If we want to understand and deal creatively with our feelings and emotions and get in touch with the inner resources they offer us, we need first to be clear as to what feelings and emotions really are.
Feelings and emotions are not the same to me. Feelings are FELT. My whole body experiences them. They are very real and if I deny them I lose touch with myself. Feelings, as I experience them are an energy running through me. I do not need to judge my feelings, I need to accept them. I have not read the book “Emotional Intelligence”, but I discovered years ago that there was intelligence in my feelings.
Unfortunately, most of us are brought up to believe it is acceptable to be in certain feeling states and not in others. This, I believe is a problem caused by people not understanding the grace and humanity of real feeling. Without feelings, there can be no warmth and no empathy. Without feeling, there can be no intuition.
Thankfully most of us will have retained some degree of our ability to feel. The psychopath is the most obvious example of a person who at some time has been so harmed they have completely lost their ability to feel. It is because of this very fact that they are able to harm their victims, so cruelly, either psychologically or physically. Psychopaths themselves can be healed. A psychiatrist successfully healed psychopaths in a British prison. By treating them with respect and humanity, he was able to take them back to the situation which had been so painful for them that their ability to feel was lost. A psychopath can be defined as a person incapable of empathy. These men became warm and began to feel empathy for others. If a psychopath can be healed, each and every one of us can regain our natural right to feel. (Please note, this psychiatrist was clearly a gifted man and he himself said it was a scary experience and he had guards outside the door. I would not advise anyone to believe they can heal a psychopath simply with respect and humanity! But I am saying that it would appear that under the right conditions, even the most cold psychopath can be healed)
There are two things which I have noticed about a feeling person. Firstly a feeling person does not try to control another. This is because coming from the feeling place they recognize their own right to be who they are and far from wanting to control and manipulate others, wish instead to meet others also coming from their own genuineness.
The second thing I have noticed about the person who feels is that it is impossible for them to deliberately harm another. They will express their feelings, including anger, but they will not act in a malicious way.
Emotions as I understand them differ from feelings in that everyone can have them, even psychopaths. An emotion appears to be a reaction to something. In this way, emotions can be of two varieties and do themselves sometimes, but not always, contain intelligence. The reason for this is quite simple. We react in the present moment in an emotional way if the situation demands it according to our instincts, understanding, and past experiences. The problem is that until we become more aware of ourselves, we carry around all kinds of memories and past hurts within us. This can result in our being over aggressive or indeed over passive in the present situation. The person who “blows their top” at the slightest cause or who allows themselves to be a rug for people to trample on definitely has some issues which they need to resolve in order to be more fully in touch with their own inner resources and ability to act appropriately and effectively in any given situation.
When we use our emotions appropriately, for instance raising our voice to defend ourselves when someone is stepping over our boundaries, this is intelligent use of our emotions.