If you could only know the power of your emotions you would guard your heart more carefully. You would never let negative emotions take root. Conventional wisdom needs to be re-schooled. At least… you do. Conventional wisdom says you learn from expressing negative emotion. You die slowly from surrendering to negative emotion. I know that blanket statements like that don’t work either- but large scale wholesale surrender to negative emotions as a teaching tool is no more useful than A dirty, muddy mop used to clean your house.
We are often told that expressing anger is important. Don’t keep it bottled in or it will be the death of you.
– We are not taught how anger is like a grenade that tears into people emotionally and leaves bits and pieces that can cause continuous damage long after the effect. – But is it better to keep it in? It’s better to not have it. But how do you eliminate anger..? The problem is that even as we launch this grenade we are also torn to bits by it. Most anger is a sign of powerlessness or impotence in the face of something uncontrollable.
This negative emotion has been used as a staple diet for religions around the world. One of my favourite quotes about guilt however is: ‘Guilt is a perfectly useless emotion.’ I don’t remember where I first heard that but I know that I rejected it at first. I thought we needed guilt in order to be compelled to do what’s right. But no- we only need guilt if we want to feel bad about things we have done or even think about doing or feeling. These things could be good or bad for us, it doesn’t matter. Guilt is not a natural reflex born of your inner moral centre. It is your internal response to an external control mechanism that was created to keep you along a specific moral or regulatory path. It is your fear filled reaction to the expectation of judgment from an external source. It is your judgment of yourself in preparation for or support of judgment of others. Guilt is suicide in thought form.
We are taught that fear keeps us safe. After all, the fear instinct of the spider or the deer running from the lion…or the lizard running from you… or you running from the lizard… That’s all important to keep the victim safe. So fear is natural right? No. The instinctual reflex reaction to danger is fright- yes. It sends a rush of adrenaline into your system to make superhuman feats or escape possible. The perpetual state of expectation of the worst; plotting, planning and preparing for the worst to happen; living in a painful cloud of emotional self-doubt and an aggressive unwillingness to step out and try new things is not natural. That is man-made and unnecessary.
– if the bad thing is going to happen anyway, why live in hours, days, months and even years of dreading the inevitable? If it is not going to happen, why live in dread of what’s not coming? Already we see that fear is a sort of madness. One thing that we must also consider is that is something may or may not happen, the dwelling in fear makes it more likely to happen through our focus.
So negative emotions have been sold to us as good or at least packaged as acceptable evils for a worthy cause. That is a lie. And there are others not yet discussed – with even more detrimental consequences. What of:
They are killers. In fact, they are more like the specialised drugs we take to commit suicide. I say this, not because I’m without negative emotion but my job is to control it. Control doesn’t come by focusing on negative emotion. It comes by seeking and focusing on its opposite. Of course, We all get caught. Who has never been jealous or fearful or angry? I can easily call to mind my last bout of anger and jealousy and fear. Who has never felt fear or doubt or insecurity?
The point is that if you nurture negative emotion you will watch it grow. Emotions are invisible magical creatures. They don’t appear to your eyes for you to deal with them. They can only be felt. And sometimes they hide or masquerade as something else. It is in this that they have real power… Self sabotaging power. Next we speak about other negative emotions as killer: Shame; Blame and Jealousy. MW AH Michael Holgate