The Self-Connection Podcast: S1 E 13: Feelings as Resources

Show notes:

What are feelings? Why are they so tricky and difficult to cope with sometimes? 

Sharon and Tim explore some definitions of feelings as it relates to Virginia Satir’s experiential model and we explore ways of relating to and coping with feelings that are healthy, constructive and positive.  The healthy relating to and coping with feelings seems to require at least three elements: self-connection, responsibility for the emotions, and relating to those feelings with an appreciation for their underlying resource and wisdom. 

0:00 meditation connecting to feelings building awareness 

5:00  We begin exploring definitions of feelings, how we work with them personally and professionally. Sharon talks about the idea of ‘listening profoundly’ where you listen from your heart your spirit and your presence that says “I’m here for you and I’m not making any judgments’. I’m working to understand you and I accept you. “ Listening to feelings allow feelings to expand and elaborate and increases their capacity for growth. Feelings are energy. 

12:00 Sharon describes that there are feelings about feelings and that there are primary and secondary emotions. 

14:45 Emotions are an aspect of experience or consciousness that we try to discuss independently albeit artificially so that we can try to come to understand what is unique and distinct about feelings. “Feelings fire first” They are fast and could be tied to unconscious and implicit beliefs.  We feel emotions based on a particular way of thinking and physical sensation. Emotions are preverbal. These patterns of relating were established based on family or origin become recurring emotional patterns throughout life. 


16:17 We acknowledge that there are cultural or family rules that resist the experience of feelings and talking about feelings. Virginia talked about emotions being the ‘juice of life’. 

17:10 Emotions put us into motivation. Our emotions both positive and negative are resources that help us being fully motivated in life.   

The way that we utilize the energy of emotions requires us to use resources like intelligence, compassion, wisdom, honesty and awareness.  

18:20 “To be disconnected from our emotions is to be disconnected from the life within us. It would be the same as being cut off from oxygen.” Being stuck in emotional states creates behavioural and relational patterns that leave us rigid and unfulfilled. 

19:20 Violence can stem from the identification with another person’s behaviour being a comment on a person’s worthiness.  Not being served well at a restaurant. I can feel unworthy and it doesn’t mean that I am worthy. 

20:00 the way that our emotions are related to by others when we are young becomes the way that we relate to our own emotions later on.  We learn as a child which emotions are forbidden and we can either suppress them or project them, but any emotions that are forbidden can not be processed in a healthy way.   

21:00 when we relate to our emotional experience positively, lovingly, constructively then we open up new possibilities that create deeper connections and creativity.  

22:00 Sharon describes 4 primary emotions and an additional 2.  These are angry, fears, sadness and joy.  You could add shame and excitement as other primary emotions based on the research on primary emotions.

23:00 We discuss the importance of just being able to be with emotions without trying to change or get rid of it immediately. To be with emotions in this way we need to make a few decisions about what we believe to be true:

  1. I am responsible for creating and maintaining my emotions.

  2. It’s to appreciate the resource and wisdom of the emotional response and responses that occurred and are occurring.

  3. I can relate to my emotions openly, constructively if I am rooted and connected to myself. (That I am worthy) not that if I feel bad, that I bad.

27:45 Without the connection to our emotions and it’s honest expression to those we care about, intimacy can not take place.  The difficult, negative emotions are challenging and the initial temptation is to avoid them and not talk about them, but when we are in touch with our higher goals of genuine connection and the valuing of our relationships; feeling the feelings and conversations about them can result in a greater connection. 

29:28  The root of the word encourage has to do with courage and the courage to express what is deep in your heart. Some people believe that feeling vulnerable emotions makes a person weak so they hide from that, but the opposite is true. Expressing vulnerability is an expression of courage and strength. 

31:45 Courage, truthfulness, love and awareness are meta-resources and values that help us process, move through and transform our emotions. 

32:50 You can not change the event, but you can change the impact that is occurring inside of you. 

33:30 we discuss the inevitable occurrence of loss, trauma and death which will erupt negative and difficult emotions. We are all capable of building our resource to contain these experiences, to express the emotions and our ability to ask for help.