10. Look for the Learning in Emotional Pain

For men, emotions are strange feelings that they find difficult to understand. It’s emotions that overtake women all the time and make them unpredictable and unreasonable.

Men are not emotional and, as we learnt yesterday, remain in control. Having stuffed their emotions down men are not able to predict when they are going to break out and cause pain and extreme difficulty.

When significant emotions can no longer be held in, men lose control of themselves and sometimes are unable to return to normal life. Soldiers are strong, courageous individuals who often suffer badly from trauma caused by what they see and experience. Even today this can take a great deal of counselling or psychiatric help to overcome.

A simpler technique would be if you could learn, as we did yesterday with physical pain, to let go and allow the emotions to come out.

“Painful as it may be, a significant emotional event can be the catalyst for choosing a direction that serves us – and those around us – more effectively. Look for the learning.” —Louisa May Alcott

Just recently I experienced a letting go of long held and deeply felt emotions.

In the last few months I have moved on from the profession of lighting designer that was my life for many years. A disagreement over my final invoice on my last project was finally resolved by an angry email from a client of mine. I was upset and felt an extraordinary rush of angry emotions far out of proportion to the email itself. I realised that it was the start of the release of anger built up over many years.

The construction industry is predominantly male and holds anger in the heart of it. It is a constant battle ground of ideas, desires, discussions, disagreements, greed and selfishness. Most men hold all this in and suffer a range of largely unrecognised effects. Whilst I had long ago acknowledged my general anger I had missed how much was tied up in my work. I was shocked to realise it was still there.

I found then that it was relatively easy for me to let it go and move on.

  • Are you aware of the emotions you feel on a regular basis? Take a few minutes today and look at what has been there for you over the past week. Don’t question them, just be aware of them.
  • Go deeper and feel what is there that you are not acknowledging. Keep going going until you start to discover them. What do you learn from seeing them?
  • What can you do to release these emotions? Will awareness be enough for you or do you need to do something more active?
  • How can you setup a regular practice that will bring these emotions out in when you can deal with them without trauma? Is there a person or a group you can talk to regularly to start opening yourself up?

Other Posts in the series 'Dealing With Chaos'

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