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Our Relationship with Our Emotions- Empowerment versus Controlling

I was following a discussion thread the other day.  I forget now what the original topic was about- that happens when discussion threads take on a life and energy of their own.  But there was one point, one response in this exchange that caught my attention, and I felt drawn to elaborate on it.  Someone said it was about learning to love the unlovable.

On first read, it sounds great, it’s catchy it’s profound..It probably ties into the core teachings in the Andean cosmology that caused the term, the phrase and concept to stand out.  In the Andean teachings.., there aren’t “good” and “bad.”  in this same vein then… there isn’t that distinction between lovable and unlovable.  It is all about our relationship to something. 

I would take it out of the paradigm of loving the unlovable.  I think ultimately, it is about understanding that the “unlovable” is a ‘something’ that we define.  We describe or determine something as  unlovable.. ascribing a negative to it. Now we have something with which we need to come to terms, or make peace.. or love the unlovable.   This made me think of the proverbial in-laws gift, like an ugly vase.  You can’t get rid of it, for reasons of maintaining good relationships… but can’t stand the thing and wish it an untimely demise!

Granted, our experiences aren’t as clear-cut as an unloved vase.  If only it were that easy.  But,  in some ways, not so different.  Using anger as an example, and going back to the Andean principles…I would take 2 tracks… one.. understand the dynamic.   Often we are angry because of “something.”    Anger itself.. is useful.. when we understand it, and direct it in such a way that we make constructive change in our lives.  SO,  find the paradigm. Is the underlying theme, anger? betrayal? grief? abandonment? Once we see the paradigm… the story loses its power.  It was never ABOUT the story!  It was about the energy, the emotion, the paradigm.

And even if it IS as simple as the emotion of the moment… more often than not, the emotion is far more complex than it seems at the surface.  Often, even if we are “angry” at someone else.. the real anger is toward ourselves.. As much as we are angry at someone who hurt us… we are also angry that we trusted someone, perhaps wrongly. So, while there is anger, there is betrayal; and there is also self-doubt, in our ability to reliably know friend from foe, to accurately “read the landscape” in such a way as to remain safe.  Ultimately, we are all trying to play the I’m OK, You’re OK, game.. and we try to make sure that WE, at least, are OK.  But wouldn’t it be nice if there was a win-win… and both parties could be “OK” in the end? When we can understand OUR part, OUR side of the equation, WHY we feel what we feel, we are more than halfway to releasing its power over us.

One important step in accomplishing this, is realising that A- the event, and B- our response… are not connected. A does not CAUSE B.  An event happens. Period.  Hurt, anger, etc.. are how we choose to response- to define it.  We can choose many responses.. A B C D etc. Then, we broaden the options to include something more productive.  We can choose to be angry.. responding, rather than reacting.. and anger is energy that works FOR us, rather than against us. We can also choose what we want, becoming active participants, rather than passive recipients.  I had a client recently, who was upset because her sibling always sucked her in.  I told her– change that.  SIBLING doing something– you have no control over.  By changing it, to I let myself get sucked in… THAT we-she can work with.  We have control over THAT portion of the story.

Another element in regards to how we choose to define the events around us, the unlovable events in our life: rethinking our relationships.  This shifts when we stop perceiving our relationships with the people and events around us.. and perceive our relationship with the universe/ source/whatever one chooses to call it.  When someone hurts us– it is an opportunity for healing/ growth.  Absolutely!  Or, maybe the universe has been telling us.. it is time to move forward.  Have we been ignoring that message?  We all do this sometimes.  We hold onto things, because they are safe, known, or familiar.  But sometimes it is time to move forward, which entails releasing old-stuff.

Or maybe the universe sees that we need work on boundaries, or agreements, etc.  Instead of making the problem between two people… step back and ask,  “what is it I need to understand from this lesson, this experience?”   When we get that lesson, it no longer has power over us. In fact, we are wiser and usually at Peace.   We are further empowered by it…

Pretty cool, huh?  Remember, how you hold it impacts how someone else will perceive it– look at any of the talk shows.. where people watch…. to see how other people ( the studio audience and host)… react to situations and events….

So yeah, next time someone comes in saying I am sad, or angry, or hurt, or whatever “negatively” perceived emotion, just think– what an opportunity!   Give them that space to have the HUH??? moment… I’m pissed.. why is this good… why are you “happy” about it… before supplying them the answer.. maybe even ASK them… if they say HUH… ?  Ask them why it might be a good thing.. see where their own perceptions and thought processes can take them… and, aside.. that can give further insight into what is playing out and where they are on their path. 🙂

See, there is no such thing as the unlovable.  It is all just our perception.  It isn’t good, or bad.  “It” just happened… the question is– do you find the opportunity in the crisis?   The universe is full of surprises- patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.



I am an Education Specialist, Health Coach and Author. I work with aspects of the teachings I have learned from Andean shamanic and cosmology, to health, nutrition and education.  Everything is energy. Energy must flow. Like water, when it does not flow, it stagnates and is not healthy. These techniques help your life to flow. I have been initiated into many of the ancient lineages and learned ceremonies, rites of passage and healing techniques.  I have worked as a healer and done workshops and taught some of these aspects – passing the teachings on.

Author of:
Dancing in Your Bubble : ancient teaching, modern healing
Natural Support for Alzheimer’s
Getting a Handle on Happy : find and fix causes of stress and depression
The Naturally Smarter Kid : a parent’s guide to helping kids succeed in school and life
Cafe of the Hungry Ghosts : behind the veil of ordinary – a paranormal-ish fiction book




3 Responses

  1. Robyn Harris
    Robyn Harris
    | Reply

    Great post Teri, thank you! 🙂

  2. Avatar
    | Reply

    Hi Robyn,

    so glad you enjoyed the article. Subtleties and nuances regarding perception and perspective are what create the paradigm shifts that change our lives:)


  3. Robyn Harris
    Robyn Harris
    | Reply

    Hi Teri, yes those nuances give us much to work with 🙂

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