Regular blog on the concepts of focus and self mastery, published every Tuesday.
Visit my website for more info!

Hidden Emotions

Hidden anger.

Do you have that or some other hidden emotion?

Are you intentionally hiding it or do you think there is something back there you aren’t completely aware of yet?

I had some hidden anger that I had no idea existed until the other day. It turns out I was mad at my younger self for creating all the problems she created.

It wasn’t a conscious thing. Consciously I had long since let go of any resentment I had and I thought I had accepted what happened in the past. I guess not.

The anger would sometimes come out in my need to take control, my desire to want to fix things and stop other people from creating the chaos they were heading towards.

The crazy part of my intuition and the work I’ve done is that I can see cycles and patterns very clearly. I often see what’s being created. I know when you’re going around in circles and my job is just to be okay with that. I’m not here to judge the experience. I’m here to witness it and then help interpret what’s happening so that you can use your experience to make different choices.

When I would notice people taking crazy paths, my anger would come out as bluntness, a need to gain control and try to stop people from creating more craziness. Obviously that’s not the point. That’s not what I’m here to do. But because I was mad at my younger self, that’s what I was unconsciously doing.

People have this thing with emotions where they think they need to feel them fully or something. It’s like if I don’t feel it fully then I’m squishing it. There’s no balance it’s one extreme or the other. I either wallow in it for weeks or squish it and pretend like it doesn’t exist. What if there was a middle ground?

If you simply acknowledge the anger, you’ll feel it come up a bit. It’ll be there. That’s all the feeling you need to do though. You don’t need the wallowing in it part. You don’t need the part where you go swimming in it. You don’t need the part where it overwhelms you. You just simply need to understand where it came from.

Anything that needs to be felt more fully will come up stronger. It will make its presence known and you won’t have a choice for a few minutes. That’s okay. Squishing it would be trying to hold this part back, but that’s not what we’re going to do. We’re going to allow this part. If emotion needs to be felt more fully, then we allow it to flow through freely. As long as we don’t get attached to it or make up stories about it, it will start and stop on its own.

When you come across hidden emotion like I did, it doesn’t mean there is a whole new rabbit hole for you to go down. It doesn’t mean there is some new wound there to deal with. It means there’s a piece of the puzzle you already know about that you missed. You didn’t see it. So instead of making it a big deal just shout, “Missed a spot!” and do the work to acknowledge and release the hidden emotion you found. That’s it.

The only other step you need to take is to figure out how it shows up in your behavior. For me, I figured out that it was showing up in how I was working with people. It made me a bit blunt. It’s an easy fix. I don’t need to be like that and so, now that I’m aware of it, I can shift it. Where is your hidden emotion showing up for you? What behavior do you need to change?

This is all found in your experience. Your experience is trying to show things to you all the time. You’re so caught up in the details of the experience that you forget to spend your time figuring out what the experience is showing you.

If you do try to figure out what the experience is showing you, you get all up in your stuff. You do the whole self-righteous thing. You get mad at the experience. You start blaming people for things. Drop the experience!

The experience itself doesn’t matter. It’s just a thing that happened. The point is what it was trying to show you. You missed that because you were too busy being all self-righteous. The pain that you’re feeling because of the experience has nothing to do with the experience. It’s connected to something else, probably in your past. Figure out what that thing is.

What trigger did that experience tweak for you?

What old wound got poked at?

What pain did you offer others in the experience?

When you drop the experience itself you don’t focus on what other people were doing or saying. You focus on your own actions, words, and emotions because that’s where the clues are. Nothing is outside of you. The clue is not in other people. It’s in your own actions, words, and emotions.

How you reacted matters because that reaction, especially a bad one, is a big hint that there was a trigger there. No, it doesn’t matter what the other person did to provoke your reaction.

“But they are the reason I reacted like that.” is your argument with it. You’re arguing that they shouldn’t have done or said whatever it was and then you defend your reaction with that argument. That’s not how it works folks. You have to take responsibility for your reactions 100% of the time regardless of what the other person is doing to try to provoke you.

Self-mastery level: God or Goddess

Is that easy? Of course not.

If you’re not able to do it in the moment, then you better be sure you’re doing it after the fact. When you’re finally alone on your couch, that’s when you own your behavior. That’s when you figure out where that reaction came from without any blame of the other person at all.

When you understand your reaction and you understand where it came from, then you need to apologize for any pain you offered into the experience. I don’t care what the other person did.

When you own your behavior at this level, it changes every relationship you have. When you can separate your behavior from the experience it gives you ownership of the things you have control over. it gives you indirect control over your experience.

Why is it indirect? Because the only thing you’re managing is your own behavior.

We’re not doing this in a manipulative way. We’re making a conscious choice not to inject pain into our experience, even if the other person is throwing their pain all over the place. That’s managing yourself within the experience.

The intention is not to change the behavior of the other person because that would be manipulation. The intention is only to make sure our behavior is clean so that when we walk away from the experience we can be sure that we did the best we could to not provoke further pain.

“But then I’m not speaking my truth.” Here’s the problem with this idea – your pain is not the truth, nor is their pain. The idea that by monitoring and controlling your reactions you’re somehow denying the truth is a lie.

The truth is that you’re reacting to old pain. You’re reacting to some wound that’s being poked at. That’s your truth. If you want to tell them all about that, by all means because that would be the truth. The minute you try to tell them they are responsible for how you feel, that’s a lie. That’s also not true. Nobody is responsible for your feelings but you no matter what they are doing or saying.

“You mean I can’t express how I feel!?” Sure you can as long as you own it when you do it. This is how I feel and this is why I feel it and it has nothing to do with you. That is the truth in every experience you have. It’s also a very hard realization to come to.

For whatever reason, emotions are easier to deal with when we can blame them on something. When we just own our own emotions flatly without ever worrying about what the outside world is doing, it makes us want to beat ourselves up, like somehow we’re not allowed to feel what we’re feeling. But that’s not true.

You’re allowed to feel whatever you want. It’s what you do with it that matters. This isn’t about whether what you’re feeling is okay or not. It’s not about permission. This is about how we express that outwardly. This is about how it shows up and whether or not we’re willing to own that.

The minute you can acknowledge how you feel and you understand where that feeling came from, you don’t have to beat yourself up for what you felt. The feeling just is. It’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with it. The only thing we want to do with this is release it so that we don’t have to keep re-living the trigger.

Regardless of how you find them, the emotions just are much like the experience just is. The thing with emotion is that it’s something we have to manage. It’s a thing we have to work on and take care of a bit so that it doesn’t become a problem. Experience doesn’t require managing. We can’t change it once it happens. It’s done. Experience gets dropped and then any emotions that come up as a result of the experience are understood, felt, and deal with.

That’s the balance we’re looking for. What my healing journey taught me was that emotion didn’t have to be overwhelming. The idea that I needed to allow them to suck me in wasn’t true. The opposite also wasn’t true. I completely avoided emotions for many years and I understand that it created a lot of unhealthy behaviors. Even without awareness back then, if I had simply acknowledged my own feelings and acted on them a little more, I probably would have been happier in the long run.

Avoiding my emotions allowed me to do things I didn’t want to do. That was how I gave up my power essentially. I just stopped feeling because that was the only way I could give up control over my life. Was that a good thing? No. It was a strategy that I was using at the time.

So when I started healing I wanted to continue to avoid the emotions because I was scared of them. What I understood intuitively was that it didn’t have to be overwhelming. I could come at my emotions a little bit more logically while still allowing myself to feel them. I could balance the mental and emotional a little better and it would keep me from getting stuck in the tidal wave of emotion that I was afraid of.

My healing goal was mental clarity. But to gain mental clarity I had to have emotional balance. I had to understand how to regulate my emotions without offering myself more pain. I couldn’t do avoidance, but I also didn’t have to do emotional overwhelm. I managed to find the middle ground.

What I learned along the way was that my emotions weren’t all that connected to my experience. Everything I was feeling was as a result of something that had happened in the past or some perception that wasn’t true. My current experience wasn’t all that upsetting. It was all me creating my own pain. That revelation changed how I see my experience.

When new things happen these days, I generally don’t take them on. I drop them almost immediately. I will still question to make sure there is nothing there but I’m past the point where my experience offers me any major work to do. Everything that happens these days feels pretty minor. It means I’m able to let my experiences come and go really quickly. The emotions also come and go really quickly because I’ve learned how to just let them flow through without getting attached to them or doing anything about them.

That’s what self-mastery looks like once you’re through the major trauma and all the big stuff you’re hanging onto. It get so much easier to do! When you find new little things like hidden emotions, it’s not a big deal. It was just another day in the life. Where’d that come from?

It’s totally fine because I’m happy to just pick it up and keep going. I don’t have to dwell on it anymore. I have immediate acceptance of what I find so I don’t argue with myself or beat myself up at all. I just allow what I find to be there.

The only real puzzle is how it’s being expressed. What’s the behavior? But again I’ve been doing this for so long that even that wasn’t much of a stretch. It made sense in the context of the other things I’ve been getting shown over the last while.

You see all experience fits together. It creates kind of a collage, that when you put it all together, tells a coherent story. You just have to be willing to follow along and accept all the pieces that you know belong there. The hard part is that we want to reject some of them because we don’t like them for one reason or another. That’s why acceptance is so important. You can’t reject the pieces because they are part of the fabric of your life and the story of the healing journey that you’re currently telling. You need the pieces to make the story make sense.

Hidden doesn’t mean bad or scary. It just means you didn’t know it was there. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s no more or less important than anything else. It was hidden for a reason and you may not ever understand why it was hidden. It just was. Your job is to deal with it the same way you deal with everything else you come across on your healing journey.

You can handle the hidden stuff too. You’ve gotten this far. Keep going.

Love to all.



You can help support my blog by clicking here to make a donation. Your support is greatly appreciated.