The true profession of man is finding his way to himself. ~ Hermann Hesse
Sensitivity. Yeah, I’ve got that.
I have a high sensitivity to emotion, both my own and other people’s. In fact, I used to often hear the phrase, “You’re too sensitive.”
In my youth, I pretty much reacted from emotion. As a teenager, I was once pulled over by a cop for absolutely nothing. I was fuming. I was a responsible young woman. How dare he make me look like a criminal by pulling me over. My girlfriend in the passenger seat knew me well. She warned me to be polite to the officer and not act from my anger. Thankfully, she talked me down, and I was polite, but through gritted teeth.
(Side note: He told me I had one headlight out and then said it went back on. I think he was just checking on a teenager driving at night.)
Like I used to do as a teenager, it seems like society is doing today. Lots of reacting out of feelings. Decisions are being made from whatever emotion is being felt at present. In some cases, nations build laws around how some groups of its citizens feel. This is not a good idea, because emotions are subjective. Decision-making is best when using a combination of fact-finding and intuition.
Sometimes intuition is confused for emotion.
This is why I believe inner-work is so important, and why I write about introspection on my blog (inquire, inspire, aspire) and in my books. Whit’s End is about two women who need to do inner-work on themselves instead of making decisions based on the deeply painful emotions from rocky marriages.
So, what is the purpose of feelings, and what is the difference between emotions and intuition?
When emotions occur, it’s time to do inner work. What is it that caused the emotion? What hot button did the offense hit within ourselves? Is there a place where we are insecure? What originally caused that insecurity from our past? How can we embrace that hurt in order to let it go and grow in confidence? If we can’t find why we got so offended, than perhaps we can realize that the person who offended us spoke from a place of hurt within themselves. In this way, we realize it has nothing to do with us and we can let it go.
Sure, we can confront the offender, but reacting immediately out of emotion might make a situation worse. It’s probably best to give ourselves time to feel first and think about how to speak to the offender civilly. The only thing is, we can’t have expectations for a particular outcome. We must just speak for ourselves, not to change someone else. Once we do, we must find a way to move on. This is a hard lesson I learned in my personal life, and so did the character, Ava, in my above mentioned novel, Whit’s End.
This inner process helps us to find ourselves and honor who we really are. If we blame others as the cause of our emotion, than we remain in chains. Other people have control of us. We define ourselves through how they make us feel. I forgot to mention in last week’s post, that once I did these things with myself and stopped reacting from so much emotion, my life got better.
Intuition speaks to us once we give the emotion attention and compassion. Then we can clear it away to discover who we really are and open the door for our inner voice (intuition) to speak to us. From there we can use a combination of real facts and intuition to make decisions.
This is what I call sharing experience, strength and hope. Would you like to share yours?