Monday, August 1, 2011

EMOTIONAL BALANCE - Honoring Feelings and Emotions

Last week we discussed mental balance as one of the six areas of balance. This week the third area of balance to be discussed is emotional balance. The Level 1 Seminar is as important for emotional balance as it is for mental. Do you remember the Serenity Prayer said at the end of Twelve Step meetings? “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. How often do you feel peaceful and serene? Many of us try to avoid feeling emotional pain or discomfort. We may use alcohol and/or drugs to avoid feelings; to escape from feeling pain. Sometimes, we may even escape the joy or sabotage our own success if we are not feeling “good enough” or “worthy”. Sometimes we are feeling the guilt and shame of our thoughts or actions and this keeps us stuck in our addictions. Remember, feelings are not good or bad they are just feelings. They are clues to my emotional state moment to moment. I can accept and honor: “this is what I am feeling” and then choose how to work with the feelings. I can choose constructive or destructive ways to handle my emotions. For example, if I am feeling angry, I can go to the gym rather than “punch” a wall or someone. Galileo reminds us: “We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves.” Discovering and honoring feelings can be rewarding and it helps us identify with others as we all feel feelings . In Seminar, we learn there are two ways to live life: coming from love or coming from fear. A Course in Miracles states: Perfect love casts out fear. If fear exists, then there is not perfect love. But only perfect love exists. If there is fear, it produces a state that does not exist. And Emily Dickinson wrote: That love is all there is, Is all we know of love. I have found meditation most helpful in getting to know and honor my feelings. What have you found? Click the "Contact Us" tab at the top of the page and let me know. I would love to hear from you.

Sue Judd, MSS, LSAC
Licensed Substance Abuse Counselor

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