We have three ways of relating to emotions. Often, there is a combination, and we may cycle through them as well.
Two of them is reacting to emotions and their associated stories. We can act on them, or we can suppress them. When we act on them, we act on the anger, sadness, fear, or whatever it is, as if the stories behind the emotions are solid and real and not to be questioned. When we suppress the emotions, we may pretend they are not there, or choose to avoid them, and we do that too because we see the stories behind them as real, solid, and scary.
The third is to relate to the emotions more intentionally. We recognize the emotions. We may be aware of the stories triggering the emotions, and our stories about the emotions. We may intentionally allow ourselves to feel the sensations. We may speak about what’s happening and share it with someone else. We may meet and explore the sensations and the stories with curiosity, to see what’s really there.
- three ways of relating to emotions
- reacting to
- acting on – reacting to, acting on
- suppressing – pretend is not there,
- relating to
- relating to more consciously – feel, notice, speak about
- often a combination, and different ones at different times
- emotions + stories, not just emotions (stories creating the emotions + stories about the emotions)
- reacting to