What is the best way to get along with emotions that trouble you? With those annoying “negative emotions?” The best thing is to accept them!
I ended Part I with a statement about meta-stating your troubling emotions with acceptance and a promise to continue that thought. So here goes. Given that emotions are motions within our mind-body system giving us signals and messages about the difference between our mappings about the world and our experiences in the territory of the world, then here are some facts about emotions that you can set as frames (meta-state levels of meaning) which will give you some real mastery and management of your emotions:
1) Emotions measure the map/territory difference.
Neuro-Semantically, an emotion is the difference between our mental maps of the world (map) and our experiences of the world (territory). What you and I experience as “positive” and “negative” emotions are just the somatic energy in our body and neurology that excites (positive) and inhibits (negative). One energy encourages continuing with what you are doing, the other discourages you to continue as it encourages you to stop, look, listen and make some adjustments in how you are navigating the world — change either your map or your experiences or both!
2) Emotions are just processes of the mind-body system.
Emotions are not things! They are not solid. Emotions are activities going on within your mind-body system and so produce them each moment as energies to move at from where you current are, to move out forward or away from. So welcome the process and learn from it. How are you creating that process that you’re experiencing? Are you creating it in your mapping, in your body and how you’re using your physiology (your eating, sleeping, exercising, etc.)? What adjustments in these processes will give you more mastery over the somatic feelings?
3) Emotions are always right.
Your emotions are right to the maps and experiences out of which they arise! Say that to yourself, “My emotions are okay, they are right. They are not “bad” and don’t need to be punished. I don’t need to feel bad about the emotions I’m experiencing.” Now embrace them, welcome them, accept them, and most importantly learn from them. How are you creating them? What do you need to learn? What changes in your mapping or experiencing? How well are you coping with the context in which the emotions are arising? What new skills do you need?
4) Emotions are just emotions.
Repeat this frame 100 days every day until you know this inside-out. Your emotions are not orders about what to do. Your emotions are not indicators of external reality. And especially, your emotions are completely fallible! They are not an infallible voice or authority. You do not have to “obey” them or “be true to them.” They are just messages about the difference you’re experiencing right now between what (and how) you have mapped something and your experience in the territory that you are wanting to navigate. That’s all.
5) Emotions are always relative, conditional, and liable to error (fallible).
Your emotions are relative to your maps and experiences and so are informational about your mental mapping and experiential activities. Emotions can be very wrong and erroneous to the outside world. Do you know that? They can be erroneous! They can be a reflection of distorted thinking and fallacious reasoning. What cognitive distortions can you find in your mental mapping that’s creating a lot of the trouble in your emotions? Are you willing to find out? If anything needs to be eliminated it is not the energy of your emotions, it is the fallacious and distorted cognitions in your thinking. If you have been guilty of worshiping your emotions and treating them like god, it’s time that you become an atheist of that old belief. Your emotions may be from drinking too much, eating too much or eating the wrong stuff!
6) Emotions are somatic registering of our meanings.
Your emotions give clues about your Matrix. The bottom line is that you feel our meanings. We all do! Your emotions are symptoms of your Matrix of frames— form all of the meanings (understandings, beliefs, expectations, memories, imaginations, etc.) that you map about something. So your emotions always make sense even if they may be really dysfunctional to your self-actualization. In your emoting, your body is given you a somatic registering of some of your meanings. How are you at creating great meanings? How are you at suspending old and stupid meanings that you no longer need?
7) Emotions can be responded to in a variety of ways.
You can listen to them, suppress them, ignore their message, obey them, release them, take them into consideration, etc. There’s lots of things that you can do. How do you want to respond when you feel a given emotion? How do you want to respond to anger or fear or joy or playfulness? You can qualify your emotions. You can meta-state them and bring whatever resourceful quality that you want to bring. After all, the quality of your states is the quality of your meta-states. So what will you choose to do?