Marty Bernstein asked about how I live my way into a new emotional reference point.
Being fully present with all my emotions has proven to be a key for living my way into a new emotional reference point.
Pain and Fear Are Important
Working up the Emotional Reference Chart is about gradually moving into less painful experiences. The degree to which I ignore fear and anger can have a direct effect upon how painful an experience is. Thus, ignoring any fear and anger can obstruct my way to a new emotional reference point.
Some Solutions Can Make the Problem Worse
After all, ignoring fear and anger invariably requires ignoring the things that create those feelings. The more I ignore, the higher the potential for a painful experience. In a gross irony, ignoring fear and anger can often cause more pain than simply feeling them in the first place would’ve.
Pain Can Help Allow Pleasure
Allowing myself to feel more fear and anger means I’m probably going to pay more attention to things which cause those feelings. And, counterintuitive as it may seem, the more fear and anger I feel, the more pleasing an experience can become. Thus, living my way into a new emotional reference point can be said to hinge on self-honesty about painful feelings.
More Honesty Can Provide More Intimacy and Connection
The best solutions can often be found in the things you thought were the problem. The more I allow myself to feel afraid and angry, for example, the more intimacy and connection I can experience with my wife. Living my way into a new emotional perspective usually involves deeper honesty about fear and anger than it does a deeper understanding of the experiences I desire.
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