We all have a variety of emotions in response to the world around us. Often many of us find that a majority of our emotions are unpleasant and stress based. Sometimes we feel we have to shut down in complete solitude to not be triggered into a panic by our relationships and the world around us.
What can help us navigate and better understand the unpleasant side of human emotion is that they all stem off of one baseline emotion; fear. By using this idea we can actually reason with our emotional responses by asking “what is it that I am really afraid of about this?” This can be hard to picture at first but becomes easier the more you do it. It can be easier to apply it to other peoples negative emotions first if you have a hard time admitting to fear within your circumstances.
Let’s take a look at anger, for example, anger is, of course, a natural reaction to something and should not be suppressed, yet it can be minimized through understanding. For example, let’s say I am angry about someone’s political opinion, I don’t agree with it and think it and think it should be closer to my own opinion. The difference between the two beliefs makes me feel that one must be wrong and I am now defensive over my own belief. A natural response to the sudden need to defend oneself is anger, especially if something like humiliation is at stake. This is why people of different opinions will often try to make the other out to be unintelligent to make it as difficult as possible for anyone, including themselves, to want to see the other side of the coin. It is a lot simpler to disqualify the other person rather than really try to experience their point of view. This is why taking a moment for understanding when we begin to react can significantly reduce our anger. It can be hard to make the decision to view from a place of understanding because of our fear that it could make us wrong.
Anxiety is easy to associate with fear as it is usually a direct fear of judgment, not being in the right place at the right time, not being good enough, and fear of outcomes. Generally, emotional pain is felt when one feels they are unloved or unlovable.
By consciously choosing to identify our emotional pain as fear we decide to accept its presence. It is important to accept what is going on as opposed to our typical response of trying to avoid it and wishing it was not there. Avoidance of pain has a way of magnifying the issue to our conscious mind. It is like not cleaning and dressing a wound because you don’t want the wound to be there.
After practicing fear identification with the negativity in your own life or in your outer world you may notice that everything is not derived from fear. Yes, in fact, the only remaining baseline emotion is one of love. It sounds corny but it is true. In order to not directly act out from fear, you need to learn how to come from a compassionate place of love. It is almost ironic yet important to note that all of our fear-based emotions stem from the fear of loss of love.
It also becomes easier to see people from a more compassionate perspective by knowing that their judgments and hostility all come from the pain of having fear.
Go ahead and try to experience the world without being so afraid of it. The worst thing that can happen is someone who is afraid might challenge you by ensuring you that you should also be a state of fear. We can all start to know better than that and have better control over how we feel at any given moment.
Author – Casey Marlin
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