TOO EMOTIONAL? Part 1. Unlock the hidden power of emotions. It's your sixth sense!
Humans are innately emotional. We’re VERY emotional beings: perhaps the most emotional creature we know of! But are we really ‘TOO EMOTIONAL’?
Many believe that ‘being emotional’ is a handicap to rational functioning.
Many believe that emotions cause intolerance & even conflict on Earth. They have convinced us to suppress & downplay our feelings. This has been a subtle part of our education & social conditioning.
Was this approach all wrong? Have we unwittingly diminished & degraded a great human quality? Have we unknowingly diminished our ability to sense & discern truth from deception? Could this be why we continue to make the same mistakes: why we’re so easily lead astray? Maybe we have devalued an important human sense which provides inner guidance? Let’s pursue this theme further and consider how our emotions could instead empower us.
Emotions are an intrinsic part of human ability.
Emotions help us to sense & experience the world. They’re encoded in our DNA and hardwired into the brain’s Limbic system. This provides a central connection to our entire nervous system and hence our entire body. Emotion is thus integral to our total functioning! We can feel these sensations throughout our body. Perhaps through our entire being!
We can’t totally suppress emotions, but we can wear ourselves out trying!
It takes considerable conscious effort to diminish these powerful ‘emotional’ feelings & sensations. When we suppress our emotions, we end up exploding with rage from the pent-up frustration!
Is this really the right way to live, just because we weren’t taught their correct use: Could we instead intelligently utilize our emotions? Let’s explore this further and consider a new approach: One that could significantly empower us and even dramatically improve our life!
Eventually we might recognize emotions as being essential: an additional or ‘6th sense’. One that can provide us with an accurate notion of ‘where we’re at’ with any life situation!
Emotions provide us with a physical sensation or ‘feeling’ just like our other senses. But somehow, we have ignored or minimized the value of this valuable sensory input!
This emotional system can help us distinguish exactly ‘what is right’ for us in any moment: it will just ‘feel right’ throughout our body. Alternatively, it can indicate where we still have unresolved issues. For example, residual painful feelings in recalling a past event, tell us we haven’t fully processed it!
Imagine living without the benefit of a conventional physical sense such as sight, taste, smell or hearing.
What a huge limitation! Could we unknowingly be limiting our self by suppressing our ‘emotional sense’. Are we denying ourselves another important physical sense…our 6th sense! One that we have ‘hidden away’ for far too long!
We likely have a ‘seventh sense’ as well. But that’s a totally non-physical one: It’s a deep intuitive knowing or inner guidance. Our 6th & 7th senses may even work together. But discussion of our 7th sense warrants a separate conversation.
With each of our physical senses, we required an initial ‘learning’ period. For example, as a baby it took us a while to learn to focus our vision and then to appreciate shapes & colours. It took us even longer to understand what we were seeing. Then we had to learn to label & describe them. We know that the earlier in life we lose a physical sense such as vision, the harder it is to fully appreciate the world. The same situation is likely with our emotions.
It takes practice to master our sense of emotions!
We need to understand & utilize the full meaning & purpose of our emotions. So, the sooner we start the better!
Imagine if we were given a permanent blindfold to wear right from infancy because the visual world was considered ‘too scary’ to view. What an ignorant overreaction! Could we be doing the same by avoiding or devaluing our emotional input? Are emotions really ‘too unreliable’ or ‘too risky’ to use, as some believe?
A common notion is that some emotions are just too powerful and could overwhelm us: That we are ‘too emotional’. That we might be swayed and lose control of our ‘rational behaviour’. So therefore, they argue, we shouldn’t risk engaging with these.
Yet the same argument could be made for permanently wearing dark glasses or even a blind fold! Yes, the sun could permanently blind us if we were to directly & continually view this. But instead we just learn not to do this! We just look away or temporarily close our eyes to avoid the damage?
We could similarly learn to do this with our powerful emotions! Yet, we could still benefit from the subtle perception & the sensitivity that our gentler feelings can impart. Not to mention the additional guidance they may offer!
Emotions can make the appreciation of our world much more nuanced & richer.
They provides a different spectrum of experience in life. Are we missing out on this unique quality or flavour of human existence? Is this all because of our ignorance & fear? Or are we being misled by others!
Could emotions even be our most reliable physical sensation: The most accurate ‘physical guide’ to our experience in this world? Are emotions more trustworthy than our taste, smell, hearing or even vision? We know our other physical senses can easily be deceived! Illusions can deceive the eye and artificial flavours trick our taste & smell receptors. Our balance & proprioception is easily disturbed: we can get dizzy or seasick! But because emotions so centrally ‘hardwired’ to the very ‘core’ of our brain & brain stem they seem more immutable & incorruptible. We can choose to deny or override them, but that requires much effort and the suppressed message just keeps resurfacing in some way!
Emotional expression is also essential for maintaining our physical health. If we keep denying & suppressing our feelings, instead of processing them, we risk emotional & physical illness. By internalizing this pent-up energy, we jeopardise our internal wellbeing. We become more prone to internal biological dysfunction & disorder. Psychosomatic & functional disorders increase: the ones where doctors can’t find a physical cause! Clinical illness & overt disease also becomes more likely. We therefore ignore this issue and emotions at our peril!
We hope this introduction has raised your interest and you are open to further exploration & discussion of this topic of ‘Emotional Intelligence’. In Part 2 of this ‘TOO EMOTIONAL’ series we discuss how to tap into this hidden power and use it for internal guidance.