Personifying Our Emotions

“When awareness is brought to an emotion, power is brought to your life.”

– Tara Meyer Robson

As I’ve wrote about before, part of what makes us human is the ability to feel a spectrum of emotions. They are what gives our lives color, meaning, and depth. Our ability to feel deeply is what allows us to pursue passions, connect with others, and experience a full life.

Too often do we run away from and avoid the “tough” ones. And what happens when we do is they end up wreaking havoc on our wellbeing and within our lives. When we ignore our emotions, we’re ignoring vital information that our body, mind, and spirit is trying to show us. We’re disrespecting ourselves by telling our needs to “take a hike.”

It can be confusing at first when we begin to embrace them and attempt to see them for what they are.

A gift. A catalyst. A stepping stone for growth.

We find ourselves being able to sit with them, but still having trouble moving forward and out of them. Especially emotions like anger, sadness, and anxiety.

I’d like to share with you a technique that has helped me time and time again.

It entails personifying our emotions.

The reason this is so transformational is because it allows us to get out of the emotion for a moment and see it from a third point of view. We turn the emotion into it’s own image and speak with it directly to gain more clarity surrounding it’s need to be there. It’s no longer sitting within our body with all of it’s various sensations which undoubtedly distracts us in their own ways. It allows us to communicate with it in order to move forward with a purpose in mind. Personifying and speaking with them also gives us the opportunity to strengthen our emotional intelligence and intuitive abilities.

So, how do we begin to do so?

First, I want to be sure that I stress the importance of feeling them fully first. It’s imperative that we allow ourselves and our emotions the space to run their course. I’ve mentioned not analyzing them too much, but this is a bit different.

This technique is best done once we’ve done all we can to feel the emotion fully and we’re still finding ourselves “stuck” within it.

  1. Personify it. Choose an image that best represents the emotion. However that shows up for you is perfect. Sometimes mine are animals, other times they’re images of myself. Whatever works for you.
  2. Ask the question. Whether it’s anger, sadness, worry, anxiety – ask what it’s trying to tell you. It could be something like, “What is your message?” or “Why are you here?” Another way to ask is be specific. If it’s anxiety – “What am I scared of?” or if it’s sadness, “What have I lost?”
  3. Listen for the answer. A large part of this technique is working with your intuition. After you ask the question, pay attention to the words and phrases that pop up in your mind. This is where the answer lies. For example, if I’m finding myself feeling angry, I ask what it’s there for. The answer may show up as “boundaries” or “I expected more.” It changes depending on the situation, but I always receive a reply.
  4. Move forward. Once you receive your answer, show yourself some compassion. Allow yourself some room to feel and be supportive of your feelings. No feelings are bad. They are there to show us the way. Then, figure out how you want to proceed. If you’re angry that your boundaries were crossed, become clear about what those boundaries are and then calmly let the person know so that they aren’t crossed again. If you’re anxious about missing your flight, get all your ducks in a row so that you’re prepared and ready to get there on time. If there’s nothing you can do, especially with sadness surrounding a lost loved one, find ways to cope. This may mean journaling, finding a creative outlet, meditation, reaching out to loved ones, exercise, or therapy.

Connecting to and embracing our emotions isn’t always easy. It takes practice, self-awareness, and self-compassion. But – when we finally do start practicing this, we start to realize what a gift we’re giving to both ourselves and to others. By honoring our hearts, we hear our truth. And we begin to hold space for others to do as well.

I used to be a textbook emotional ignorer. I would repress everything, even happiness, so as to not “feel too much.” Once I realized how life-changing both feeling my emotions fully and understanding what they were there for, I never looked back. I realized that without acknowledging them and seeing their message, I was always going to be stuck.

In the same place. In the same state of mind. In the same level of being.

I wanted to grow.

And growing comes from looking face to face with our emotions.

Advertisements

37 thoughts on “Personifying Our Emotions

  1. My daughter struggled with an eating disorder and a therapy she as taught in a recovery program was to personify the Eating Disorder. It was named ED and she saw it ( him?) as an abuser. This technique worked very well for her. Thanks for this interesting post.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. What an amazing thing! So glad to hear it helped her. 🙂 I do a similar thing in hypnotherapy when working with clients dealing with phobias and the like. It’s a truly remarkable tool! Thank you for reading and commenting 💜

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My goodness, this article is in perfect timing for me. Last night, after I went to bed relaxed, I fell asleep within a half an hour. When I woke up a half hour later, I had an energy moving through my body of fear and depression (and I don’t suffer from depression), but it left quickly. All day, I had a vague feeling of anxiety, and was struggling with the the thought that the anxiety is coming back after doing self-healing last year. THANK YOU, for sharing your exercise; I will try it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Kayla!

    That’s an interesting way to put it. I just scheduled a post for tomorrow that is similar, except I think of myself as having multiple bodies. The physical body and the emotional/energetic body… for most of us the second resembles a neglected, battered, feral child, the lunatic twin locked in the attic because we find her an embarrassment. Once I began to look at it that way, I began to see my emotions as her screams to be acknowledged, as cries for help. I began to feel empathy, not impatience, for the ‘inconvenience’ of my emotions.

    Since this realization, I’ve begun to notice changes in my behavior that I’m not even trying to accomplish, negative behaviors that are simply melting away as I take notice of the neglected body… it is now obvious that these behaviors were my emotional body screaming to be noticed, to be released from her attic prison, and be part of the family once more!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome Amanda! 🙂 That sounds like a very intriguing post – definitely something I would enjoy reading about. Very interesting perspective and I find myself resonating with your description. Your story has touched something within me – especially when you mention that the emotional/energetic body tends to be the “lunatic twin locked in the attic because we find her an embarrassment.” I also love that you’ve gotten to a place where your emotional body now wants to “be part of the family.” I’m excited to hear more about it! Thank you so much for sharing 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I look forward to hearing your feedback! I’ll definitely be coming back to check out your other posts!
        I was hoping to find other people who have similar interests… looks like I’ve found one! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I really enjoyed this post and will follow your blog. I lost my Father just over a year ago and started writing poetry on an almost daily basis from that point onwards. My written words give my feelings space, expression and sometimes personification. I have no idea why we label certain emotions as ‘good’ or ‘bad’. This is what leads to repression and illness. I have just started a poetry blog here on WordPress in case you are interested in taking a look? Have a good day, Sam 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sam. I am so sorry for your loss. I’m glad you’ve found an outlet for the multitude of emotions that come up when one experiences death of a loved one, though. I hope it’s been a healing experience for you. Would love to check out your blog! 🙂

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s