Posts Tagged ‘our shadow’
How to Break Through Toxic Emotions
Do you want to find out what it’s like to wake up in the morning free of the burden of trying to “manage” your toxic emotions?
If your answer is yes, now is the time to be straight with yourself. It’s time to admit that certain healthy emotions have turned into toxic emotions because you have rejected them, judged them, suppressed them, lied about them, or just decided that you would deal with them later.
Most people know that it is important to detox your physical body, but many people overlook the fact that it is important to detox your emotional body as well. An emotional detox is one of the most important things you will ever do. An emotional detox will erase all harmful feelings and release the weight from within.
Human beings are so often driven to sabotage ourselves and harm each other. There are 11 emotions that universally cause the most personal and collective suffering when they are hidden and denied long enough. These are referred to as toxic emotions. We are the ones that create the toxic emotions that cause damage to our body and soul. Therefore, we are the only ones that can get rid of the toxic emotions.
The toxic emotions below are closely related, but each has its own harmful result.
The Eleven Toxic Emotions
1. Hurt – victimization, helplessness, blame
2. Sadness – self-pity, regret
3. Shame – humiliation, embarrassment
4. Hopelessness – loneliness, despair, desperation
5. Fear – anxiety, panic, immobilization
6. Anger – resentment, bitterness
7. Hate – meanness, vengefulness
8. Jealousy – envy, possessiveness
9. Pride – better than, self-righteousness
10. Greed – insatiability, emotional hunger
11. Guilt – self-blame, false responsibility
You may feel like you suffer from toxic emotions, but aren’t sure which is having the biggest impact on the quality of your life. To distinguish which toxic emotion is influencing you the most, try answering the questions below.
As you answer the questions, remember that no one is looking right now. It’s just you and you. Give yourself permission to be more honest with yourself than you’ve ever been.
1. Do you see yourself as someone who is “guarded”? Do you keep yourself at a safe distance from others? Do you have a persona that “protects” you — such as self-sufficient, intimidating or superior?
2. Within 10 minutes of meeting you, do people usually know about the worst thing that ever happened to you?
3. Are the painful things that happened to you in the past your reason for why you don’t have what you want in your life now? And do they keep you from opening up to intimacy with others?
4. In the privacy of your own heart and mind — despite what you try to project to the outer world — do you actually believe that things won’t get better for you?
5. Do you obsess over what might happen in the future? Do your fears limit what you’re able to experience with others — from emotional intimacy to doing things together in public?
6. Is there someone in your life whom you openly criticize and berate? Do you say things to a loved one that are harsh and judgmental? If so, what are some of the specific things you say to him or her? Also, do you find that you silently say these same kinds of belittling things to yourself?
7. Do you have frequent eruptions of anger — large or small? Do you find yourself yelling at other drivers while you’re driving, picking fights or being “short” with your partner or children, speaking condescendingly to customer service people, or seething at a co-worker who gets under your skin (and then speaking disparagingly about that person to others)?
8. Do you harbor thoughts and feelings of distrust in your partner, looking for evidence that you’re being lied to?
9. Do you find yourself frequently disagreeing or arguing differing opinions with friends, co-workers and family members?
10. Do you often find yourself comparing yourself to other people and coming out on top?
11. Do you actively look for ways to hurt someone in your life? Do you do things with the intention of sparking jealousy, envy, shame, self-doubt or fear inside of that person?
12. Do you find that no matter how much time, attention or affection your partner gives you, it never feels like enough?
13. Do you feel emotionally and mentally weighed down with responsibilities, and frustrated or angry that you can’t quite fulfill them?
14. Do you use drugs, alcohol or food to mask any unwelcome emotions? If so, what is the first emotion or feeling that comes to mind?
15. Do you work long hours, shop, watch TV or surf the Internet to avoid certain feelings? If so, what is the first emotion or feeling that comes to mind?
16. What do you most want people to think about you? Of the 11 toxic emotions listed above, which is closest to the opposite of what you want people to think about you?
17. Which of the questions above triggers an emotional hot button for you? Which one makes you cringe or irritates you the most?
These questions will help you determine your biggest emotional demon.
Each of the behaviors listed in the questions above are the result of a wounded ego — an ego that lives and breathes by the certainty that it is separate, alone, and in a constant state of danger. It wraps itself in layer upon layer of negative beliefs and wears a mask to ensure its safety.
There is much that we could explore about the ego and its many faces and functions. But this is one of the most important things I can tell you:
The wounded ego isn’t going away. YOUR wounded ego isn’t going away.
Although your wounded ego will try every trick in the book to have you believe otherwise, there is nothing you can do to fix it. You can’t make it disappear by achieving, earning, educating, marrying, divorcing, dieting or negotiating your way out of it. You can’t manipulate, manage or control it. The only thing you can do is give it what it actually wants: safety, compassion, kindness, understanding, love, and reconnection with your whole self.
When this agonized and desperate part of us begins to feel genuinely safe, we start to allow more good things into our lives: more emotional nourishment, more pleasure, more peace.
One way to start breaking free of your emotional demon is by identifying the one that has the most power in your life, the toxic emotion that most robs you of your self-confidence and self-esteem; the one that keeps happiness and fulfillment always around the next corner.
Pull that ugly and unwanted emotion out of the dungeon and into the light of day. You’ll start to see the natural transformation that occurs when you bring a fresh awareness to a toxic emotion. The emotional detox will rid you of the unwanted emotion and give you the strength to overcome other toxic emotions that may occur.
Once you use the emotional detox to get rid of the toxic emotion, you will begin to feel full of life. You will have more energy, confidence and enthusiasm. The self-sabotaging behavior will become non-existent and the emotional burden will be lifted. A new found joy of life will arise and an inspiring empowerment will begin to form. Being able to reconnect with your happy side is a reward in itself. Living life to its fullest is the greatest victory of all.
I invite you to transform your painful and difficult emotions from enemies into allies, and start clearing the way for exciting new realities to emerge.
Debbie Ford is one of my favorite teachers and I personally have found great insight and guidance from following her work. Continually working to understand how our shadow works with respect to our Ego which creates our toxic emotions has helped me to surrender and release them and only focus on unconditional love.
with kindest of intentions
~ Offering enlightenment through compassion and kindnessHow to Break Through Toxic Emotions Debbie Ford