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The Journey to the Emotional Frontier Within - emotional defense mechanisms

"I had to become aware that there were such things as emotions that lived in my body and then I had to start learning how to recognize and sort them out.  I had to become aware of all the ways that I was trained to distance myself from my feelings."

"We cannot learn to Love without honoring our Rage!  We cannot allow ourselves to be Truly Intimate with ourselves or anyone else without owning our Grief."

"Emotions are energy.  Actual physical energy that is manifested in our bodies.  Emotions are not thoughts - they do not exist in our mind.  Our mental attitudes, definitions, and expectations can create emotional reactions, can cause us to get stuck in emotional states - but thoughts are not emotions.  The intellectual and emotional are two distinctly separate though intimately interconnected parts of our being.  In order to find some balance, peace, and sanity in recovery it is vitally important to start separating the emotional from the intellectual and to start setting boundaries with, and between, the emotional and mental parts of our self."

On this page is a column by Spiritual teacher/codependence therapist about emotional defense mechanisms such as speaking in the third person.
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Codependence:
The Dance of Wounded Souls
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This is a column by Robert Burney.
 

The Journey to the Emotional Frontier Within

By Robert Burney M.A.
"Until we can forgive ourselves and Love ourselves we cannot Truly Love and forgive any other human beings - including our parents who were only doing the best they knew how.  They, too, were powerless to do anything any different - they were just reacting to their wounds.

It is necessary to own and honor the child who we were in order to Love the person we are.  And the only way to do that is to own that child's experiences, honor that child's feelings, and release the emotional grief energy that we are still carrying around."

***
"We cannot learn to Love without honoring our Rage!

We cannot allow ourselves to be Truly Intimate with ourselves or anyone else without owning our Grief.

We cannot clearly reconnect with the Light unless we are willing to own and honor our experience of the Darkness.

We cannot fully feel the Joy unless we are willing to feel the Sadness.

We need to do our emotional healing, to heal our wounded souls, in order to reconnect with our Souls on the highest vibrational levels.  In order to reconnect with the God-Force that is Love and Light, Joy and Truth."

Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls
Emotions are energy.  Actual physical energy that is manifested in our bodies.  Emotions are not thoughts - they do not exist in our mind.  Our mental attitudes, definitions, and expectations can create emotional reactions, can cause us to get stuck in emotional states - but thoughts are not emotions.  The intellectual and emotional are two distinctly separate though intimately interconnected parts of our being.  In order to find some balance, peace, and sanity in recovery it is vitally important to start separating the emotional from the intellectual and to start setting boundaries with, and between, the emotional and mental parts of our self.

Many of us learned to live in our heads.  To analyze, intellectualize, and rationalize as a defense against feeling our feelings.  Some of us went to the other extreme and lived life based on our emotional reactions without any intellectual balance.  Some of us would swing from one extreme to the other.  Living life in the extremes or swinging between the extremes is dysfunctional - it does not work to create a balanced, healthy, happy life. 

If you learned to live life in your head it is vitally necessary to start becoming more aware of your body and what is happening in your body emotionally.  Where is there tension, tightness?  Where is the energy manifesting in my body?  I learned that when there is energy congregating in my upper chest it was sadness.  If it was around my heart chakra it was hurt.  Anger and fear manifest in my stomach.  Until I started to become aware of, and identify, the emotional energy in my body it was impossible for me to be emotionally honest with myself.  It was impossible for me to start owning, honoring, and releasing the emotional energy in a healthy way until I became aware that it was there.

I had to become aware that there were such things as emotions that lived in my body and then I had to start learning how to recognize and sort them out.  I had to become aware of all the ways that I was trained to distance myself from my feelings.  I am going to mention a few of them here to help any of you reading this in your process of becoming emotionally honest.

Speaking in the third person.  One of the defenses many of us have against feeling our feelings is to speak of ourselves in the third person.  "You just kind of feel hurt when that happens" is not a personal statement and does not carry the power of speaking in the first person.  "I felt hurt when that happened" is personal, is owning the feeling.  Listen to yourself and to others and become aware of how often you hear others and yourself refer to self in the third person.

Avoiding using primary feeling words.  There are only a handful of primary feelings that all humans feel.  There is some dispute about just how many there are primary but for our purpose here I am going to use seven.  Those are: angry, sad, hurt, afraid, lonely, ashamed, and  happy.  It is important to start using the primary names of these feelings in order to own them and to stop distancing ourselves from the feelings.  To say "I am anxious" or "concerned" or "apprehensive" is not the same as saying "I am afraid."  Fear is at the root of all those other expressions but we don't have to be so aware of our fear if we use a word that distances us from fear.  Expressions like "confused,"  "irritated," "upset," "tense," "disturbed," "melancholy," "blue," "good," or "bad" are not primary feeling words. 

Emotions are energy that is meant to flow: E - motion = energy in motion.  Until we own it, feel it and release it, it cannot flow.  By blocking and repressing our emotions we are damming up our internal energy and that will eventually result in some physical or mental manifestation such as cancer or alzheimers disease or whatever.

Until we can start being emotionally honest with ourselves it is impossible to be truly honest on any level with anybody.  Until we start becoming emotionally honest with ourselves it is impossible to know  who we Truly are.  Our emotions tell us who we are and without emotional honesty it is impossible to be True to our self because we don't know ourselves.

Of course there is a very good reason we have had to be emotionally dishonest.  It is because we are carrying around unresolved grief - suppressed pain, terror, shame, and rage energy from our childhoods.  Until we deal with our unresolved grief and start releasing the suppressed, pressurized emotional energy from our past it is impossible to be comfortable in our own skins, in the moment, in an emotionally honest, age-appropriate way.  Until we become willing to take the journey to the emotional frontier within us we cannot Truly know who we are, we cannot Truly  start to forgive and Love ourselves.

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Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls by Robert Burney is copyright 1995.  Material on Joy2MeU web site (except where otherwise noted) is copyright 1996 thru 2015 by Robert Burney  Po Box 98 Fallbrook CA 92088.

(The Column "The Journey to the Emotional Frontier Within" by Robert Burney originally appeared in the Information Press of San Luis Obispo California)