Due to the fires, hurricanes, and other natural disasters, this past week has been a week of processing my own fears and personal trauma triggers. Whenever I’m struggling over negative emotions, my therapist always asks me, “what are the gifts of that emotion?” And, many times, it’s hard for me to find gifts when I am in the depths of anxiety, fear, or anger. I know it’s important to work on changing my story to help me manage my feelings, but sometimes I just get stuck. Yes, I am human!


I like Karla McLaren’s website that explains emotions on a deeper level. She teaches how to take a toxic emotion “that’s a total drag and turn it into an asset.”


“First, you learn what the emotion is supposed to do and what message it carries. I find that when people know what their emotion is asking of them, they have a much easier time working with it. For instance, if you know that anger is about boundaries, you can look at an overabundance (or lack) of anger and re-frame the entire situation in terms of how you set (or ignore) boundaries. When you know what emotions are for, it’s a heck of a lot easier to work with them.”


This week I worked on finding the gifts and understanding anxiety, fear, and panic/terror. Through my recovery (and the research from my last few blogs) I’m aware that even though I “cognitively” understand my fear, I had pieces that were related to trauma triggers. Not only was I working on meditation, tapping, and prayer, but I needed to also see my therapist for an EMDR session to help process those triggers and help bring me back to ground. Interestingly, this was what I had planned to discuss in my next blog entries. The universe works in mysterious ways.


If you want to learn about different emotions, empathy, and/or empathetic mindfulness skills, the first page to go to on Laura McLaren’s website is: Start Here. Hopefully, you too can find some nuggets that can help when you are struggling.

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