion to move away.

In that instance, there are at least six emotions. Two implicit emotions and four programmed response emotions from his beliefs.

In this scenario, the child is likely to follow the programmed internal responses of guilt and shame and cower down and feel small even though the implicit anger emotion is underneath, pushing the fight response.

Let’s add that each of these programmed reactions can have other layers of reaction that add on top of them. These might be a fear of what others think, embarrassment, need to hide etc.

Perhaps a layer of self-hate/anger is then added by our belief system for not standing up for ourselves and having such a strong shame/guilt victim reaction we know isn’t rational.

This self-hate/anger might redirect the implicit original anger by the belief system because it couldn’t entirely repress it. It directed it back to the boy instead of outward because it was programmed to keep it inside instead of going out to people.

In this case, the anger came first, and the rationalization came after.  Thoughts are always slower than emotions and beliefs.

In this case, you have an implicit emotion of anger that got compromised into a belief-based emotion.

Conflicting Solution Paths

If this sounds pretty convoluted, that is because it is. These layers of responses get mixed up, creating internal conflicts. You will need more than one skill and practice to untangle them, clean up the false beliefs, put boundaries in place, and be present with your natural emotional responses.

That’s why in the in the Self Masery Course I teach people individual skills of what to do with small parts of emotions and stories and then work on another part of the response, belief, association, etc later.

In the belief program, you need to shift your perspective to an observer and be skeptical of the false beliefs and thoughts you find. This will remove the power of the emotional response to false beliefs.

With intrinsic emotions, you need to be more present with them by removing the beliefs repressing them. This means working through the guilt, shame, and fear of feeling them that we learned as children. In this process, you will feel them more intensely while the stored-up emotional wound energy dissipates.

Everyday Life is full of Emotions.

I use this bullying scenario as a dramatic example. However, we have implicit emotional responses and belief systems’ emotional responses to things throughout the day: sleep, food, what people say, our own thoughts, news and the environment, job, boss, family, health, etc. We can’t turn off our emotions.

This means taking the time to fix this system while it is running.

Then, consider that you can add a third source of emotions when you recover some willpower, focus your attention, and consciously create some of your emotions.

For more on how beliefs create emotions, and what to do about it, check out my book MindWorks or my online Self Mastery Course.

#beliefs, #ego, #emotions, #self-awareness