Not very well at all, according to Gary Douglas, best selling author and founder of Access Consciousness. And to be honest, I doubt he’s the only one. Douglas takes issue with much of the commonly believed truths about emotions and feelings, primarily when they don’t seem to change things for people whether in the short, mid or long-term. Is it time we started looking at things a little differently?
One of the reasons we get locked into exploring our feelings is that entrapping belief that if we knew WHY we did something, then we could understand it and do something different. Not so, says Douglas. We chose whatever we chose because we could choose it, period. To do something differently, all we have to do is choose something different. This can be a little hard to swallow at first, however, what if knowing that you can now choose differently and that you have been choosing all of your life is actually more empowering than we have been taught to believe? Whenever we get into explaining why we did something, we are getting into reasons and justifications. These only obscure the potency of our choice. Any phrase that starts with “because” is a dead giveaway that we’re stepping right into reasons and justifications.
“Why?” Douglas points out, is not a useful question. Have you ever had a discussion with a 4 year old? It can go on forever and you eventually end up where you started. He suggests banishing “why” from our vocabulary; it is a word that creates only continued limitation in our lives.
Another misconception is the belief that this mythical understanding of the past that we chase like a unicorn will provide something useful for us in the future. All too often we use the past as the only basis we have upon which to build a future. How well has this been working for you? In reality, says Douglas, all we have to do is choose. If we were willing to be truly aware, to perceive know be and receive everything, then we would be able to change in a heartbeat.
Instead, we tend to depend on the past and our experience. What if depending on the past for a basis to choose the future drastically limits the choices available to us, as well as our ability to create the life we would like to have? If we base all our choices on past experience, how can anything greater than that show up?
Another factor leading to confusion about the importance of feelings and emotions is that we have tended to confuse our feelings and emotions with one of the capacities we all have on coming into the world: knowing. The basic element of being for any infinite being is indeed knowing. Knowing is instant and light, it has always been with us, and it doesn’t require any proving or processing; it just is. Our knowing has always been available us, even as tiny children, though we have seldom been taught to acknowledge it. We have often confused it with the feelings and emotions that were considered more valuable by the adults around us.
Applying another Access Consciousness tool sheds a new light on emotions. The tool is that anything that feels light to you is true for you, while anything that feels heavy is a lie. Some emotions do feel light. These tend to be the emotions that an infinite being would feel such as joy, bliss and ecstasy. Think of the emotions you have felt today. Have any of them felt light? If not, they cannot be true. Yet we tend to let these emotions rule every part of our lives, even though they cannot be true.
How much chaos does this create in our lives? We seem to love to buy the lie that these feelings are real. How often are we taught to use our feelings as the gauging system by which we determine whether we are on the right track of life or not? However, this purchase has a considerable cost to us, Douglas points out. “Anywhere you buy a lie, you stick yourself,” he points out. “You will never be able to create freedom and clarity for yourself around an issue where you’re buying a lie.” It does not matter if the lie is spoken, like an untruth someone tells you, or unspoken, like the self-help community’s allegiance to feelings and emotions.
Some feelings are especially futile, their only purpose being to obscure the issues underneath them and to keep you from experiencing yourself as the infinite being you truly are. These feelings are also called distracter implants since they serve to distract us from what is really going on. Distracter implants include: anger, rage, fury, hate; blame, shame, regret, and guilt; obsessive, compulsive, addictive points of view and doubt and fear.
Distracter implants are “problems” that can never be solved. How well does anger management work, for example? The way to deal with distracter implants is to ask for everything underneath them that holds them in place and clear that. This can solve a situation of potential upset and conflict in mere minutes.
For those of you that require more of a scientifically supported argument, Douglas is not alone in questioning the value of dwelling on those feelings. A recent Newsweek article (January 24, 2011) questioned the five stages of grief for which Elizabeth Kubler Ross is famous, as well as Freud’s emphasis on “the work of mourning.” A study done in 2007 showed that people who did not express their negative emotions after the loss of a spouse or a child were actually less depressed and anxious, as well as showing less health complaints 14 months and 25 months after the loss. Even talking or writing about the loss of a spouse does not appear to help people adjust to the loss any better, according to a number of studies cited by Newsweek.
In 20 years of conducting personal awareness seminars world wide, Douglas has discovered that laughter works much better than tears at clearing away old issues and limitations. “The greatest amount of charge around an issue is released with laughter, not with tears.
“I have watched people cry all the time about issues,” recalls Douglas. After working with them, “Five minutes later they’d be talking about it again, and 10 minute later they’d be crying about it again.
“I’d ask if they wanted me to take it away and they would say, ‘You can’t take it away! Then I wouldn’t know how to be!’”
What makes us think we wouldn’t know how to be without the trauma and drama of our emotions? The difficulty, says Douglas, is that we have defined ourselves by the way everyone else defines themselves. They think their sensitivity is based on how much emotional trauma they have. This very emotional trauma keeps people stuck in the very trauma they are complaining about.
So how about it? Would you like to give up all that emotional baggage, without even stopping to “work through it?” Would now be a good time?