We see skewed emotional expression everywhere and rarely label it as such. (By so labeling it, this may prove a most unpopular paragraph and one likely to be disputed by many.) Hurt feelings that keep on happening repeatedly can be labeled skewed, neurotic, or off-base. Guilt, shame, or jealousy that keeps persisting is evidence that I am blocking e-motions that I don't want to face. For adults, nearly all adult anger in the present at politicians, spouses, children, neighbors and favorite targets is skewed. For more on this, please pay close attention to the next section on anger and outrage.
Tears that don't stop imply skewness. Why so much skewed emotional expression? The reason is that 97% of us learned in our growing-up years to stuff one or more emotions (causing trauma knots as described in Chapter 10). Stuffed emotions are remembered by our bodies and by our unconscious minds. They act like internal irritants. They keep grating on us, keep causing us anxiety and keep leading us into addictive situations in which we can discharge the irritating energy, typically in a skewed fashion. A skewed discharge reduces our anxiety, although temporarily. A discharge of most of the important emotions of the original trauma knot, on the other hand, usually eliminates the knot.
So perhaps you are willing to consider that you have a particular skewed emotional expression. What next? How can you tell what the truth is behind the skew-ness? Whatever truths you find will be your own. There are no general truths applicable to all of us. A given skewed emotional discharge in the present may or may not be caused by XYZ. Perhaps XYZ caused it in me. Maybe QRS caused it in you. You will need to find your own QRS causes. However, some tendencies are common. If your anger or sadness is skewed, the most likely place to look for the truth is your own kid anger or kid sadness. If you perceive your guilt as skewed, then childhood anger is the most likely culprit. Skewed expressions of love most commonly start in one's youth with skewed or absent parental expressions of love. These are all just likelihoods. We can and do use skewed love in the present to compensate for stuffed anger in our past. We use guilt and shame to compensate for stuffed love in our past. We can use almost any emotion as skewed compensation for another. Our feelings of relief in such circumstances, however, will be temporary.
Discovering and experiencing your own emotional truths may be a lengthy process. It can take years. (That does not imply you need be unhappy for much of that time or that the process necessarily will take up huge blocks of your time.) It does mean that there will be moments of difficulty, moments of stress and moments of pain. If one learns to e-mote in a non-skewed way, however, then these will be moments of difficulty, instead of continuous difficulty. If one keeps on stuffing the emotion(s), then the resultant stress will be ever present. To that I say, "no thanks!"
Let's now try to get a better understanding of the four emotions of love, anger, sadness and fear. Most of our emotional and psychological problems arise because we do not and/or did not congruently express these four emotions. Other so-called emotions such as shame, depression, guilt and jealousy will be only briefly mentioned. For they usually have their roots in problems with the four emotions of love, anger, sadness and fear.
© 2008 by Thayer White
Finding Your Soul in the Spirituality Maze
|Excerpt from Be Your Own Therapist: "Frequently, the first growth step is to acknowledge the conflict within, between the old unhappy (often unconscious) childhood belief and the conscious adult belief of today."|