Chapter 2: living with the ‘shadow’
Definition: A shadow is an inclusive term, a kind of personality, or an overall being for the emotional demons.
“A Chasidic Jew complained to his Rabi:
Rabi, I have rising in me terrible thoughts.
I am even afraid to put it on my lips. It is bad for me and I feel bad that I am capable to think such thoughts, that, on them, even in hell there is no atonement.
Well, say it.
Woe. Sometimes I think, God forbid, that there is no justice and no just.
So, what do you care?
What do you mean: ‘what do I care’? Screamed the Hasidic Jew.
If there is no justice and no just, what kind of purpose does the world has?
So, what do you care that the world has no purpose?
Rabi. If the world has got no purpose, that there is no point, than there is no point for the Torah , and if there is no point for the Tora, than there is no point for life, and for this, Rabi, I care very much.
Said Rabi Mendel to the Chasid:
If you care so much, than you are a decent Jew, and it is allowed for a decent Jew to have such thoughts .”
This story is about a dark side in the life of this Chasidic Jew, and this is his subversive dark thoughts (expression of demons), and the Rabi tells him that he should recognize and accept this dark side of him; the shadow; (The dark self).
And not only to give recognition to the shadow and stop running away from it, but absolutely the opposite; to love it…
This sounds absurd, but this is the way out of the great dominance of the shadow on our life.
And even more than that; to know that ‘I am the shadow’, and the ‘darker’ the shadow is– the more ‘me’ it is.
So, we have two approaches to the issue of the shadow in us;
One, is running away from the darkness of the lower consciousness (the higher consciousness needs to be developed, so until then, all we have is the lower subconscious), which means: to ignore it and to depress it.
The second approach is to give it recognition.
This two are also the two kinds of leadership:
- The leadership of the ruler that is removed from the proletariat; uses it, repressing it, growing on his account.
- The leadership of the shepherd, that goes after a stray sheep.
Which is a leadership on a higher level?
The one of the shepherd is the higher. Because the higher you are – the more you love those who are below you. The leadership of the ruler is not leadership, it is tyranny.
High leadership means: to feel the pain of those who are lower and weaker then you. The shepherd loves his sheep, and the most, he loves the injured and weak sheep, for they need the most support.
One representation of the lower subconscious (in which the shadow resides) is the body; the more we listen to it, relate to it, love it – the more we are on the way to accept our demons.
If we, as high level leaders of our empire, need to relate to the unsuccessful, vulnerable side of us (the shadow), we need not to expel, to repress, to deny it. But to know that our real authentic self are not our profession, or education, but the little helpless lost child, that need relating to, conformation acceptance – a hug.
So, the little lost child is a large portion of our shadow. To live in the lost kid, does not mean just to know that this is the real me, but more than that; to give him full legitimation, to treat him as the real me.
An authentic person is connected to the lost child, and in him he finds his identity. From reading the essays of the Danish philosopher: Søren Kierkegaard :
“A man who as a physical being is always turned toward the outside, thinking that his happiness lies outside him, finally turns inward and discovers that the source is within him’.
Soren Kierkegaard it is quite clear that he was connected to the ‘shadow’ of the ‘poor child’ in him, and through him he was able to connect to what is authentic and real in the world.
But with politicians, many of them are blotted people, talking in high clichés and slogans, mostly because their ‘shadow’, the ‘poor kid’ – did not get from them any recognition. This is also, to be, connected to their sensations, feelings and body. The denial of the body could be noticed by how people drag their body, the way they drop their body into a chair, the critical way they look at himself in the mirror. All this is saying: “this body isn’t me, as long as it doesn’t cause any problems – we don’t pay much attention to what it wants to say to us”. Contrary to that, it could be seen in documentaries – how natives in primitive tribes carry their body; with grace and self-respect, their body is not part of them, it is them. If we would know to listen to the body, it will cease to be a prison for the soul (for the body is giving some expression to her).
Everything below the neck – is the lower subconscious: emotions, cravings etc.
Intellectualism is a proof to that that we lost the contact with the denied self, the unpolished’ unshaped self, the inner child– we call: the ‘shadow’. Whereas’ living full authentic life- means intimacy with ‘shadow’. The shadow is everything we deny in our self, because it is not civilized enough, we scarified the ‘essence’ for the sake of the ‘personality’.
We, our self, are living on a very thin layer of consciousness, it stands between two dimensions that we are not conscious of; the ‘shadow’ –which is connected to the body, and it is called here: the lower subconscious, the other is the spiritual world (‘the world of Ideas of Plato’ ) – higher subconscious.
We are between the two, but should be based in lower subconscious, in order to allow spiritual energies and intelligences – to enter, and go through, the higher subconscious. We could not receive it through our thin layer of consciousness, it has no capacity to house and process high energies, we can only get it if the higher subconscious is free and we are based in the lower subconscious. The head is the thin layer, it is the mediator between the higher and lower – subconscious.
“…our souls may be consumed by shadows, but that doesn’t mean we have to behave as monsters.”
― Emm Cole, The Short Life of Sparrows
20 ב’Emotions the great parasite.
It is difficult to grasp; but emotions could be the parasite that comes instead of life, they are the greatest robber of the life of a person.
As with all Parasites, the emotions feed off their hosts–energy in this case. As they feed, they grow. The parasite of the emotions grow and gain strength over time and influence and even, in extreme cases, almost take over.
The forces and energies of life should come and go through us. We should let life come to, and through, us – but we are too full with our emotions.
We should present emptiness to those energies of life. But our emotions took over this emptiness, and whatever comes into us get blocked and ‘eaten’ by our emotions.
We believe that receiving our experiences through the emotions – is real living. But we confuse between the energies of life (Gurdjieff calls them: impressions) and the energies of the emotions. You either process life or your emotions.
They are a kind of parasite, because they robe our experiences on their way into to us. This experiences are not meant to get to our en=motions but to our being and inner core.
The first rull for a spiritual seeker is to overcome the dominance of our emotions that has overgrown their original size.
On a high level the person has get rich and powerful life going through him, freely, without the emotions consuming it.
Having negative or positive emotions – are secondary to the forces of life moving through him.
We should elevate above the glass ceiling of our emotions.
This kind of a person has got a presence.
For a person living through his being and not through his emotions, there is a presence, something that does not come from the emotions but from deep within, and so it is powerful.
His life is so full that they create around him lots of happenings. As much as he is a recipient of forces and energies – he is creating happenings around him.
This is happening for him without him being in an effort.
His life is a great happening, stemming from his depth.
When he meets other people it is difficult for the people he meets- to ‘put the finger’ on what it is about him which is special, for he does not touch their emotions, but something deeper in them; their soul (which most of them are not in contact with). Their emotions remain cold towards him.
A person who is connected to his life does not work from his emotions. Most people are doing emotional manipulations one upon the other, they are playing emotional games, fulfill emotional roles; the policeman, the prisoner, the aggressor and so on.
More about emotional games people play, in the book: Berne, Eric (1964). Games People Play – The Basic Hand Book of Transactional Analysis. New York: Ballantine Books
Chapter 21 – Expressing negative emotions
We are used to pass life from a belief that day today pressures don’t really allow us to open ourselves emotionally and when we arrive at a saner and relaxed state, and will find the right person – than we can open our heart and express what we feel.
Well, all this may be true for a regular course of one’s life, but if we refer to a person who is on a path of self-actualization, or spiritual journey, or personal development or the expansion of one’s consciousness – one should be careful about pouring out one’s emotions. This statement needs an explanation; first of all, it is very important to be able to pour one’s heart to a friendly ear, but there are other things that should be taken into account. One of the things that Gurdjieff stress is not to express negative emotions. Also in the yoga sutras of patanjali – it written that the goal of the Yoga practice is to restrict the oscillations of the consciousness, for it should be still and quite as a lake. Two things cause the consciousness to oscillate; one is will power that comes from the ego, and the other are the expression of negative emotions. All this is causing a kind of blurring and a storm in the consciousness. When the emotions get borderless freedom it oscillates wildly, and there are no more wild emotions than negative emotions. The more extreme is the power and the heat with which this emotions are expressed – so does the consciousness loses its clarity, it ceases to be a crystal that is passing through it the energies of the universe to the soul, but it ‘breaks’ the rays of light.
We are referring to negative emotions such as:
o impatience And Hate
o Jealousy and envy
What causes the most unrest and blurring of the consciousness are this uncontrolled negative emotions. Like a boat (consciousness) on high wave sea (wild and negative – emotions).
A person on a developed level of consciousness will either not express them in their totality and extreme, he will do it very moderately, without raising the volume of voice, without becoming heated up; he will ‘not get lost’ in expressing them; not allowing them to take him over.
A person that sees the necessity of keeping the consciousness quiet – treats his emotions like Nitroglycerin (very sensitive explosive), that if it is being moved slightly – it will explode. He might seem from the outside to be anemic or spathic, but he is only being careful not ‘to rock the boat’.
Looking after clear and still consciousness – is like a Gardner who plucks out wild ivy (negative emotions), so that it will not strangle the vegetation in the garden (high consciousness).
Chapter 22. א’ Emotional wound and injuries
Vincent van Gogh’s 1890 painting
Sorrowing old man (‘At Eternity’s Gate’), where a man weeps due to the unpleasant feelings of emotional pain.
A definition of emotional hurt: to cause emotional pain or distress to someone.
If you say something demeaning to somebody, it does hurt them inside and it makes them feel deep pain emotionally… That’s emotionally hurt, (or emotionally injured, or emotionally damaged, or emotionally abused, or an emotional harm).
Unlike a physical injury which usually heals in a short time, verbal and emotional hurt is usually cumulative.
Unlike physical wounds, that heal naturally leaving only a scar, verbal and emotional wounds, left untreated, tend not to heal. These wounds are often hidden out of sight and become a part of how we act and react.
Unlike physical wounds, which hurt us on the outside, verbal and emotional wounds go to the deepest parts of us. Any physical wound going so deep would be fatal. And if left untreated long enough, prolonged verbal or emotional hurt can also be quiet fatal, emotionally.
Hurt is something that everyone has experienced. People experience both emotional hurt and physical hurt. Although physical hurt can be very painful, it is emotional hurt that is harder to get over it, and, because it is an ‘unseen’ hurt, sometimes emotional hurt goes unrecognized.
During our life we don’t feel how much we are loaded with emotional hurt (E.H.) and this is because we cannot stand the emotional pain that was caused by the E.H. It is true that it hurts less when the pain is being repressed, but the damage is greater…
And so it happens that most of our E.H. live in our subconscious. And there they can either grow or weaken, and the question is: what will be strengthen in us and what would weaken, the answer is in the Cherokee Indian story:
“An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
It is all questions of what in him the person is feeding. Is he feeding the E.H.?
If he is thinking about it – gives it power, it will grow.
Usually the current E.H. is not there by itself, it connects to E.H. from the past that was already living in the subconscious (repressed). And so it gets power from all similar E.H. that are buried inside.
One the paradigms behind E.H. could be a paradigm of the need to get hurt… meaning; there are cases in which the need to get hurt serves something in the person. Let’s assume that he has a paradigm that he is not o.k. and that he feels that he should be punished, and when he is getting hurt it decreases the feeling that ‘I am not ok’, because I get the punishment that I deserve…
On the whole, with all which is connected to E.H. there are two contradictory motivations; one is to move away from the place in which he could be hurt, and the other motivation is (on the contrary) is a motivation to arrive to where he could be hurt, and this is because (as was written) he feels a need to be emotionally punished.
So, The E.H. has got two routes in which a person being hurt is ‘traveling’ on, one is the ‘healthy route’, the other is the ‘sick rout’. The ‘healthy route’ is to distance oneself from people that can hurt him, the second route, and the sick one, is to return again and again to the same people that hurt him before.
For example, a woman who is being hurt by a beating partner, she either disassociate with such a man (the ‘healthy route’), and the ‘sick route’ is returning again and again to relationship with such man.
And there is another point concerning the ‘sick route’, and this is true for certain women, they return to the hurting male because she wants to be under his protection against other aggressive man, in the hope that he would appreciate that she agrees to be with him and will not hurt her and will protect her from forceful men. But in most cases his violent nature causes him to hurt her more instead of protecting her. (The story of the Toad and the Scorpion )
And when it happens several times, a pattern is being created (a pattern is the repeated or regular way in which something happens or is done repeatedly).
Patterns in communication are also called: games; A fixed game pattern does not allow learning and progression and each time it produce the same loop.
In the ‘sick rout’ there is self-deception, by a naïve hope (about getting protection) that usually doesn’t get actualized.
In this route there is a need, and as was written, the need (of women in some cases) is to be with someone strong, but often he is, in fact, forceful and abusive. This pattern of weak and victimized women that fall in love with forceful men is quiet common, and dominant and aggressive males cannot resist the temptation to abuse the woman which is with him, and then she is in a loop, in a circle. She suffers his emotional abuse but she returns to him because she needs a strong protecting male.
This is a loop that locks her in a game-pattern of: victim and a victimizer. But if at a certain point in the relationship her degree of suffering accedes her need for a protecting man – she would probably disconnect from him.
Usually, a woman that succeeded to get out of this destructive loop is a woman with self-respect who is not willing to be humiliated from a certain point onwards.
Accept women that fall in this destructive loop, there is a group of people who suffer a lot from emotional abuse; they are called: highly sensitive persons, they especially are getting hurt most of the time, and like the women of before, a sensitive person needs a lot of self-respect in order to free himself from the destructive loop. One of the reasons for them returning again and again to it could be because loneliness is worse… But be the reason what it may, like the victimized woman in a ‘sick relationship’, the highly sensitive person is often in a catch.
There is an element that in this stage should come into the picture, and it is: self-esteem. Low self-esteem can bring the one who was hurt back to the one who hurt him, again and again, and this is because he believes that there is something in him which is not right, and his guilt feelings lead him to the need to be punished, in the form of emotional hurt. And that something that he sees in him as ‘not right’ is actually his over-soul , the vibrancy and potency of his soul, just that when he sees himself through the eyes of the status quo – he sees his inner beauty as weakness.
There are people (mostly highly sensitive persons) that are born with high quality (in the soul level), and this is like a double edge sword; sharp in both ends – sensitive to high things and sensitive to low things. This sensitivity is interpreted by the herd mentality (and by forceful people) as weakness.
This sensitivity, together with low self-esteem – is for forceful people like a magnet, it transmits signs of weakness, in his eyes – a victim is an invitation and he couldn’t hold back. Meaning that the both; the victim and the victimizer are in a loop; he could not hurt and the highly sensitive could not be not hurt.
To this arena of the serial victims we can add children, especially highly sensitive children, they could become the victims and scapegoats of their family, a drainage pipe through which the family is channeling their frustrations and problems.
R. D. Laing, mainly in his book: “The divided self writes about it a lot; he even says that the schizophrenics in a family are its scapegoats.
According to him, Part of what might bring about schizophrenia – is not necessarily his own ‘luggage’, but belongs to the family members that glorify themselves about being sane, but in fact they get reed of problematic ‘luggage’ through the family scapegoat.
And how does one becomes a scapegoat? By getting emotionally hurt repeatedly.
Children are a weak population, when they are young, they don’t obey yet to social norms, by this the child is making his upbringing difficult, for his parents needs to see him adhering to the social norms, and one of the ways, they feel, can bring the child back to the route is to hurt him emotionally; ”you are no good”, “nothing good will come out of you”, “you good for nothing” and the like.
Another reason for why parents get frustrated is that the kids (and especially, the highly sensitive and the outsiders) who do not take the conventional path – is fear (that the child will not manage to get along in life) and rage (about the child, apparently, choosing the wrong route) and from there the road to hurt the child emotionally – is short.
With it, the parent’s intention is good, he means to say something like: “be careful, don’t behave like this, you will be hurt”, and because he is afraid that the child would not pay attention to his warning – he hurts him. (Because he believes that this would be more effective…).
Usually this is not successful and only makes the child to be more victimize, and this is a tragedy. The truth is that you could not train anyone through negative reinforcement, it never works, and it only creates in the child low self-esteem. The danger that awaits many parents is to think that the whiplash of the negative reinforcement is most effective.
Parents who are not emotionally mature will probably have more tendency to hurt a child which is problematic.
”The road to hell is paved with good intentions …”; the child could turn out to be very successful in his future life, but inside his could be in ruins.
Of course one of the main reasons for this unproductive way is identification of the parent with his fear and frustration.
One possible reaction of grownups who were hurt by their parents, is to hurt them back, mainly by being cold and distant. And now there is a reversal in who hurts and who is being hurt.
After years of E.H. – a pattern and a route is being created, in which a new hurt is moving, and as it keeps moving it makes the route – deeper (a too strong E.H. might cause an overflow of the emotions above the canal of the pattern).
When a person becomes overloaded with hurt emotions, then the pain–might be his governing factor; in conversations for example; what he talks about, what he does not talk about, who is talking to, and how long he talks, all is navigated by the attempt to decrease a possible E.H. The tragedy here is that those who are E.H. seems to have a kind of a sign on their forehead (which is made by their high sensitivity, or by being an outsider) which attracts to him more people who would hurt him. (Sensitivity could be interpreted as a weakness).
Guilt is being created when the victim is justifying the E.H. – as though he brought on himself.
But how does the aggressor knows whom he can hurt safely?
Well, psychologists have known for years that in the area of mugging – human predators select their prey based on signals given off by their potential victims. In a matter of seconds, the predator acquires a sense of who is and isn’t a suitable target. For every victim that is attacked, many more are past over. What are the criteria that predators use to select their victims?
In an unprecedented crime prevention project, the I-Team and Telemundo 47 Investiga sent surveys to hundreds of convicted robbers in New York and New Jersey the last week of December, asking them questions about how they pick their targets.
WarAbout 55 percent of the dozens who responded to the questionnaire said their target’s sex made no difference, but appearances were most important.
Like a wild animal, the human predator wants an easy conquest. He does not want his job to be any more difficult or hazardous than it has to be. He will seek out those he perceives as weak, submissive and unlikely to fight back. Those who look defenseless make good victims; muggers said they targeted people who looked lost or drunk. The classic victim is a person walking a bit bent, unstable or leaning to one side, and looking down – Transmitting to the mugger: ‘here you can hit’ (and get away with it), because they were easy to overpower.
And back to the E.H. person; there is something in him which transmits: ‘I am weak it is possible to attack me’, (and again; sensitivity could be perceived as weakness).
And what does the victim thinks about that that he gets attacked often? Well he can think one of the two; either there are terrible people that hurt sensitive (looking as weak) people, or that he deserves it, for something is most probably wrong with him. Their instinctive tendency would be the second option, especially if he has got low self-esteem. Which means that not only he is hurt, but he also cut his own head off by taking the guilt upon himself.
Feeling guilty is as bed as being hurt, because it will cause you to live in self-doubt, but the truth is that you are punished for being special.
But what he wants for himself is not necessarily to develop his sensitivity and specialness to a finer and higher degree, but to be strong, so that people will not hurt him.
We live in a society that does not relate to the degree of sensitivity of a person, but mainly to him being strong or weak (or high or low status).
So what is the solution for the highly sensitive persons that is perceived as weak? Well, he should accept and be at peace with being attacked, by seeing it as a kind of price that he has to pay for being special, and of quality and sensitive, in an insensitive society, this means that then he will give backup and support to his ‘weak part’.
A person could not change in himself any characteristics, but he can change the way in which he looks at himself and how he receives the E.H. –the denial of his ‘weakness’ and vulnerability is what allows the attack to enter quickly and deeply. Actually, admitting the vulnerability will not allow the attack to enter in.
And this is the big paradox; the highly sensitive believes that his non acceptances of him being vulnerable could change something about him being hurt, but this refusal is exactly what allows the hurt to get in…
In this painful area the ‘new age’ is so welcomed, for one example; The book and the movie: “The secret” that says that you attract to yourself what you think about, think of good things’ and good will come to you. And they don’t understand that instead of coping with the vulnerable part in them they concentrate in fantasies of how good it will be for them in the future, this makes the victim to be more vulnerable and exposed, for they neglect totally the entry gate to the emotions, abandoning his emotions to every passing attack.
Examples and sayings of being emotionally hurt:
“If I wanted to say, He always returns to the city even though he knows that he will get hurt (emotionally)”.
He has been hurting ever since learning of her friend’s betrayal.
“I am sure none of my boys and girls in Room 13 would purposely … hurt anyone’s feelings …”— Eleanor Estes, The Hundred Dresses.
“Sometimes a good cry is just what you need to release all the hurt you have built up inside.”
“When a person tells you that you hurt them, you don’t get to decide that you didn’t.” Louis C. K.
“I hate how you act like I am so much to deal with when all I’ve done was sit here and let you repeatedly hurt me.”
“I didn’t mean to fall in love but I did. And you didn’t mean to hurt me but you did.”
“Have you ever been hurt and the place tries to heal a bit, and you just pull the scar off of it over and over again.” – Rosa Parks
“Honesty is the cruelest game of all, because not only can you hurt someone – and hurt them to the bone – you can feel self-righteous about it at the same time.” – Dave Van Ronk.
Chapter 23 – On the repression of emotional hurt.
Origin of being hurt:
Middle English (originally in the senses ‘to strike’ and ‘a blow’): from Old French hurter (verb), hurt (noun), perhaps ultimately of Germanic origin.
It is the conception of the writer of this lines is that E.H. (emotional hurt) does not only happens more often than we are willing to admit, but (especially if it is being denied, repressed) it could influence different areas in us, such as: relationships, mental and physical health and more… Of course not all E.H. turns into an illness or to a problematic relationship, but at least more than some of it could be caused by an E.H.
The repressed E.H. becomes to be a collection of negative energies in the body, and then, either the body can drain it out, or it stays in the subconscious and continues to live.
This subject of: E.H. doesn’t get enough exposure, contrary to ‘sexual abuse’ or ‘verbal abuse’, which gets lots of exposure.
E.H. by itself, doesn’t cause damage, but the identification of the person with being hurt – causes what could be called: “personal involvement”, and this is what is causing the most damage. (But on that, later on).
The more the E.H. is getting repressed (and neglected as a result) – so the damage gets more costing.
It creates a kind of stress and a conflict in the whole system, and despite the fact that a man is used to living with it, never the less it is an oppressive and unpleasant feeling. And the more the E.H. are repressed – the stress get greater. This E.H. weakens the immune system, but mainly, the person does not enjoy from just being. For the stress, as a result of the E.H. – brings about a lack of inner peace, and a state of high excitement that could overshadow: ‘just being alive’.
So, the greatest negligence happens when people do not give enough weight to the damage that the repression of E.H. causes. (It might also inhibit and block the inner life of the person from growth and development).
But subconsciously – we do sense the echo of E.H in us. Therefore we eliminate people and situations that we think might cause us an E.H. And funnily enough, this does not decrease the quantity and strength of the E.H.
And it is amazing to see that despite the great damage that it causes, we give ourselves up to it, and by that turning it to a personal involvement, which gives power and longevity to the E.H.
One of the things we can say clearly is that to live with other people means to hurt and to get hurt. In other words: one of the frequent phenomenon of people who live with people is to hurt and get hurt.
And with it, it is so common. There is here a very strange phenomenon; people are being hurt again and again, and they do not develop an intelligence of how to go about it as to not be hurt again, but more important than that is how to go about the E.H. how to manage it so it will not deteriorate to something as obsessive and damaging as personal involvement.
A person could be shown dozen of times the route of E.H. that mostly leads to a state of acute trauma in the emotional system which is: ‘personal involvement’ – and he will go on in this route.
It could be said hundreds of times and we still remain blind to it.
If we say to someone: don’t cross the road, otherwise you would be run over, and he crosses one time and got run over – next time he would not cross the road. But it is not the same with all which is to do with being emotionally hurt; for we can identify a person with potential to hurt us emotionally and instead of getting around him as not to make contact with him – most of the sensitive people (who are bound to be hurt more and more severely) believe that this time it might not happen…
One of the reasons for it, also, could be in that even if we are just being warned about E.H. – this warning, by itself, causes us an emotional pain …
This subject of E.H. carries with it pain which hardly exists in other areas, there are no known mental or sexual pains…
The two areas in us that could be injured and wounded are: the body and the emotions. Both are exposed to the outside world.
Now, the body has got an immune system, if it is being attacked by viruses, or get wounded or becomes ill – the body overcomes mostly by a wonderful system called: the immune system. But the problem is that our emotions are also exposed to injury and they have don’t have an immune system. The explanation for this is that the body was developed to the end of its capacity (and so it has an automatic immune system), the emotions did not grow up, they are still in an infantile stage, and thus did not reach the level in which there is a developed immune system, and therefore any emotional injury penetrates in (and gets worse), and if we identify with it and keep digging in it (cannot stop thinking about it)- it turns to a malignant personal involvement.
And now to the emotional pain, (which is the ‘companion of E.H.). When there is an emotional pain there is a kind of subconscious censorship that its purpose is not to feel pain, and even the best researches are not free from this censorship. Which might explain why they are such few researches on the subject of E.H.
And so the question is: how come distinguished researches did not put this subject in the center? How many clients that approach a psychotherapist are coming with emotional pains caused by an E.H.?
Probably, most people would relate to the pain that this essay causes them rather than being turned on by the importance and relevance of the subject.
And in conversations, if there is a reference to emotional pain, it is usually done in an indirect way, maybe give hints, but there isn’t a reference that shows to what a degree E.H. is a main part of our emotional life.
Interesting question; how many personality disorders might be caused by continuous E.H.?
(Especially when the people who are being hurt are ‘highly sensitive persons ).
There are three kinds of people, as a result of accumulated E.H.:
1 . People that will terminate a relationship that is flooded with E.H.
- People that will almost destroy themselves (mentally and emotionally), meaning: they will take the blame upon themselves.
- People that will become ill physically (psychosomatic illness).
What is terrible here is that if the emotional pain passes a certain threshold, the damage that could happen even in two of the three, – is huge, for example: the destruction of the relationship and the development of psychosomatic illness.
And back to the censorship which is being done under the cover of our awareness; the strongest censorship in the life of two people living together – is the threshold of their emotional pain. And what occupies the mind of them is what area he/she have to get around in order to avoid a possible E.H.
It seems that it is our identification with our emotional pain is what is causing perception disorders; our view of reality is dictated, to a large extent, by the degree of identification with the pain in the emotions. This causes a kind of fog in the mind.
But emotional pain is not the worst, yet… we usually identify with our emotional pain, we become lost in it and then it causes perception distortions that bring about a narrow and one dimensional perception of reality.
Emotional pain (and more so; the identification with it) makes the thinking apparatuses fogy and disjointed.
We (in a relationship) are so loaded with pains of the past that after the ‘falling in love’ stage is over– a series of E.H. begins, a chain which difficult to stop.
E.H. that penetrated in and turns (through identification) into personal involvement –is a kind of infection that if not dealt with by strong boundaries –will poison most of the emotional system.
The earlier the E.H. is stopped, so it easy to stop the possible deterioration into personal involvement.
Usually, the one who puts an end to the relationship, is the one being hurt.
Now, what to do? Well, there is some intermediate stage, between the E.H. and the identification with it (and from there, straight into personal involvement) – a stage in which the one being hurt has got the possibility of intervention by awareness. And this is very difficult, but if he succeeds, he can disconnect from the thinking loop. For the E.H. begins in the emotions, but if it escalates (personal involvement) – it climbs to the head, and there it gets locked in an obsessive recurring thought about what caused him to be hurt – which is repeats itself every few minutes; a loop. (And we convince ourselves that we are just trying to solve the problem, but we are cheating ourselves, for we are deep in a loop).
If we give it no power, mainly by focusing the mind on something else, (a mantra or a guided imagery)) it weakens, for it is us who give it the power to recurre. (It has no power of its own), what is important in the escalating of E.H. – is not to feed it. (More about this issue – in the next chapter).
And back to E.H.; it controls and influences almost every area of our life, and what adds power to it is the aggregated weight of the E.H. that was pushed into our subconscious from the past. For example singles; who carry with them undrained historical E.H. – experience a difficulty in creating relationships.
The emotional pain is what people avoid from meeting most of their life, and this avoidance costs one, for it will control and limit most of his dealings with people. The stronger is the pain so would be his tendency to meet people, or to expose to them inner feelings – be lesser.
The more spiritual, highly sensitive and creative are the people – so they would be victims to E.H. But this is something that no spiritual and creative person – would not be willing to accept. He will say to himself something like: ‘why should I, a highly sensitive person, be hurt emotionally more than other people (who are less sensitive?) it is not fair…’.
But it has to be this way, if you are sensitive you have to suffer emotional pain, this is the meaning of being sensitive
The moment you surrender to emotional pain you immediately repress it, and at the moment– you no longer know that you have been hurt.
And it means that if people continue to get emotionally hurt, become personally involved with it, and with the addition of the repression – they find it difficult to grow and become mature in their emotions, and so they remain emotionally infantile.
“Highly sensitive people are too often perceived as weaklings or damaged goods. To feel intensely is not a symptom of weakness, it is the trademark of the truly alive and compassionate. It is not the empath who is broken, it is society that has become dysfunctional and emotionally disabled. There is no shame in expressing your authentic feelings. Those who are at times described as being a ‘hot mess’ or having ‘too many issues’ are the very fabric of what keeps the dream alive for a more caring, humane world. Never be ashamed to let your tears shine a light in this world.”
― Anthon St. Maarten.
“Everyone keeps telling me that time heals all wounds, but no one can tell me what I’m supposed to do right now. Right now I can’t sleep. It’s right now that I can’t eat. Right now I still hear his voice and sense his presence even though I know he’s not here. Right now all I seem to do is cry. I know all about time and wounds healing, but even if I had all the time in the world, I still don’t know what to do with all this hurt right now.”
― Nina Guilbeau, Too Many Sisters
“But pain’s like water. It finds a way to push through any seal. There’s no way to stop it. Sometimes you have to let yourself sink inside of it before you can learn how to swim to the surface.”
― Katie Kacvinsky
“If you can sit with your pain, listen to your pain and respect your pain — in time you will move through your pain.”
― Bryant McGill, Simple Reminders: Inspiration for Living Your Best Life
“Emotional pain cannot kill you, but running from it can. Allow. Embrace. Let yourself feel. Let yourself heal.”
― Vironika Tugaleva
Chapter 24: The mature way for the emotions
In the beginning of a relationship there is usually a great wave uplifting, and then they shower great love on each other. This is what is usually on a normal average level, but how is the relationship if and when they are on a high level?
At this level the energies of love are gradual and get intensified slowly, a person on a high level in a relationship is not giving immediately, an outburst of love. Love on a high, or mature, level it is continuous, steady, without dramatic ups and downs.
Love that begins with high temperature will also suffer from a big drop. So emotional love on a high level is lees hot, less burning, more of fine quality, and mainly steady and stable.
Emotional extremism is not necessarily a sign of healthy and balanced relationship. It is true that the coldness of alienation (in a relationship) is terrible, but also the other hand; of hot emotions could burn (as much as it could freeze).
The emotions of an emotional mature person (a person who reached a high level) – are emotions that got moderated, the warmth is steady and they are in ‘the middle way’ (or ‘middle path’). You can trust this person’s emotions – that will always be there with the same stable giving. And this is in contrary to the emotions of a person who is not emotionally mature, that one day his emotions can burn and in the other it can freeze. With it, moderate emotional giving could be perceived by people with infantile emotions – as coldness enragement, and not caring.
The emotionally mature person might not love with passion and impulsiveness – but his emotional grant is containing an important element; human warmth.
Human warmth neve burns, it is warm enough to warm in the hard winter of the cosmic and human – alienation. Moderate heat (warmth) is gentle, and gentle emotions connect and ‘talk’ to the soul (for she recoils from anything too extreme).
The high (or mature) end of the emotions calms you down.
In this level the emotions ‘live’ in a quiet lake.
Human warmth is close to the soul (calming and securing it). Hot emotions are close to the level of the blood (heating and aggravating it).
The whole idea of emotional maturity, is to pass from the ‘burning’ side, to the gentle and warm side.
If it (the emotions) is too hot, then it puts the soul out of the game.
It is like the difference between a laugh and a smile; laugh is hot, smile is warm. Laugh is a discharge, smile is harmony.
Lugh is aggressive, the smile – gentle. The smile is communicative on the level of the soul, allows the smiler to open up to you from the inside.
(The smile can ‘hug’ without crashing…).
It is easy to blame the British whose emotions are gentle – in emotional coldness, but what they do is keep contact with their soul. It is not coldness of alienation and of the closing the door, but it says that he will not burn your delicate fuses.
(Gentle people are also deeper, like in the great British theater).
The emotions should be a calm lake, that there are hardly any boats sailing on it.
It is like the gold reserves at fort Knox, they are known as the Bullion Depository in the U.S.A. – which operates according to the gold standard. A gold standard is a monetary system in which the standard economic unit of account is based on a fixed quantity of gold. They are not allowed to be touched for they act as a store of value, or to support, for the value of the national currency.
But we do not treat our emotions as the Gold in Fort Knox, we all the time use and overuse of our emotions and we heat them up with every emotional stimulation and by that – we waste them.
The emotions are strongest when they are cool.
The closer it is to the soul – the cooler it is, the further away it is from the soul – the hotter it gets.
When an emotions gets exited – the soul shrinks.
But cooling the emotion – does not mean to repressed it. Repression and depression of the emotions is to crush them. If the emotions are fire – then depressing the emotion is to turn of the fire, and then we ‘freeze to death’. So, the right way is to remain on mild warmth; human warmth.
Chapter 25 – Atmospheres of alienation.
In places; work places, homes, in university, everywhere there are atmospheres. They devoid into two: high and low, those atmospheres which conducted a positive dynamic or negative one.
In places with bad atmosphere, danger is in the air, and who pick it up and are influenced by it – are highly sensitive persons. A highly sensitive person take the bad atmosphere as he though he is imagines the atmosphere, for the others seem to be less affected.
In such (bad) atmosphere it is easier to hurt and be hurt.
Bad or low atmosphere are being created by negative emotion; fear, anger, antagonism, bitterness, aggression and the like.
In a good atmosphere it is easier to contain an emotional hurt, because of the support which around in good atmospheres.
In a negative atmosphere, almost everyone (mainly the more vulnerable) tries to minimize his presence, so that he will be less hurt. The amazing thing is that those who minimize themselves in a group – not only will not get less attacks, and strangely enough – they will get attacks even more. The aggressive people there will see this minimizing of one self – as a passive aggressive, or weak, or that he is hiding something, and thus perceive him as danger.– and then they attack (because this is what they do).
In a bad atmosphere the sensitive individual feels that he needs to be careful, not to attract ‘fire’ towards him. But this carefulness draws even more ‘fire’…
In an atmosphere of alienation there would be a tendency to interpatate good intentions of the ‘weak’ – the other way around. In an estranged atmosphere we see others as potential enemies, especially when someone is not fully exposed to others by participation. So, those who are most careful will either be ignored or attacked (depending on the level of aggression of the powerful members). As was mentioned -street muggers choose generally weak, closed, careful individuals that might show a sign of weakness.
We can see it in hospitals; the staff is in estrangement with the patients, (which creates a negative atmosphere), their needy and helpless position, will cause in the staff and attitude of mild hostility towards them, more than towards confident and outspoken patients.
Estrangement is in not seeing the other from his own eyes.
From the standpoint of the possible victim not only that he is hurt but others in an alienated atmosphere. But he also feels as a great injustice id happening to him, for he tries ‘not to make waves’ and be nonaggressive – but despite that – he is being attacked and hurt. He is minimizing the size of the territory, but to his surprise, the aggressive ones not only will not appreciate his territorial shrinkage, but they will want to tear from him even the little territory is has got.
And the possible victim will not say what he feels, but rather what will supply to him maximum protection.
In a way, what we have here is this old saying of Darwin: “Survival of the fittest”, which is usually on the account of those who appear helpless or weak. But we, human, should not fall into this primitive inclination, and because of our humanity and consciousness (that we are supposed to have as part of our emotional maturity). – will help those in need not to be attacked.
(For further reading about how to deal with not being hurt – in the last chapter: ”what to do”?).
26 – E.H. in a drama
E.H. has got a history; it has got an accumulation of negative energy in the body. It is either being drained out or it continues to live in the body.
Historical negative emotions in the body grow, it ‘wants’ to live and expand, and is being ‘fed’ by identification, and even more so, by personal involvement. And it could get out through psychosomatic illness or psychological disturbance, or by damaging a relationship.
This energies ‘look’ for a weak organ to home on, and there an illness could develop.
The body and the psyche are one whole, they influence each other, but mainly- from the psyche to the body.
As was written – the subject of E.H. is less discussed in science and psychology and more in novels and plays, here is one example, from a play “the wild duck” by Henrik Ibsen : The son marries his sweet heart only to find out that she slept with his father. His E.H. devastates him completely. And from here all the plot deteriorates. Then he becomes bitter towards his wife (Gina Ekda) and towards his daughter, (Hedwig) that he is convinced she is the daughter of his father, as a result of an affair.
After he arrives at the conclusion that Hedwig (aged 14) is Werle’s (the father) daughter – he is so hurt that he is unable to see the face of Hedwig, Then Hedwig which is the next victim of E.H. (Because of her father’s ignoring of her, and the suspicion of the son)- is collapsing under the burden of guilt, Hedwig is in E.H. because she is disillusioned from getting her father’s love back, she goes to the attic and in her hand a pistol. After a shot was heard they rush to the attic and see Hedwig laying on the floor – dead.
The unbearable ease with which people are giving themselves up to E.H. Giveing it power (by identification), not understanding the danger which is here.
As was written, to live with people is to hurt and be hurt.
One of the most common phenomenon in E.H. is what happens in a couple, to a person who loves his partner and does not get from him/her a love back (or is getting back love, but is not in the same intensity as his).
It does matter how great is the caliber or statues of a person, he will be subject to emotional pain just the same as everyone else.
There was a psychiatrist and psychotherapist named: R.D. Laing, in his most famous book: “the divided self” , he claims there that in families with a lot of negative emotions, and especially E.H. – the sensitive person among them becomes a kind of a lightening catheter, he drains to himself all the stress (and like Hedwig in the Drama) he becomes E.H. (and then the family could go on, functionally normally).
And there is a complete disregard for this. If a person would open up to people his E.H. – he would get responses that transmit to him that all is ok, except the fucked up psychology of the one being hurt. It is not common to treat the E.H. as legitimate thing to open up and be discussed. And much of the trivial subject which are being discussed generally, are a cover-up of what is really burning in the sensitive person. In psychotherapy there is emphasis on recurring thought patterns, and hardly at all to what caused most of them: the threshold of his E.H.
And back to great playwrights and authors, we expect from them to surface the issue of E.H. and to what a degree it governs human relations. But the problem with dramas and literature is that it presented in such a way that the viewer or reader – could easily evade the application of this subject in his life. The E.H. is there but is covered by its consequences and symptoms.
When there is an emotional pain – the emotions disconnect from the thinking and then the thinking becomes dry and barren, which means that than our thinking only ‘scratches the surface of things’.
E.H. is not weakening by time, it is relevant and potent by the new E.H. which keeps coming in.
But how do we live with this emotional pain? The answer is: by repression. We repress what we could not cope with consciously. The repression is perceived as a relief (despite its making the consciousness dim and foggy) – the moment it is being repressed it doesn’t hurt anymore, but the damage of repression is much greater than the damage of the E.H. itself.
Identification with emotional pain means taking it personally.
Repression usually happens already before the pain is reaching a climax, there is a kind of a mechanism (in the subconscious) that the moment the pain reaches a certain intensity – a repression is being activated, and what’s more, it erases retroactively the EH. And so the person has got no idea that something hit him. But it is alive there, and what’s worse is that it make the mind foggy.
With it, a highly sensitive person that is hurt all the time – can live regular life, one can get used to it (with the aid of repression), but a person sees himself as spiritual, meaning; he want to go through a process of spiritual development – the state of personal involvement (a deterioration of E.H.) would not allow them to spiritually develop. First of all he needs to learn to block personal involvement. As long as he takes every hurt personally – nothing spiritual can develop in him (only thorough the placebo pill of faith and self-conviction).
Many spiritual teacher might not enter this mine field of the road from E.H. to personal involvement, they are content with passing to the students high material to be consumed, and by that they believe that they are advancing on the road to high spiritual attainment.
“If they keep hurting you, love them and stay or love yourself and leave.”
“I wish I could give you my pain just for one moment. Not to hurt you but rather so you can finally understand how much you hurt me.”
“It hurts because it matters.” John Green.
“I lied because I don’t want you to know how much it hurts me.”
“Sometimes it’s better to be alone. Nobody can hurt you.”
“Nothing hurts more than realizing he meant everything to you and you meant nothing to him.”
“Nothing hurts more than being disappointed by the single person you thought would never hurt you.”
“It is not the pain. It’s who it came from.”
Chapter 27 – On E.H. and emotional abuse.
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“Hugging someone who is hurt”.
Jax House – This file has been extracted from another file: There’s no crying in baseball! (4549295140).jpg
“The strongest censorship in the life of two people living together – is the threshold of their emotional pain”.
If we ask a person to what a degree he suffers from E.H. from 1-10, most likely their mark would be lesser than what its real influence is in his life.
And more than that; as was written, E.H. has got a certain capacity, which if it is being overloaded could seriously damage: relationships and mental and physical health.
The explanation for this possible results of E.H. is that when a person has got a big accumulation of negative emotions (the repressed E.H.), as was written; it either being drained out through physical (illness) or psychological (psychological disturbances) means, or it continues to live in the body.
The subject of sexual abuse in comparison to emotional abuse – was mentioned before, but here it will be elaborated.
There is a talk about sexual abuse but not enough talk about emotional abuse. Mainly from the reason that most of them are done under disguise, in hidden messages, and through body language. In sexual abuse all is clear; who abuses, who is being abused, what is the damage and so on. In emotional abuse the whole subject is amorphic, but not less harmful and damaging.
Emotional abuse is repeated emotional hurt over quiet a long time.
Mostly, if we look for literature on emotional abuse, we find much writings on child emotional abuse, and little about in in relationships and other communications.
Emotional abuse (hurting another emotionally, repeatedly) is one of the hardest forms of abuse to recognize. It can be subtle and insidious or overt and manipulative. Either way, it chips away at the victim’s self-esteem or he begin to doubt their perceptions and reality.
The underlying goal in emotional abuse is to control the victim by discrediting, isolating, and silencing.
A repeated emotional abuse (by repeated E.H.) can cause destruction (of one’s self view, his relationship and his mental and physical health). It is known that sexual abuse can cause psychological disturbances, so if it is the result here, why doesn’t it apply to emotional abuse?
Emotional abuse can be many types of verbal abuse or actions. A few more common are:
• Yelling, as in spousal abuse
• Calling a Person Demeaning Names, as in child abuse
• Blaming for Problems Outside of the Scope of Control Shaming
• Controlling Finances
• Withholding Love, as in domestic abuse
• Restricting Access to Family and Friends, as in elder abuse
• Sabotaging Relationships and Career
In relationships; there are often clear warning signs of someone who is emotionally abused. These warning signs can be witnessed in a person who seems afraid of or overly anxious to please their partner. They may also appear to agree to anything their partner says and be unwilling to voice an opinion contrary to his or hers. Another sign is checking in frequently with a partner and reporting activities or where they are. Someone who has to tell their partner at all times where they are, is dealing with a controlling individual and does not have the freedom to utilize their time as they see fit.
Psychological warning signs of being under emotional abuse include:
• Low self-esteem
• Personality Change
And back to E.H. what we saw so far is the ‘normal’ course of life, what about people who are involved in inner work, or personal development, or spiritual quest, or one form or another of self-improvement? – well in emotional abuse this is very difficult, if not impossible – to grow, mature and develop, especially if the abuse actually causes E.H. and if it deteriorates to identification and maybe to personal involvement – then the case is quiet sever.
E.H. is not as dangerous as much as the two following stages (identification and personal involvement). Therefor the E.H. should be caught as early as possible, before it deteriorates.
What is bothering here is the unbearable ease with which people are giving themselves up to E.H.; giving it power, keep feeding it, and not understanding the pending danger.
And again, not all would experience E.H. the same way; highly sensitive persons will experience E.H. as a trauma.
There are few things that people who experience E.H. will not do; they will avoid places and people who could harm them, and they have got (probably) no idea as to why they are avoiding it.
Indeed there is references to E.H. in psychology and in articles writings about it, but, and there is a great ‘but’, it is mentioned not in direct proportion to its presence and actual effect – in our life.
So, people are not taking into account that their view of reality is dictated (to a large degree) by the degree of emotional pain that their emotions allow them. And so we remain in a shrunken territory but is free of E.H.
We are being hurt the most, by those who are closest to us. One example is marriage life; If one partner does not stop hurting the other, than one day the victim could be completely ‘reversed’, and he is willing to go into debt, pay a lot to lawyers, only in order that the hurting partner will get much less than what he wanted.
If in general life this subject does not get the exposure it deserves – in novels, stories and plays – it has a place and an expression, for example, works by: Anton Chekov, Arthur miller, august Strindberg, Tansy Williams, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Emily Brontë, Charlotte Brontë, John Steinbeck, Charles Dickens, Victor Hugo, Jane Austen, and many more of course.
People are more subject to their emotions then what they are willing to admit, especially to E.H. it is very difficult to rise above the hurt, but it limits our perception and cuts our multi dimension of our perception, to the size of average perception
You can call this result of E.H. – averageness. (But there are ways to deal and cope with it, but about that later on).
“Later that night
i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
where does it hurt?
― Warsan Shire
“If you spend your time hoping someone will suffer the consequences for what they did to your heart, then you’re allowing them to hurt you a second time in your mind.”
― Shannon L. Alder
“Was I bitter? Absolutely. Hurt? You bet your sweet ass I was hurt. Who doesn’t feel a part of their heart break at rejection?
“Do you know the feeling, when your heart is so hurt, that you could feel the blood dripping?”
― Lady Gaga
“I could never hurt him enough to make his betrayal stop hurting. And it hurts, in every part of my body.”
― Veronica Roth, Insurgent
“To be rejected by someone doesn’t mean you should also reject yourself or that you should think of yourself as a lesser person. It doesn’t mean that nobody will ever love you anymore. Remember that only ONE person has rejected you at the moment, and it only hurt so much because to you, that person’s opinion symbolized the opinion of the whole world, of God.”
― Jocelyn Soriano, Mend My Broken Heart
“So the fact that I’m me and no one else is one of my greatest assets. Emotional hurt is the price a person has to pay in order to be independent.”
― Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
“Why is there ever this perverse cruelty in humankind, that makes us hurt most those we love best?”
― Jacqueline Carey, Kushiel’s Chosen
“I still own my heart, which I know because it hurts so much.”
― Emilie Autumn
“A void in my chest was beginning to fill with anger. Quiet, defeated anger that guaranteed me the right to my hurt, that believed no one could possibly understand that hurt.”
― Rachel Sontag, House Rules
“As the light begins to intensify, so does my misery, and I wonder how it is possible to hurt so much when nothing is wrong.”
― Tabitha Suzuma, Forbidden
“The worst wounds, the deadliest of them, aren’t the ones people see on the outside. They’re the ones that make us bleed internally.”
― Sherrilyn Kenyon, Infamous.
Averill, James R., 1980, “Emotion & Anxiety: Sociocultural, Biological and Psychological Determinants”, in Rorty 1980a: 37–72.
Chapter 28 – Why do we get hurt from people who are close to us?
Sometimes a sentence like that could be heard: “what is the matter with you (or us), why do I quarrel with you almost all the time, and with him/her I did not have any fights”?
Well, communication difficulties and the most frequent fights – are with those who are close to us.
The terrible thing in a fight is the hurt we do to the people who are closest to us. People who fight are people who hurt each other. We fight, we hurt, and we get hurt.
We are hurt mostly by those who are dear to us, those with whom we are in intimate relationship with. Intimacy is a soul closeness. The greater is the closeness – the chances for getting hurt, or hurting the other – are greater.
But why it is like that? Why intimacy causes hurt? The answer could be seen on the physical level; physical hurt (or injury) is possible, basically, only from a close (or close enough) distance, and the same with emotional hurt. Being close and near allows a hit. The further away he is from us – the more it is difficult to hit him and be hit.
And then could be a situation of a person close to us physically and not emotionally (let’s say, a person who work with us) and there will be hurts, but not +difficult ones. And there is a situation that there is a person close to us emotionally but is far away physically – and then it will be more severe than the former situation, but the greater hurt will be caused by people who are close to us- physically and emotionally.
So, intimacy is a fertile ground for emotional hurts, when we intimate with someone – every tiny hurt will reach to a painful hurt felling. It is difficult to be yourself (authentic) with an intimate mate, without part of you is getting hurt.
Intimacy is not the only condition to be hurt emotionally, we will be not so hurt by people who are like us, because then no conflict will break out, conflict is being created on the background of difference. So, it is the combination of intimacy and difference in nature and character (in few parameters) which is responsible for emotional hurt. Another elements which influence getting hurt is the degree of dominance of the one who hurts the other, the more he is forceful and aggressive – so he will hurt the other more, and this is because it is important for him that things will go on his way, and in order for this to happen he blocks the other and hurt him.
So far we saw 3 elements that contribute to the hurt:
B. Difference in personality.
C. Aggression from the hurting side.
But it is not enough. All the three do not say that the other side must be hurt. People are getting hurt deeply because they are taking it personally, (as though it was said in order to hurt).
A rule inanimate relationships is never to take the other personally, no matter what he says, (for the preciousness of intimacy must overrule any hurt possible).
But what would determine how the hurt would be received? Well, the ability not to take the hurt of another upon us, personally depends almost completely, on: emotional maturity.
Emotional maturity in relationship is to experience the other as he is, (from his viewpoint) – and not according to the pleasure or suffering he is causing us.
The opposite is also true; emotional infancy is to experience the other according to the pleasure or pain that he is causing us.
In order to be emotionally mature the person has to elevate above the pain he is getting from the other.
How do you know that you are emotionally mature when you love the other? You suffer him! (To love someone is to suffer him).
If a person entering an intimate relationship- without emotional maturity, is inviting for himself emotional disasters, (for the one who was hurt).
Intimacy and emotional maturity need to go hand in hand; Intimacy without emotional maturity could lead indeed to closeness of their souls but also to hurt. Emotional maturity without intimacy would lead to alienation and estrangement.
Intimacy and E.M. (emotional maturity) are, in fact, opposites.
Intimacy without E.M. is coming to the relationship with the approach of ‘I deserve’, this approach (which is possible between adults without E.M.) brings about a lot of pain. Intimacy needs the opposite pole in order to balance itself. And again; the greater is the intimacy, so is the need to grow an E.M. attitude.
Another parameter in emotional hurt is the intensity of the relationship. In this kind of relationship – the power of the hurt will be greater. And also, the more the hurting person would be powerful – so the pain that it causes will be greater. (All this requires great E.M. of both sides).
The equation for this is:
Intimacy + power and intensity + dominance = emotional hurt.
E.H. minus intimacy and minus E.M. will bring the E.H. to explosive levels.
So, if the hurting side will do it with human warmth and compassion, and to the one being hurt there is an E.M. than the emotional hurt could be decreased to minimum.
Chapter 29. What could be done?
You trusted someone with your heart, they broke it and gave it back to you in pieces, don’t let being hurt keep you broken, pick yourself up, put yourself back together and move on.
Rashida Rowe quotes
In the chapter from the book: “life between consciousness and soul” – called: “The neurosis as a flashlight” – it was written that neurosis itself is not the problem but is the way the body found to get reed of it. And it is exactly the code of those materials of the neurosis – from which, the higher self could be built.
Most artists are swinging between being under negative emotions and in the rest of the time they transform the hurt emotions (in this case) into a higher state and then they can create.
What is being talked about here is to take the materials of the neurosis (here; the emotional hurt feelings) and to sublimate them to creative energies.
It is possible to block the neurosis but it would leave the person in a level below average.
Usually the swing is not between being subject to E.H. and a creative level, usually the oscillation is between a good mood and a bad mood, it is happening on the same level, there is no jump in a level. It is not vertical but horizontal. (But this horizontal leap – hardly happens).
William James, in his book: ” The Varieties of Religious Experience” –writes that real religious visions and transformations happened often to neurotic people.
Also, Carl Jung in his book: “Memories, Dreams, Reflections” is writing that during his spiritual path – he almost lost his sanity.
Now, there are methods that help in the case of repressed E.H.
The first one is called: ‘Focusing’ Focusing is a psychotherapeutic process developed by psychotherapist Eugene Gendlin. It is focusing on ‘felt sense’ which is bodily sensation through which we home on a feeling or emotion which was buried in a certain part of the body. This bodily felt “something”, may be an awareness of a situation of an old hurt. The main concept here is that any repressed emotion is anchored in a specific body part, and focusing on it might cause a release of the repressed emotion. What the therapist does is to focus on a particular emotional hurt (such as: ‘why do women abandon me?’) and both of them are searching for it in an area of the body that houses the emotional hurt, and then they work together on that area to release the repressed emotion.
It is the focusing in the emotional hurt (in this case) which brings with it a physical and emotional relief.
The therapist is instructing the patient how to do an ‘evacuation of space’, which means: to separate between him and the experience of E.H. – so that during the surfacing of the E.H. the patient can look at the hurt from a safe distance (as different from sinking into it even more).
There is also another, very different method called: ‘Psychodrama’ It is conceived and developed by Jacob L. Moreno, MD, Psychodrama employs guided dramatic action to examine problems or issues raised by an individual. A protagonist is chosen to portray the person who raised his repressed emotional problem. If there is sufficient support in the group for the protagonist to work it is likely that the current scene would be enacted as it happened, with an emphasis on hurt emotions evoked for the protagonist. And through the protagonist going through what caused the repressed emotion – the person who brought his issue – is experiencing a kind of almost a breakdown and then a great release of the hidden buried emotion.
Another effective means to deal with E.H. of another, or of oneself is: Empathy; empathy is a ‘feeling with’ someone – being able to put yourself in their place as if you were them, and feeling those feelings. Emotional empathy is when you quite literally feel the other person’s emotions alongside them, as if you had ‘caught’ the emotions.
Compassionate empathy is what we usually understand by empathy: feeling someone’s pain, and taking action to help.
The name, compassionate empathy, is consistent with what we usually understand by compassion. Like sympathy, compassion is about feeling concern for someone, but with an additional move towards action to mitigate the problem.
Compassionate empathy is the type of empathy that is usually most appropriate – in E.H. cases.
There is a higher kind of empathy – Spiritual empathy which is defined as a direct connection with a ‘higher being’ or consciousness.
What is common to all the methods is: awareness; the only way to meet the emotional pain is through awareness, which creates a distance between you and your emotional pain, and only than you can elevate above it.
Being able to look at yourself from the outside (and see yourself the way you are) – frees you from the identification (leads to personal involvement) that glues you to you.
On the whole, the emotional pain could be met either through awareness or identification. Meeting through awareness decreases emotional pain, this is done by sublimation of the cause for emotional pain into consciousness understanding.
Before, it was written here, that the awareness approach decreases the pain, but how does it work? The most important word is: neutral; to come to it in a neutral way, not for, not against, not subjective. And it is very difficult, for there is nothing more subjective than emotional pain, and exactly because of that the approach to emotional pain should be approached, as much as possible, neutrally.
There is a certain point in the process of becoming aware of the emotional pain’s cause – this point transfers the person from being buried in his emotions – to be free in his consciousness, than there is a great relief, and the man feels freed from the consequences of E.H.
Then, (after the process of transferring the E.H. is completed) he doesn’t feel pain anymore but there in him a feeling of elevation. And this is because he went through a process of transmuting E.H. into consciousness understanding, this is quite a miraculous process, it is sublimating the powerful energies of the emotional pain – to a neutral conscious energy. And then everything which was painful before, creates a great jump upwards, and together with the relief there could be also an inspiration.
The person is suffering emotional pain, and all the time he (or a friend, or trainer, therapist or consciousness teacher) needs to tell himself in a calm and clear way: “let’s try and understand this”, again and again, and then at one moment it clicks and it switches into an ordered consiousness level, as opposed to the wild and chaotic emotional level of before.
And then comes the relief from the emotional tyranny, as though we get a much larger breathing space.
It is not an easy process, it is a kind of ‘Quantum leap’ from the emotional level to the consciousness level.
The moment you understand the real root cause of something – you are no longer under its power.
But there is a danger, of not passing through ‘the bottle neck’ between the two levels, and then the pain will only increase, because it got attention (which wasn’t enough to pass through the bottle neck), and attention is ‘food’, is an impression, which will intensify the E.H.
And mostly, a person in this state might not even know about the three stages that he can pass; stage one: emotional hurt. Stage two: emotional pain. Stage three: personal involvement.
It is important here to clarify that not every personal involvement is caused by E.H. one could be in personal involvement even from a pending job interview. The same with identification; one can identify almost with anything, even with actors in a movie in the television, in fact we can identify with almost anything we are in. So E.H. doesn’t have to lead to both; identification or personal involvement, but it is very difficult not to let the E.H. deteriorate into at least one of the two.
When a person gets emotionally hurt –it is very easy to identify with the injustice, and with the pain. And identification – is an express train to personal involvement.
You could not eliminate getting hurt. What you can do is decrease identification (by looking at yourself from the outside) and block becoming personally involved (by certain technics).
Now, there is a very significant difference between the processes of identification (with the E.H.) and the endeavor to sublimate it to an understanding. In identification the person becomes ‘a dot’, meaning: he shrinks to the small size of his identification (and it is very compressed there). If the dot gets an awareness directed towards it – the ‘dot’ gets enlarged again and then the person can see the real proportion of his identification in relation to original issue, and from here come the relief. What is most disturbing about the surrender to E.H. and emotional pain – is the loss of proportions.
The passage from a dot to a greater space is what allows the relief and the becoming free from the slavery of the identification. The subjective identification with the E.H. contracts the person into the small point of the emotional pain. But the moment one passes the ‘bottle neck’ between pain and understanding, the giant spring of the emotional pain gets free from the prison of the identification.
But if the person doesn’t have this counter balance to the identification, than the E.H. would win. And what could act as a ‘counter balance’ is only a cleavage to wisdom and love of truth.
On the whole, there are three possibilities: A. E.H. is dominant. B. love of truth will have the upper hand. And C. the person could not deiced.
People could continue to experience E.H. (and the emotional pain as an accompaniment), what is needed is to go through a transformation, from being locked in negative emotions – to a consciousness wisdom. It is a kind of an alchemy, and the more the repressed negative emotions are painful and poisonous – so would the consciousness relief be more intoxicating and powerful.
The emotional pain is positive vector. The identification (and the personal involvement which follows) is the negative vector, and what is missing is the neutral vector (consciousness understanding) that connects to the identification and neutralizing it.
The person needs to be the neutral vector towards himself, and this means to be an observer . In other words; the moment a person would have a strong enough observer – he would have a triangle (instead of a bipolar prison: E.H. and emotional pain) and this would free him from being trapped in: E.H. The addition of an observer (which operates on the neutral vector) transforms the experience of the person from being two dimensional into three dimensional experience.
The most important work (in dealing with E.H.) is to give the observer space and to let it become a central figure in the selfhood.
Which means that– we shouldn’t take it personally. The neutral approach takes any pain in a non-personal way, the three dimensional person needs to have a certain distance from what is happening to, and in, him, and even than it still hurts, but you are not centered and based in it, the distance brings perspective and in relation to it – the E.H. is almost nothing.
We need to take this material in the perspective within an existential meaning, in other words: the characteristics of the existence of the individual in our world is of: loneliness, alienation, absurd , and angst . A person that understands what is waiting for him, and is prepared for it – will decrease the proportions of his emotional pain. And so, the solution to a psychological-emotional problem – is in the philosophical dimension.
The more there is the admission in what it means to live an existential life – from one hand, and the love of truth – from the other, so people will succeed to pass through the bottle neck between the emotional pain and consciousness understanding. Actually, to do a quantum leap of conscious and spiritual – elevation.
This elevation of E.H. into the consciousness level – can hardly be done by oneself to oneself, it is more effective if this process is done by someone who is on a higher level of consciousness. But then it should be done within a dialogue, with no difference hierarchy between both.
It is important to understand that repression and consciousness are two opposites.
Repression is being created from the instinct that was supposed to distance the person from pain, it is true on the physical level as it is true on psychological-emotional – level.
The process of consciousness is not automatic as repression, it is a kind of swimming against the stream of forgetfulness, getting lost and the blurring of unpleasant elements.
Consciousness works is done, at first, by eliminating the sinking of unpleasant experiences to the abys of the (lower) sub-consciousness.
There is a possibility for a developed consciousness to draw out of the subconscious repressed elements. So if the person has gone through a process of inner work – there is a dual tension here, because from one hand there is a refusal to expose the repressed elements, and from the other hand, if there is a developed consciousness, there is a motivation there to get reed of the repression by a conscious exposure.
The process of repression is there in order to survive, and the process of consciousness is there in order to develop.
Becoming conscious is not in the natural flow of things, it needs to go against the natural flow of: sleep and blurring. So we feel very comfortable in repression.
There is a stage between getting hurt and being identified with the hurt – in which the one being hurt can intervene by awareness and guided imagery. The awareness does not allow the hurt to get into one’s system. But how does one cope with the pain? If one does not meet the pain consciously – it can ruin his life.
There are only two ways to meet the emotional pain; through consciousness or identification. The second increases the pain, the first decreases it. As it was written- the way to deal with E.H. is by transformation of the emotional pain into conscious understanding.
There is a significant difference between ‘digging’ in an emotional wound and between passing it through the ‘refinery’ of the consciousness process. ‘Digging’ in it, by talking about it, gives the pain power.
And still a big question remains; what happens in the consciousness plane? Why and how consciousness does it? (Consciousness, and not logic, nor rationality or an intellectual understanding!).
The most difficult thing about the sublimation of the emotions is still seeing it not form a personal point of view. The moment we succeed to see the E.H. not from a personal view point – there begins the shifting to the consciousness level. At that moment, of the turning point – there is great relief, the pain is gone and the person feel released. It is a real transformation.
The way to reach this state is mainly by being neutral and persistent; saying again and again: ‘let’s try to understand this” – until it tilts and tips over and then you regain the right proportions of the E.H. and then the ‘lad’ of the E.H. turns into the ‘gold’ of high consciousness.
When a person is under the E.H. – he sees the passage into the consciousness level as a black hole, and not as a birth channel into another dimension. And just before the passage through this bottle neck – the pain is greatest.
Three things are helping in this process; one is to develop, over time, an ‘observer’ , and second is to love truth more than the love of the ego, and the third is to admit to oneself that he is in identification and even personal involvement with the E.H.
One of the ways to realize or recognize that one is in personal involvement about the E.H. – is by his confusion and disorientation in the thinking system. And together with the instinctive resistance against trying to understand the pain – it makes the process of transformation – to be very difficult.
By analogy – the E.H. is like grape juice the and the observer is like yeast, when mixed with the juice, it changes its state of matter into wine (higher state of consciousness).
There is fear of looking at our E.H. in a neutral way, because maybe many skeletons will come out of the Cabot… But the opposite is true; only when we look at ourselves in a neutral way – would the ‘skeletons will become much smaller.
Take all the time you need to heal emotionally. Heal at your own pace. Step by step. Day by day.
– Karen Salmansohn.
Listen. People start to heal the moment they feel heard.
– Cheryl Richardson.
The scars you can’t see are the hardest to heal.
Healing doesn’t mean the pain never existed. It means the damage no longer controls our lives.
An epilogue Chapter 30 –
The book opened in a description of the goal of emotional maturity, combating with the common emotional infancy.
Most people remain in the state of emotional infancy, believing that their emotions reached full bloom.
It is very difficult to admit that your emotions are backward, in a raw state, and that they need to develop in order to function properly, and not as usual; infantile emotions and the ego – made a pact, a contract, and it is difficult to break those bond (advices and suggestion about this achievement – are in chapter 29: “what to do”).
The second half of the book is dedicated to one of the most acute and painful subjects: emotional hurt. We get E.H. so often that we become asleep to its great place in our life, which limits our possibility to grow and develop relationships.
People who deal with inner work; self and spiritual development (in all its varieties) – could not progress unless they can become emotionally mature, and can transform the E.H. into consciousness understanding.
Comments and feedbacks:
Gabriel Raam: firstname.lastname@example.org