Unfreeze Those Feelings

Maria HillEmotional And Mental Health, Personal Development0 Comments

To a child all feelings may seem huge, since they feel so small – and are. Children are very natural about their feelings. They experience them and let them go. Unfortunately, it does not take long before we learn that our feelings are unwanted and inconvenient. Then we start to reject them and hold them in with all the negative effects that brings. What Happens To Our Feelings? Our feelings become objectified. We learn to treat them like objects at a store, some unwanted and others preferred as demonstrated to us by our families and educators. And so the stress starts. According to Yogi Amrit Desai, founder of Kripalu Yoga in a June, 2010 article in Natural Awakenings, Healing the Root Cause of Addiction with Ayurveda A Natural Cure for Unhealthy Dependence by Linda Sechrist,   “It is important to recognize that most people don’t know the difference between tension and stress… He observes that stressors—thoughts and reactions to our lifestyle, relationships, work environment and family life—are introduced through the ego mind. Emotionally charged thoughts and feelings of blame, shame or guilt then get metabolized into our biological body system. Stored in the form of toxins and neuro-glandular imbalances, these feelings create energy blocks that prevent the free flow of energy, or prana, the body’s self-healing wisdom. Energy blocks may take the form of muscular tensions and weakness in liver, kidney and digestive functions. Gradual decline results in a progressive deterioration of biological processes and consequently can manifest in external symptoms of fatigue, fear, anxiety and insecurity.” Essentially we are socialized to have certain emotions and reject others and our unwanted emotions then get stuck in our bodies and gradually make us sick. Why Rejecting Feelings Is A Mistake When we reject our feelings, we cannot own them and process them. When we are processing our feelings, we take them in, … Read More

The Safety Of The Good

Maria HillEmotional And Mental Health2 Comments

photo credit: catnapping The safety of the good,  it is a natural attraction. Do you seek harmony – or the good – especially in your relationships? Many of us, especially HSP’s do. If I examine my experience, I notice how often I feel an inner pull towards the good and working with others. Working with seems natural. Working against does not. Working with feels good; working against does not. Our Early Need For The Good As children we need to harmonize with our social group –  in particular our parents and family  – because it is a matter of life and death. We also have an instinctive awareness and need for the goodness in ourselves and in others to be real. We are all born with a naturally open and trusting attitude toward the world . Our trust is our psychological safety.  Therefore, when we are treated poorly, we maintain the “trust”  by assuming, often with encouragement from our caretakers, that the defect lies with us.  When our need for a caring, encouraging and  supportive environment is challenged in childhood, a young person is often made to believe that their expectation and values are problematic or wrong.  I certainly was. Too often we are taught that the good in the world and ourselves is a scarce commodity which sets up the power over others dynamic that creates the struggle and misery called reality.  It turns the “bad” into something abundant and dependable and the good into something that cannot be trusted and something scarce. Even worse, the abundant good becomes something we are expected to earn. Reality becomes a form of misery and our wires get crossed. The Frame Of Reality Perceptions about reality are passed from one generation to the next. In good faith we often take our attitudinal … Read More

Why We Demonize Each Other

Maria HillEmotional And Mental Health0 Comments

Why do people demonize each other? People increasingly recognize that demonizing others is a problem. However, our ancestors may not have had the same perspective. Here are some of the reasons our forbears demonized: survival. This is the oldest reason. Our ancestors did not have all the mechanisms for survival that we have, so demonizing others justified the taking of scarce or otherwise unavailable resources. to maintain the social glue. If certain behaviors were necessary for the survival of the group, then those behaviors were supported and others shunned.  Demonizing certain behaviors created group standards that enforced a social code. This is how we invented “the status quo.” Interestingly, according to research, our brains give us error signal when we act contrary to the group, so demonizing behaviors is a very effective method of social control. to protect health. In the past, humans had no protection against disease, no sanitation, no antibiotics,  and very little medication. If an individual was a perceived health threat, they could easily be demonized and cast out of the group. People had little knowledge about the causes and cures of health problems in the past and sometimes superstition and suspicion were enough to justify ostracizing someone. to protect blood lines. Safety was an important consideration for our ancestors. You were safer with people you knew including in your family. to support an economic advantage. Demonizing someone or a group weakens their social status and claim to resources and supports opening the door for exploitation. Many old cities and their monuments were built on slave labor. habit. Our ancestors had very little information about causes and effects. Often they explained their problems by pointing to forces outside of themselves. Sometimes they were right. Nonetheless, demonizing can become a bad habit. It is also very difficult to break if it … Read More

Inside The Spider Web Of Approval

Maria HillEmotional And Mental Health, Personal Development0 Comments

Note: This article received such a response in my newsletter that I thought I would make it available to everyone. I like receiving approval. I suspect we all do. Yet I hate wanting or needing it. I hate all the games that go with approval: the withholding of it – treating it like it is a prize or a weapon. the distortion of information to manipulate approval the overvaluation of approval when we are really all in this together We are social creatures, so social issues are important. Often we personalize social issues and judge each other, while disregarding the toxic social climate that can create many behavioral challenges. So many issues that are labelled emotional and are assumed to be simple but are really anything but. Approval is one of them. It is one of our biggest challenges. Approval is a kind of social stake in the ground. A position, if you will, with group force behind it. That is why we take it so seriously and should. Why Approval Is Difficult Approval is the manifestation of group structures, an expected allegiance. The viability of social arrangements require allegiances. Approval is a way of enforcing allegiances. So it often feels as if we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t and there is some truth to that. We cannot simply ignore the group structures that we need to negotiate. We also cannot let destructive groups totally control us either. It is impossible to escape the wounds of our social structures. The best we can hope to do is do our healing work, find our integrity, our calling and make our contribution to quality of life. Approval: The Spider’s Web That Claims Us It is important that we are kind to ourselves about approval. It is such … Read More

All Anger Is Not Equal

Maria HillEmotional And Mental Health, Personal Development, Stress0 Comments

Anger is an interesting subject in my opinion. I grew up with narcissistic parents. They were angry a lot. I always found it puzzling because they would become hostile about the silliest things and their anger was always more important than everyone else’s, of course. And so this HSP was off and running trying to understand it all. Much has been written about anger so I was reluctant to wade into the subject. So often it is discussed as one issue but I think it is more complex. Anger Can Be Hard To Handle There is more than one kind of anger, in my opinion. Injustice and cruelty are sources of angry feelings. These are the sources of anger, most difficult for HSPs to handle. They are also legitimate sources of anger and are often invalidated, so not only can they be hard to feel but the invalidation adds an additional source of anger and pain. Cultural Anger Triggers Since we have access to so much information today, we have more reasons to feel upset. Our rich media system plies us with so many instances of unfairness and misery that it is hard not to have our anger triggered. Competition and behavioral permissiveness around displays of anger (let it out) all contribute to a climate of hostility. As a result we are likely to feel the energy of hostility is many places and areas of our lives. Highly sensitive people will pick it up more than others and suffer from it more. Structure And Anger Then there is hostility that is not based on our experience. I call it anger from our heads because it is not a living anger. It is based on oughts and shoulds. It is based on expectations and entitlements. It is based on concepts about life, not life itself. It is based on the demands created by the … Read More

Guilt Riddance

Maria HillEmotional And Mental Health, Personal Development, Stress4 Comments

Guilt! We all hate it, and it can cling to us no matter what we do. Why is that? Where Does Guilt Come From? I think guilt is interesting in a way. None of us are born with it, and yet it is like a plague of emotional contamination in our lives. Many of us are taught to feel guilty from a young age. I know I certainly was. So why do we need it? Do we need it? If we do not think we need it, why would someone else think we do? Guilt is taught to children probably because of the belief that humans are intrinsically “bad” and need guilt to prevent them from being destructive. Given the many studies and anecdotal experience which demonstrates the natural empathy of humans, isn’t it strange that we think we need an emotional mechanism to control people? Are People Intrinsically Bad? The idea that people are intrinsically bad has been around for a long time. Many religions, including my inherited one, promote the idea of original sin, an assumed badness that must be trained out of the individual. Unfortunately, a defined idea of goodness and badness is irrelevant in reality and serves to create order not goodness. How deceptive! In a simplistic way, if we look at the traditional definitions of a “good” man we are offered: strong, in control, provider, unemotional, rational. These are soldier characteristics. Soldiers are meant to maintain order. A traditionally “good” woman is self sacrificing, modest, family oriented. A woman who supports others in particular men who keep the order in society. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with these characteristics. That is the problem. They can be useful, but so can others. They keep the order in a society at the expense of our development into whole, intentional and … Read More