I used to believe that emotions were obstacles that needed to be overcome with logic and rationality.
My biggest role model growing up was Data, the android on Star Trek.
As a child I learned to retreat into my mind and use it to control what my heart was feeling. Mind over matter, right? And it worked! At least on the surface.
This served me well for years, until one day my repressed feelings blew up in my face (along with my whole life), and taught me the hard lesson that I wasn’t mastering my emotions by denying them… I was simply disconnecting from my heart.
I had always thought I was so mature and emotionally intelligent, but as I let my emotions back in, I slowly came to realize that this was NOT the case. Instead of mastering them, I’d merely numbed them out, causing even more struggle and strife in the long run.
I was forced to accept that trying to change emotions with the mind just doesn’t work.
And yet that’s what almost all methods of emotional healing try to do.
Trying to bypass the emotions by changing what you’re thinking is what almost all approaches rely on, but that was my problem.
If I wanted to be a fully-feeling AND emotionally-intelligent person, I needed to find a different approach – one that actually involved feeling.