How Much Do You Weigh In Emotional Pounds?
By Michael Angier
are injured and hurt emotionally, not so much by
other people or what they say and don't say, but by
our own attitude and our own response."
In spite of the fact that half of
North Americans are overweight and that losing weight is often
the number one thing we can do to improve our health, our energy
and our longevity, this article is not about physical pounds.
What I want to talk about is
weight of another kind--emotional weight. You might be tempted to
say that you don't have any emotional baggage. Perhaps you
consider yourself emotionally fit. And you may be right.
I recently experienced my wife
(one of the most emotionally healthy people I know) become
lighter before my eyes as she expressed something she had long
hidden. It wasn't a big thing. It was just something she had been
too polite about--a feeling she didn't want to share for fear of
hurting someone. When she did, she felt a weight removed. She
felt and LOOKED lighter.
The word emotion is from the
Latin, exmovere--to move. So it literally means energy in motion.
Unfortunately, our culture and our beliefs often cause us to stop
the flow of our emotions. Our feelings are blocked in our bodies
and this inhibits us from being our best. When this happens, our
feelings are no longer in motion--they're dead weight. This saps
our energy and spoils our clarity.
Certainly there are times when
particular emotions are inappropriate to display. The ability to
master our emotions is often a measure of maturity and one of the
things that makes us a civilized society. But if we constantly
stuff our feelings and don't express them, they become at best
unnecessary baggage--extra weight dragging us down. At worst,
they become bottled up energy that can explode in catastrophic
Men especially have a hard time
expressing their emotions. They often fear that a display of
emotion will look like weakness. This just isn't true. By
expressing how we truly feel and releasing the pent-up feelings,
we free ourselves to be more of who we truly are--we become more
And it's a learned skill. We get
better at it the more we do it--especially when we take
responsibility for those feelings instead of blaming something or
somebody else for them. This is where we truly become empowered.
The information age in which we
live often disparages our emotions. Bertrand Russell wrote,
"We know too much and feel too little. At least we feel too
little of those creative emotions from which a good life
spring." Many scientists believe that humans are the only
species on the planet who have emotions. And yet, our intellect
often discounts and discourages this important part of our
We all need a safe place to
express our feelings--the ones that feel good and the ones that
don't: an understanding loved one, trusted friends or even a
professional. The important thing is to do it--and do it
regularly. In doing so, we allow ourselves to experience more of
our power, to see things more clearly (not filtered through
blocked emotions) and to be more present. I encourage you to get
in touch with those feelings (usually the not-so-pleasant ones)
which you have left unexpressed. Trust me, you have them. It's
not easy at first, but if you do, you'll feel and look lighter.
"People often say
that this or that person has not yet found himself.
But the self is not something one finds, it is
something one creates." -Thomas Szasz
"Trust men and
they will be true to you; treat them greatly and they
will show themselves great." -Ralph Waldo
© Copyright 1995-2001, Michael Angier &
Success Networks International.
Used with permission.
Michael Angier is the founder and president of Success Networks.
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