Emotional freedom can be a difficult concept for most of us to define, as it means 10 different things to 10 different people. The average person tends to struggle with their emotions, as there are certain feelings that are tough to overcome and events take place during the course of our existence that is not easily processed.
To me, emotional freedom means having the ability to place our emotions to the side and handle an issue while we are in the proper state of mind to do so. How many times have you over reacted to something that took place, only to be forced into a sheepish apology at a later date? How often do we end up thinking over past regrets in our heads and end up making ourselves miserable in the process?
When we truly embrace the concept of emotional freedom, we no longer have to be a victim of our emotional swings. In my life, I’ve experienced countless heartbreaks and personal setbacks, but thanks to emotional freedom, I realize that these issues do not have to define who I am as a person.
We all have that one friend or family member who cannot break free of these chains and these are the people who we should be using as inspiration. Instead, I find that we tend to fall into the trap of believing that our feelings somehow trump other people’s, that we “deserve” to feel the way that we feel.
On the other hand, we look at other people and our first instinct is to tell them to get over it and move on. Emotional freedom is all about taking that same advice and applying it to our own existence, instead of being hypocritical.
One of the questions that I am asked most often is how to go about the process of obtaining emotional freedom. Clearly, this is not something that happens overnight and we must take the proper steps to achieve our goals.
The best way to get started is to begin by taking responsibility for your own feelings. While this concept may certainly seem simple, it seems to elude a lot of folks. We have a tendency to blame others for making us feel angry or sad, as opposed to examining the context of the situation and figuring out what is going on inside of our own psyches.
Taking responsibility for your feelings is as easy as splitting them into two different groups. There are the feelings that are brought on by our own actions and thoughts (which are also described as wounded feelings).
For example, let’s say you are in the process of creating a speech or presentation at your place of employment, but you have placed a lot of pressure on yourself not to mess it up. This causes us to feel anxiety and in order to obtain emotional freedom, we must be willing to look within and pay attention to our own needs.
By getting more in tune with ourselves and realizing when we are causing our own depression or anxiety, we are able to free ourselves from the tyranny of our own emotions. Wounded feelings are the product of our own experiences and when we refuse to acknowledge this fact, we tend to become excessively dependent on others for our own happiness.
The other group of feelings that we experience are our core feelings, which are caused by circumstances and events, as opposed to our own innate issues. I, like most of us, have been in a few terrible relationships (romantic and otherwise) over the course of my life. These relationships are toxic and core feelings are the mind’s way of letting you know that you need to make a change, immediately.
While I am here to tell you that we do not cause this feeling, we do have more control over them than we realize. Most of us are familiar with the concept that we do not control what other people do and that all we have control over is our reaction to their choices.
Emotional freedom means refusing to allow the actions of others to affect our own personal feelings. When we feel lonely, sad or heartbroken as the result of someone else’s actions, it is important to manage these emotions, since they have the potential to become wounded feelings if we are not careful.
In order to achieve true emotional freedom, you must make a conscious decision to take full responsibility for your own feelings. This means no more blaming your parents, your friends, your former significant others, your bosses or anyone else for how you feel. Feeling anger or sadness is a typical aspect of the human experience, but these feelings do not have to seize control over your thought process.
Those who avoid taking responsibility for their feelings are doomed to experience wounded feelings forever. They end up becoming a “victim” in every situation and turn into the type of person who honestly believes that they would be happy and well adjusted, if only the world would decide to stop picking on them and treat them more nicely.
Emotional freedom is achieved gradually, but the first step is to accept the role that you play. Our feelings must be embraced, instead of avoided. When we embrace our sad and angry feelings, we develop a far greater ability to learn from them and use them to grow as a person, instead of stagnating.