Sadness, Anger and Fear

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Our response to the emotions of sadness, anger and fear range from us pushing them down to avoid them, numbing ourselves so as not to feel them, or expressing them reactively towards the people we love the most. When we are unconscious, these emotions can sneak up on us and wreak havoc in our lives, creating destruction in our closest relationships, causing deep unhappiness and suffering. This can lead us to feelings of separation, loss of control, despair and hopelessness.

When we deny and reject the emotions of sadness, anger and fear, we cut ourselves off from them, labeling them as bad. We reject these emotions because when we were young, we got the message that expressing them was unacceptable.

Let’s take a look at each of these emotions and their underlying beliefs.

Sadness - at the core of sadness is a belief in lack, “I am lacking”. Any type of sad feeling is a belief that there is a loss of something, something is lacking in my life. I am without _______. The lack could stem from not having the child we expected to have, the loss of a relationship or the lack of a relationship. The lack could be the loss from an unexpected change, loss of a loved one, loss of a business, a job, or a financial crisis. The nervous system response to sadness is the flight response, “I want to escape from the pain of this sadness, this loss/lack”.

Sadness is the desire to feel and experience love. If we lack love, then survival is at risk. It’s understandable to desire to experience love. It’s our true nature to feel love for ourselves and others and we are wrongly convinced that we are lacking it. It is right and beautiful to desire love, much like a child, who just wants love. Ask yourself, “can I love that part of me that wants love?” Accepting this part of ourselves that wants love. Love from ourselves and love from others, begins to cultivate a sense of happiness and fulfillment within us.

Anger - at the core of anger is our attachment to an outcome. “I am angry because an outcome I was attached to, one that I want, got blocked”. This is a fight response of the nervous system. Our unawareness triggers anger because the mind is in conflict with reality. The mind thinks it knows best, becomes righteous. “This is unjust!” The mind wants what it wants and is either in resistance to, or is clinging and attached to the outcome. It fights reality because the mind is at war with reality, with getting what it wants, what it should have, and demands the situation be the way it wants it to be. Accepting reality, trusting life and loving, forgiving and accepting the part of you that is attached to outcomes, desires truth and justice, will free you from the grips of ego that expresses itself through anger.

Fear - at the core of fear is the belief that being in control will keep you safe. Stress, worry, and anxiety come from the feeling that “I don’t have control over something/someone, and “I’m not safe”, or “I’m losing control over something/someone”. “I don’t feel safe”. This causes us to grasp, cling, protect, become dominating, possessive, and to panic. Panic attacks can happen when a feeling of loss of control occurs. Tightness in the chest, racing heart, shortness of breath, pit in the stomach, dizziness, muscle tension and a strong desire to escape or stop the situation, is an experience of emotional flooding of overwhelm and feeling out of control. This is a freeze response of the autonomic nervous system. “I don’t know what to do”, “I have no control.”

When you feel afraid or anxious, there’s a part of you that wants to feel safe. You can go inside and talk to that part of yourself and say, “I accept and love myself for wanting to feel safe”. “There is nothing life threatening happening right now. I cultivate safety through self love, trust and acceptance”. We are self love at the core and feeling fear to protect ourselves is the most self loving and empowering response.

Our inner younger selves are the ones needing love, attaching to outcomes and feeling unsafe, reacting from the past where they felt lack/loss, attached to an outcome and felt out of control. As adults, let’s re-parent ourselves reassuring, soothing and calming our young self with love, and acceptance allowing us to feel seen, heard and understood.

When our motive is love and acceptance, and forgiveness, we begin to heal. We break free from the ways the ego uses sadness, anger and fear as weapons against us when we forget to love and accept ourselves.