by Teal Swan | August 20, 2015 4:08 am
Body, mind and soul, this triad has long been considered the pillars of a complete life. But what if we got it wrong? When we think of soul, most of us think of the soul as an etheric or intangible energy. Likewise, because of the ethereal, intangible nature of feelings and emotions (which we do not understand) we called them “soul. ” This is why advice about how to feed and heal your soul is designed to help you to emotionally feel better.
In truth, our soul is innately healthy. It cannot be in an unhealthy state. The soul, which is pre-manifested energy, manifests as feelings and manifests as thoughts and manifests as a body. All three levels of a person are in fact comprised of soul. A body is a soul projecting itself physically. A mind is a soul projecting itself mentally, feeling is a soul consciously perceiving. Because of this, we could look at it one of two ways. The first is that the three pillars of health are body, mind and emotion. The second is that emotion is the language of the soul. If you choose to see it this way, then the key to what people are calling soul health is your emotional health. Part of emotional health, is the conscious acknowledgment of our non-corporeal consciousness, which we could call spirit or soul.
When we use the word soul, we are referring to the core aspect of a person’s being. In the English language, soul and heart are interchangeable concepts. This is why someone, who is speaking from the core of their being, may say “I know it in my heart that (fill in the blank). ” What this means is that deep down, we know that the very heart of our experience in life is not mental and it is not physical, it is feeling and emotion. When we first come into this life, we experience the world entirely through felt perception. We feel the world before we see the world. Feeling and emotion is not only the heart of your life here on earth, it is also where the most damage is done.
We are living in an emotional dark age; an age where our awareness of emotions and our understanding about them is so limited, we neglect and even abuse this aspect of our lives and each other. Many of our lives and relationships are painful as a result of it. To start bringing ourselves out of this dark age, we must no longer dismiss our emotions and disapprove of them. When we dismiss an emotion and disapprove of it, we send ourselves the message that it is wrong to feel the way we feel and thus something is wrong with us. We have to do away with the notion that there is a specific way that we “should ” feel.
Regardless of whether it is a friendship or a romantic relationship, emotions and feelings are the heart of every healthy and meaningful relationship. Without a healthy emotional life, a relationship is not a relationship. It is a social arrangement. Because the core of who you are is feelings and the language of the soul is feelings, the most important part of intimacy is emotional connection – to understand each other’s feelings. Because we struggle the most with negative emotions, the way we deal with negative emotions dictates how healthy or unhealthy our relationship is emotionally.
When we are dealing with negative emotions, there are concrete steps we can take to address those emotions, develop emotional connection with the other person and enhance our intimacy:
1. Become aware of the other person’s emotion.
2. Care about the other person’s emotion by seeing it as valid and important.
3. Listen empathetically to the other person’s emotion in an attempt to understand the way they feel. This allows them to feel safe and be vulnerable without fear of judgment. Seek to understand, instead of to agree.
4. Acknowledge and validate their feelings. This may include helping them to find words to label their emotion. To acknowledge and validate a person’s feelings, we do not need to validate that the thoughts they have about their emotions are correct. Instead we need to let them know that it is a valid thing to feel the way that they feel. For example, if our friend says, “I feel useless, ” we do not validate them by saying “you’re right, you are useless. ” We could validate them by saying “I can totally see how that would make you feel useless and I would feel the same way if I were you. ”
5. Allow the person to feel how they feel and to experience their emotion fully before moving towards any kind of improvement in the way they feel. We need to give them the permission to dictate when they are ready to move up the vibrational scale and into a different emotion. We cannot impose our idea of when they should be ready or when they should be able to feel differently, on them. This is the step where we practice unconditional presence for someone, and unconditional love. We are there as support without trying to “fix ” them. Do not be offended if they do not accept your support at this time. There is a benevolent power inherent in offering, that is love in and of itself regardless of what someone does or does not do with it.
6. After and only after their feelings have been validated and acknowledged and fully felt, help the other person to strategize ways to manage the reactions they might be having to their emotion. This is the step where you can assert new ways of looking at a situation that may improve the way the other person is feeling. This is where advice can be offered.
First and foremost, you are in a relationship with yourself. This means, your own emotions must matter to you. This means it is time to acknowledge and validate your own emotions. Therefore, now is the time to apply the six steps above to yourself. Never be ashamed of how you feel. Your feelings are valid. If you feel an emotion, there is a good reason that you are feeling that emotion. You deserve a life where your feelings matter. And the fastest way to get to that life is to decide that your emotions matter to you.
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