Four Steps to Negative Emotions

All emotions are gathered in the subconscious. Every time you feel an emotion, whether it is fear, anger, jealousy, envy, or bitterness, it doesn’t begin in your conscious mind. It always starts in your unconscious mind. When you cry, you are crying from a deep place. Something is not being fulfilled and whatever you’re facing has triggered that emotion. You are acknowledging, in your own presence, part of your system that you weren’t recognizing and accepting. Your highest excellence and potential comes when you see how emotions put issues in place. You must release the emotion to take the issue “out of place,” and let it go.

When an emotion rises, it’s a moment of enlightenment. You are in your unconscious. Our journey is to make that which is unconscious, conscious. That’s what we call life, and we’re all on the same path.

Negative emotions are good and useful for you, if you understand them. They are just part of the mechanism that tells us we don’t like something and we should change it. Negative emotions are not something to be scared of – they are messengers. Don’t shoot the messenger! Recognize that something is out of alignment. It could be that you are in a situation that goes against your values, or you have a person in your life that is counterproductive to your goals, or something has happened that reminds you of past trauma. There’s an easier reality if you acknowledge what’s behind the feeling. If you don’t greet it, it will persist and continue to harm you. Negative emotions will never stop arising in you. It’s what you do with them that will make the difference.

Anger is an emotion packed full of so many connotations and feelings for people. Though hanging on to anger is sure to stop you in your tracks on the way to excellence, its role is not to be underestimated. Anger signals you. Whether it’s looking at the root of anger in a past event, or seeing something that makes you angry and forces you to act in a positive way, the value of being outraged has its place. If it spurs you on to make a change, either in your own life or in service to others, it’s terrific to get angry! In my experience, it has had an enormous effect. When I traveled to India, about twelve years ago, I saw children who had been injected with bleach so their limbs would deform and their families could send them out to beg. The anger I felt after seeing those abused kids turned out to be the best negative emotion I’d ever had! It was the motivation behind the work we do, helping charitable organizations assisting children, adults, and animals, in thirteen countries around the world.

When you get angry, stop, breathe deep, and say, “what would I like to do with this energy now?” Taking a step back, or a time out, is always wise. You don’t have to respond or act in a way that just keeps the anger alive, without an outlet or an opportunity to dissipate it. Never do anything right away when emotion is present because you will lack perspective. Make sure all the current content of the emotion is gone. It’s then that you can go into your 90%, which will give you the clear picture as to what to do. Never get on the phone or hit “send” when you are angry. I can say with a lot of certainty that the result won’t be very positive!

Four Steps to Negative Emotions

There are four steps to negative emotions;

  1. the event
  2. the memory of the event
  3. the emotion
  4. the learning

Once you understand these four steps, you can begin to break down old habits that you no longer want in your life. Emotions hold things in place. There is a saying –

“It takes emotions to put something in place and it takes emotions to take it out of place.”

Emotions are stored in the unconscious and can cause blocks. You have to go into your 90% in order to release the emotion. Within the feeling is the memory. The “learning” is what we do with that memory, once we have it.

Here’s an example of what that looks like. Let’s say the event is the loss of a loved one. Upon their death, you have “the memory of the event,” which integrates with all the feelings of loss that your subconscious holds. Then you experience those emotions. The “learning” comes in when we apply a teaching that says we’re not the body, we are only energy and we’re traveling through life. When somebody dies, we have only two choices again, we die with them, or we carry on their memory with grace. That’s the learning. You jump into the ground with them and die, or you step up and say, “I’m going to continue with their grace, I’m going to give thanks and gratitude for their presence in my life, and I’m going to understand that there’s a hole that will never be filled by anybody else, ever.” If you look at the four steps that your emotions took in reaction to this event – or any other event in your life that creates negative feelings – you’ll understand how important each part of the process is. Without that progression, you can’t fully move through the emotion and let it go.


by Derek O’Neill

Get A Grip Book Series


For more on working through negative emotions and healing the pain from your past, download Excellence.