If you were to randomly stop people in the street and ask them which of the human emotions is most positive, chances are they would answer “love”.
In spiritual and personal development circles love is presented as the ultimate emotion – the ideal consciousness that we should all strive for.
The subliminal message is that if you experience other emotions that are socially defined as negative, you are underdeveloped and spiritually inferior.
Ever since I was exposed to spiritual doctrines and personal development approaches I’ve been pondering about love being the ultimate solution to almost every problem.
I clearly remember my first love. I was in my sophomore year in high school and I “fell in love” (or so I thought at the time) with a senior boy. As proper for the age, I wrote poems and fantasized about getting married and having his children. There was only one problem, which was that he took no interest in me! I remember the agony and the insult associated with that love. I wouldn’t say that that love was negative, but it definitely was not a pleasant experience.
I also haven’t forgotten a headline in one of the local newspapers which read : “I loved her so I set her on fire!” . The related article told the horrific story of a man who killed the woman he loved because she refused his love offerings.
During the 30 years I’ve been in practice as an emotional healer, I have seen way too many people enduring tremendous physical and emotional suffering associated with love. People who refuse to take action to stop their suffering because they fear that they will lose very unhealthy forms of loves.
Based on my clinical experience, the oversimplified message that love cures all just doesn’t hold water in terms of real life situations. It causes people to hang on to unhealthy forms of love and educates people to strive for love at the expense of suppressing other emotions.
How Does One Find A Happy Middle?
The gap between the ideal love and real life situations is caused by an all-encompassing statement, which may sound good in theory but fails to take three important factors into consideration:
- The principles of nature
- The principles of the emotional world and its goals
- The complexity of the human experience
Principles of Nature
Emotions are basically energy therefore they are experienced. At its fundamental level, energy is neutral until we associate meaning to it.
Anything can be positive or negative to the same degree, all depending on the perspective. As anything else in nature, love and all other emotions are neither intrinsically positive or negative but rather neutral. It’s we that categorize love as positive and anger as negative .
We categorize things in dichotomist terms such as “good or bad”, “positive or negative” because it makes it easier for us to deal with reality, exempting us from the need to evaluate each situation on its own merit. Any connection between our need for stability and certainty and love’s true nature is only coincidental.
The Principles of The Emotional World
We are blessed with a broad emotional repertoire. Each emotion has a role and contribution to the human experience, and each emotion can be either positive or negative depending on our emotional conduct.
Scientific research demonstrates that as long as emotions are dynamic and freely expressed, there will be no physical or emotional suffering. Emotional suppression is what causes unpleasant physical and emotional ramifications.
Categorizing emotions into either positive or negative perpetuates suppression because when a given emotion is defined as negative, we do what we can to avoid it.
Who wants to be in the negative?
In order to meet cultural, social and spiritual norms, that crown love as the most evolved emotion, people suppress other emotions, mainly those emotions defined as negative.
The health related price is high!
The Complexity of The Human Experience
This may be disappointing for some of you, but unfortunately we didn’t come to the world only to love and have fun. We came to this world to create and evolve using our experiences as the base for growth. The broader our experiences and our emotional range, the deeper our growth and more significant our creation become.
It is a fact that in order to connect to deeper and deeper aspects of ourselves, and in order to differentiate between what serves us and what doesn’t, we actually need unpleasant experiences.
As odd as this may sound, if we were to be in a state of love all the time, we would be miserable and bored to death.
I agree that true love is one of the most uplifting and inspiring human experiences, but it is definitely not the only legitimate or curative emotion. Any emotion can heal if dealt with resourcefully.
To establish physical and emotional health we must legitimize all emotions and refrain from categorizing them into positive or negative.
I also agree that certain emotions are more pleasant than others and obviously pleasant emotions are preferable.
Life has a way of providing an assortment of experiences. It is totally unrealistic to expect that we can always experience love.
Love when you feel love – be angry when you feel anger. Allow what you feel to be present – as is, and most important is not to judge yourself or beat yourself for not experiencing emotions other than love.
All is well.
I am Author of “Messages From The Soul – A Holistic Approach To Healing”, “10 Critical Questions Your Doctor Will (Probably) Not Ask You”, “Beyond Doubt – Unleashing The Healing Power of Self-Esteem”, “Get Your Heart Out of Your Plate – Beat Emotional Eating in 21 Days!” and founder of Unleashing The Healthy-Self Online Program.
Pick up a free copy of The Complete Self – Healing Guide To Extraordinary Health so you start getting your health back on track TODAY!
My website is: www.jjacobshealth.com