Monday, May 19, 2008

Recognizing Emotions and Feelings

Anonymous Morgan said...

I have given this some thought. I think I understand what you say about negative emotions that keep us from finding any happiness. But I don't quite get what you think about the difference between emotion and feeling. Please explain. Thanks.

Thanks for the thoughtful question, Morgan. I think the words feeling and emotion are often used interchangeably, but I am convinced that there is a distinct and profound difference. Gregg Braden tells us that prayer consists of thoughts, coming from the crown, brow and throat chakras - and feelings coming from the base, sacral and solar plexus chakras - into the heart. I think that this feeling that moves through us is the energy that moves through the matrix of our being that we can FEEL. By remembering the feeling, we can move energy through our system. If we are feeling low, we can imagine feeling joy, and our energy will rise to the feeling of joy. By understanding our feelings like this, we learn to command our energies and can heal our bodies and raise our consciousness.
Emotions, on the other hand, are like feelings because we feel them too. But they are responses of our emotional body to events in our experience. If we lack emotional body maturity, our emotions can be based on patterns of previous experience. We feel fear when our hand is near fire because our hand has been burned before. When we are young, our emotions occur naturally, like the physical body functions of breathing and digesting. As our emotional body matures, we understand that the emotions that occur naturally can be changed by the way we formulate our responses or even our perceptions. We can choose to feel caution instead of fear. We can perceive fire as a thing of beauty instead of danger, because we have learned to respond appropriately.

In my first novel, Remember Me, Mary Margaret comes close to understanding the nature of her emotions and feelings, but in the end, is overwhelmed with loss and grief. In my second novel, Chasing Twilight, Molly has the emotional body maturity to not only pace her emotions, but utilize her feelings for healing and consciousness raising. This character will go on to explore the possibilities that feelings allow in the third novel.

Thanks again for this great question, Morgan.