How Emotional Pain Starts

by Mark Ivar Myhre on September 2, 2007

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The obvious – but often unspoken – premise of most emotional healing lies with finding a way to rid yourself of those so-called bad emotions. Any way you can.

Because some feelings are good, and others are bad. Even little kids knows that.

We develop a hierarchy of good and bad emotions: Love is good; but hate, well, that’s bad. We believe (indeed, we’ve been taught) that it’s okay to feel the good emotions, but we should not feel those bad emotions.

Which unfortunately stands as one of the most self-destructive beliefs you can hold. First of all, it can’t be done. It would be like trying to not see the red side of the rainbow.

All real emotions – and all true feelings – link together like the colors of the rainbow. You can’t possibly filter out the feelings you don’t like… the ones society looks down upon.



Oh, you can try. Everybody does. But every single feeling comes out of the SAME spigot. All emotions and all feelings come from the same source. It’s insanity to try to set up a filtering system to block certain feelings.

It’s insanity, but we all do it anyway. EVERYONE creates a hierarchy of emotions. But since all those feelings – ‘good’ and ‘bad’ – all flow from the same garden hose, we can only crimp the hose. And hope the good ones make it through while the bad ones stay trapped in the hose.

Which is impossible.

The ‘bad’ feelings become like a swarm of horse flies we must keep swatting away. But whatever you fight and push away, generally becomes a bigger part of your life. You can’t outrun your ‘bad’ feelings. All you can do is distract yourself in some way. For a while, anyway.

That’s the dilemma.

Here’s the solution: It’s going to require a FUNDAMENTAL shift in your mindset. You’ve got to stop seeing emotions as either good or bad. So you’ll stop trying to filter out the ones you think are bad.

At the very least, you need the contrast. Stop thinking you need some clever trick to rid yourself of the bad emotions. There are no bad emotions.



ANY emotion – cleanly felt – will AUTOMATICALLY release itself. It doesn’t need you to nudge it out the door. You don’t need to cut a hole in the garden hose at the spot where you’ve crimped it.

Creating an emotional hierarchy in your mind often stands as the first step towards emotional problems such as depression, anxiety, panic, excess anger, hurt, and so many more. Because then you’ll start to repress those unwanted feelings. Which makes them stick around, rather that releasing.

Here’s a streamlined version of the problem:

1. We come to believe some emotions are ‘good’ and other emotions are ‘bad’.

2. We resolve to not feel the bad ones.

3. We begin to shut down the entire flow of emotions.

4. We feel less of ALL our emotions.

5. Feeling less always makes us feel worse.

6. So we cut off the flow even more.

7. We become more powerless and the pain increases.

So what can you do?

For starters, you can choose a new outlook. I realize it may not be easy. But it begins with awareness of the problem: As you judge your emotions, you create a hierarchy out of them. So naturally you want to feel less of the ‘bad’ ones. But any attempts to shut off the flow will reduce your ability to feel ALL your feelings. Which always creates more problems.



You can’t have the color blue without also having the color red. Doesn’t mean you have to paint your room red. But we need the contrast. We need the full spectrum.

Bottom line: creating a hierarchy of emotions eventually leads to pain and powerlessness.

Red is not a ‘bad’ color.

all the best,

Mark

Mark Ivar Myhre
The Emotional Healing Coach
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