From people perspective, everything, every action, every motion, every thought, every feeling, all of life is an attempt to experience love. And when I mention “love” it is not just about Eros (the romantic love) but also:
- Philia (deep friendship),
- Ludus (playful love, which involves playful activities),
- Agape (selfless love, including but not limited to love for humankind, for nature, for God),
- Pragma (longstanding love, which involves duty and long term interests),
- Philautia (self love, which can be healthy or unhealthy, we will discuss the healthy Philautia below), and
- Storge (familial love)
But how can we retain ourselves with love, incorporate this perspective into our daily lives and how do we therefore reduce our “negative” emotions such as hate, resentment, and anger? Is there an easy way of looking at ourselves and our emotions so that we can sustain the perspective that hate and love are just two sides of the same coin?
While only a few truly enlightened people in the world can hold the point of reference that everything is Love 100% of the time, there are ways in which we can transform our fears and stresses into love and peace using these below perspectives.
Negative emotions that serve us
To do everything with love we must first begin with the idea that we are human beings within a physical body who want to experience love, union, creativity, expression, adventure and happiness in the physical world. Secondly, we need to recognize that our bodies are actually serving us by providing the vehicles for our human experience to achieve the above things. And finally, we also recognize that our emotions, specifically our “negative emotions” are serving to protect us as well and therefore a part of the miraculous gift of love produced by our human bodies.
Our negative emotions are our body’s way of warning us when something we want is “being denied”. Negative emotion is the body’s weapon for protecting our interests, which at a deeper subconscious level, those “interests” can sum up as the seven human emotional needs:
- To be safe
- To be loved
- To Be Empowered
- To be significant
- To have unity
- To have adventure
- To express creativity
Everything that we could ever desire on the physical level will help fill one or more of these basic human needs, and every negative emotion, depression, sadness, hatred, anger resentment, fear and so on are our mind’s attempt to alert us that one of the seven human emotional needs are not getting fulfilled according to our belief systems. Most of our emotional reactions come from a deep unconscious level that monitors the fulfillment or lack of fulfillment of these human emotional needs.
Hate and fear, for instances, are acts of service by the body and mind, serving to protect our human needs to feel safety, love, empowerment, significance, union, adventure or creativity. Now that we have established that our emotions are extensions of our human bodies with miraculous gifts of love, how exactly can we take these ideas and benefit from them? Anytime we feel stress, anxiety or have any unwanted emotion remind ourselves that our body is producing a “defensive response” for us. Then, we can then re-frame the word
‘Negative emotion’ as a “defensive response” being produced by our subconscious mind on our behalf. We also can shift from “suffering bad moods“ to “calling for actions”. And from there, we can change the situation, every situation.
Some “call for actions” examples when enduring negative feelings are:
- Fear: we need to prepare ourselves to deal with that threatening thing
- Disappointment: we need to change our expectation and remind ourselves with our past achievements to keep up with good work instead of reminding ourselves with failure
- Anger: we need to prepare for being attacked by other people, by changing our behaviours, our reactions and our perceptions
- Fear: attacking fear is the best way to dissolve it once and for all
- Guilt: we need to change our behavior to prevent the same mistake
- Depression: we need to get out by going through the event or the case that caused us depression, because time will not heal if we just wait and do nothing
Now, are you thinking that this is another “mind tricking” method or an autosuggestion idea that leads you to nowhere at all? The truth is that the idea of “negative emotions that serve us” tightly links to your GRATITUDE, the attitude you should have in life, the quality of being thankful and to return kindness.
Gratitude in the jar
Have you ever heard of the gratitude jar, an old fashioned glass jar which you put in your thankful notes for whatever that make you happy during a day? This is a small yet valuable method to practice treating your negative emotions and adjusting your attitude towards small things that are happening around you everyday.
A gratitude jar will help you to:
- Treat your negative emotions such as envy, stress, disappointment or anger by easily redirecting its negative energy to a positive one.
- Deepen and reconnect your relationships because since then you know how to empathize with others and reduce your selfishness.
- Be happier because you live in the moment to really enjoy even a smallest happiness that you have.
- Be healthier because when you are happier your physical state will improve.
- Be thankful to everything that happens to us, because everything happens for a reason, even negative emotions!
“Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love.” – Mother Teresa
Some people are meant to change the world. Some are meant to change just the people around them. And some are meant to return to know their own soul. Whoever it is, we all want to change with a conscious mind, and the best way to do it is as simple as being aware.
For instance, you are trying a new Asian hotpot in Thailand. Picture the hotpot in your mind, see the red chili mixture, hear the soup bubbling, smell its aroma as you take it with a spoon, feel the spicy liquid in your mouth, and sense its warmth through your neck.
Observe and feel new things you try with gratitude. Watch your first found blue gem. Examine your first found treasure chest.
Be aware of everything you are doing, though small.
Be aware of every thought that is crossing your mind, though normal.
That’s when you recognize how a little moment can make an astonishing happiness.
Is it selfish if you love yourself first?
You may have been taught that it is selfish to put yourself first in other to be able to do everything with love. Is it true that it is selfish to put yourself first? No! And it is important for you to change this negative belief so you can learn how to love yourself first. This is all about healthy Philautia 🙂
You are probably feeling sad, scared and angry a lot of the time because lack of self-love means you are not meeting your needs. When you go without, you will feel sad because of the losses you experience, you will feel scared because you are threatening your own well-being by not meeting your basical needs, and you will feel angry because you are, no doubt, living without the love and happiness you truly want in life. You will never see the glass half full.
If you don’t love yourself, you are modeling lack of self-love to your kids, and you are putting a huge amount of stress on yourself that is not good for your health, and not good for your relationships.
Only when you love yourself, you are at ease of criticism, failure and stress. You feel peacefulness deep inside that your peace will drift like a pebble thrown into a pond, the ripples flow outwards, and in truth, you never know how many lives you touch with one gentle word or by having the courage to be who you truly are.