As women in our culture, we have often been told that we are too emotional. There is a subtle yet pervasive view that to be emotional is a sign of weakness or perhaps psychological instability. We have also polarized emotions into “positive’ ones, that we should feel, and ‘negative’ ones that we are supposed to subdue. In this way, we are encouraged to stifle the emotional presence, fluidity and wisdom that is part of the divine feminine gift. So many of the problems that are attributed to unruly emotions are actually the result of a mind that has become un-tethered from the wisdom and presence of the heart.
Part of reclaiming our voice as a woman, is to honor the access that we have to our emotions and the wisdom they hold. We all need a full range of emotions, including the so-called ‘negative’ ones, in order to be balanced and healthy.
All our primary emotions, (happiness, sadness, fear, anger and sympathy), have an essential message that they are designed to relay to us and a corresponding movement or response to the experiences of life. When there is danger we are designed to experience fear, which then moves us into flight, fight or freeze. When someone violates us in some way, either physically, emotionally, intellectually or spiritually, anger is the emotion that arises to give us the impetus to say “no!” and to set a healthy boundary. When there is a loss of someone or something precious to us, grief is the emotional energy that allows us to let go, to process the loss and heal.
Many of us were told, from the time we were very young, that ‘nice girls don’t get angry’. As we grew older we may have been labeled as a ‘bitch’ if we expressed boundary setting anger. In this way, we have been taught that if we are angry, we are expressing something ugly and so we stifle our ability to listen to our anger when we need to say “no” or to speak up about what we need.
And women and men alike are all subject to the pathological idea that grief is akin to depression and that we should be happy all the time. We are not designed to be happy all the time. Life is full of loss. Grief is the emotion that allows us to process that loss and heal from it in time. Yet we feel we need to subdue our sadness so that we are not depressing or ‘a downer’ for others, so we hide behind the mask of ‘I’m fine’.
Of course, there are negative and destructive expressions of all these emotions but we tend to throw the baby out with the bathwater. It is not the emotions themselves that are the problem. It is the distortion and amplification of the emotions by our ego-mind that leads to destructive behavior. It is our responsibility to bring awareness to this distinction so we can still access the strength, the intuitive precision and the wisdom that our balanced emotions offer us.
If you would like to explore how to access the intuitive wisdom of your balanced emotions, while distinguishing them from the distortions of the mind, you might consider doing some coaching with Prema. Or, if you are in Southern California, check out her upcoming Women’s Emotional Wisdom program at an exquisite location on the Santa Barbara coastline on June 10th and 11th. Find out more.
“Prema is a masterful teacher and an extraordinary human being. She lovingly delivers deep wisdom with gentle humor – and a backbone when needed. This workshop was deeply transforming for me, for my life and my relationships. In fact, I have taken it twice, and will again if ever I get the chance. The tools and knowing she provides are timeless and effective life gifts that change and grow as you do. Thank you, Prema, for bringing your powerful work to the world at a time when it is so needed.”
As an initiated Marakame or shaman in the indigenous Huichol tradition of Mexico, Prema Sheerin is a healer, spiritual counselor and teacher. Prema has worked with individuals, couples and groups for 25 years, supporting people to reveal the knowing of the heart, bring forth balance and healing, and find their path in the Divine play of life. She offers workshops internationally and has a traditional healing and life coaching practice in Asheville, North Carolina. Prema offers various programs for the Sacred Fire Community