Do you have the capacity to distinguish between love, joy, hope, peace, and gratitude?
I have had a lot of people tell me that they believe the 5 feelings of the Emotional Gym ™ are basically the same.
I tell them that is not the case, that they are different, and that there are clear differences.
An MRI of the brain shows these emotions showing up in different ways.
However, I also tell them that the sameness in this emotional experiencing is an out-picturing of “enmeshment.”
“Enmeshment” refers to unhealthy relationships where boundaries are blurred and self/other differentiation is poor.
No one likes that answer, but it’s the case.
The inability to differentiate between the emotions of the Emotional Gym, or any other emotions for that matter, is a function of appropriateness and boundaries.
If you consider the difficulty we have in just getting people to feel their feelings, is it any wonder that we would have difficulty with differentiation?
Consider the image of our “UpSpiral,” with varied levels of height and depth. The DownSpiral narrows almost to a point, the experience of the narrowing effects in the brain of negativity, often expressed as overwhelm.
The UpSpiral has a broader, wider, more open at the top look and feel to it. And so it’s not a stretch to say that, for example, there are multiple shades of gratitude, a variety of ways in which we can feel love, hope, peace, or joy.
The UpSpiral is the brain on “broaden and build,” building the capacity to nuance our feelings as well as out thoughts and beliefs.
And so, with less enmeshment comes greater distinction between and among the 5 positive emotions of the Emotional Gym.
As you pulse more over time, you move away from “emotional sloppiness” into an experience of greater clarity, not only in what you can feel, but in what you want for your life.
Clarity of desire also begins to move you in relationships from a “sloppy unity” which is usually forced, or even phony, to what we call “embodiment,” the felt experience of real connection.
That is why it is often difficult for very bright people to behave in ways that fit what they know and believe, but fail to do so because they have not developed the emotional integration to carry it off.
© Dr. William K. Larkin