Understanding Emotional Energy Systems – Love vs. Fear

PERSONAL GROWTH

Understanding Emotional Energy Systems – Love vs. Fear

Emotions are chemical reactions that occur in the brain because of thoughts, events or situations. They are not something we decide to make happen, nor can we control the secretions in our brain that cause us to have emotional experiences. We can do many things to prevent ourselves from feeling them – repression, denial, dissociation, etc. These are all ways that we trick ourselves into believing that we don’t feel and often take pride in our ability to control our feelings. This is done without the awareness of what we are doing to ourselves when we disconnect from the energy of our emotions.

The experience of emotions such as fear, anxiety, impatience, frustration and envy cause chemical reactions in the body that are very different from the chemicals released when you feel love based emotions such as happy, contentment, excitement, inspiration, accepted. The two sets of emotions, love and fear, drive to two distinct systems of responses in the brain. The Striving System, which involves the emotional and rational brains, seeks pleasurable and self-actualizing experiences. Love and emotions associated with pleasure are the fuel that runs this system. The Surviving System, involves the emotional and instinctual brains, seeks to protect the self from real or perceived threats to survival. Fear and emotions associated with fear are the fuel that runs this system. This happens outside conscious awareness and patterns set in childhood continue into adulthood, causing us to keep bringing the past into the present despite trying to change and grow.

Love causes us to expand, share and grow, while fear based emotions cause us to contract, withdraw and protect ourselves. Love seeks connection with life, fear seeks protection from life. When we don’t know what we are feeling or cutting ourselves off from emotional expression, it is difficult to know whether or not we are motivated by love or by fear, either striving or just surviving.

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