Emotions are designed to help us learn about the strengths and weaknesses of who we are as individuals. Emotions stem from our unconscious. We experience them consciously, although this does not mean that we automatically know what our emotions are indicating about us on a conscious level.
Within our unconscious there is a genetic map of who we are, and how we can successfully survive as individuals in the social relationships that we are exposed to during our life. The uncovering and learning of our genetic map can lead us to the potential of us surviving which involves us consciously acknowledging and accepting what we are experiencing on an emotional level. By acknowledging our limits we are acknowledging our boundaries of how we can perform in our social relationships. By understanding and taking responsibility we are able to accept the limits of what we are good at doing and what we are not good at doing in our social relationships.
The stronger our emotional experience is, the more it indicates a boundary of ours as to who we are as individuals. All of us have the same boundaries to protect ourselves as individuals. This is because all of us equally want to survive. By taking responsibility, we become aware of our boundaries, and that others emphasize different boundaries than ourselves. We are not all equal in the defense of all of our boundaries. What this means is that others have learned what their boundaries are that helps them to survive, and that they defend different boundaries than we do. We learn about our own boundaries by paying attention to our emotional experiences and understanding what boundaries they are connected to. It is our conscious choice to determine what boundaries we are defending, regardless of our potential to defend these boundaries. There are times that we defend boundaries that are not strong. This results in us not defending the boundaries that we are most capable of defending to survive. It is important for us to survive as individuals in our social relationships. Otherwise, we are subject to mental stress.
When we are born we do not know who we are, our likes and dislikes are the things that we are good at, and the things that we are not as good at. We learn about who we are by exposure to our social relationships. We have a choice to accept what we have learned about ourselves, or deny what we have learned. When we apply, or deny what we have learned about ourselves, regardless of our decision, we need to be responsible. We need to accept ourselves as individuals, regardless of how our social relationships judge us.
When we are taking responsibility in our social relationships, we are accepting our boundaries. Whether they are boundaries that we want to negotiate and compromise with, or that we are willing to defend. In either case, we have learned about our boundaries. The emotional process is an attempt for our unconscious to communicate to our conscious about how we are reacting to our boundaries. This is where it is our responsibility to make a conscious investigation to identify the emotion and realize how strong we are experiencing the emotion relating to our social interactions. Our unconscious communicating with our conscious can be explained by utilizing a previous theory that is not related to psychology. This is the theory of electricity.
This theory explains that within electricity there is voltage (which is the amount of electricity), and there is amperage, (which is how strong the electricity flows). In relating this to emotions, an emotion itself would not have any power. This would be compared to volts. How strong an emotion travels through our psyche would be related to their level of anxiety. This would be compared to amperage. Therefore, anxiety itself is not an emotion. It is what gives strength to all emotions. The emotion of being anxious has been confused with experiencing anxiety. When we are anxious, what we are really experiencing is high levels of anxiety plus the emotion of being anxious. This process holds true for all emotions. When we are experiencing high levels of anxiety plus any emotion, a conscious emotional experience occurs. To complicate this further, we experience all emotions at the same time with varying degrees of anxiety. It is the emotions that are pushed by the highest degrees of anxiety which we will experience on a conscious level. The stronger the conscious emotional experience, the more it indicates one, or more of our boundaries that we recognized are being challenged.
By understanding the separation of anxiety and emotions, we are able to acknowledge our emotional experience without changing it, and to understand that we have the ability to influence the strength of the specific emotion. The process is to identify the emotion and what we have learned as to how it applies to our boundaries. By identifying the emotion and the boundary that is being challenged, we begin to understand how we can survive in our relationships. By refusing to understand and take responsibility for what emotions are teaching us, we are ignoring who we are. This can create patterns that are destructive to our survival.
We do have the ability to grow from what we have learned about ourselves regarding our experiences in our social relationships. Our emotional reactions to these experiences can teach us who we are as individuals. By taking conscious responsibility for our boundaries we begin to understand that we cannot change who we are, we are who we are. We do not, and cannot, change. We can only manage who we are. If we choose to take the time and are willing to understand ourselves, we will understand that we all have strengths and weaknesses. It is our responsibility to understand how we apply ourselves in the relationships that we choose.
© 2012 Therapeutic Process