How Can Negative Emotions Serve A Useful Purpose?

Many emotional therapies focus on clearing, therapeutically, negative emotions or  “charge” associated with traumatic events, personal failures, and interpersonal attachments, etc. This presupposes that negative emotions serve no useful purpose and therefore must be eliminated in order for one to feel and behave well and generally live a happier life as a result. It often also presupposes that release of “negative” emotion will somehow magically create a space for and be filled with “positive” emotions.

Is there a place for my “negative” emotions? How can my negative emotions serve a useful purpose?

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Wrong Emotion Glasses Again?!

“Oh, no! I’m wearing the wrong glasses – AGAIN!”

Some years ago I noticed my eyesight was changing. So, after many hours of eye exercises that didn’t seem to work for me, I saw the optometrist, who told me that my lenses were deteriorating – no amount of exercise was going to change that. I was farsighted and getting more so every year.

Okay, I figure – it’s just another turn in my life that I can deal with as I go along. Glasses is certainly NOT the end of my eyesight. I chose a nice set of glasses and could once again see clearly. As a fashion statement, my new glasses looked good on me, too. Cool!

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Deal with Your Hurtful Story, then Make Up a New One

As we mentioned in the last post, a story associated with emotional hurts is only useful to access its emotional load. Once the emotional load has been effectively dealt with, the hurtful story is of little or no consequence – perhaps for learning… maybe…

I justify my emotions with “reasons” – background stories that make my emotion and my subsequent behaviors seem realistic and reasonable. Those justifications are necessary as validation for my emotions – which emotions require some reason or justification for being. It’s a cycle of need as we’ve discussed earlier.

Does it not seem logical, then, that once I’ve dealt with the emotions associated with an event (hurtful story), I might invest future energy into emotions I want – rather than ruminating on stories that regenerate negative emotions I’d prefer to release and let go?

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My Life Equations

Our Universe is built on natural laws that govern relationships between forces and the energies with which they interact. These relationships can be expressed in the form of equations.

For example – the law of cause and effect governs actions and reactions between interdependent systems, where balance induces a common purpose. Balance is the key to equations and laws define the interdependent dynamics of balance.

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Entertainment and Emotion

When I slip, it's not funny! When you slip, it's hilarious.

Ah, emotions – the esoteric ambrosia of experience that fuels and is fueled by a need for entertainment in a reality based on separation.

Separation is inherent in entertainment – when something I consider negative happens to me, I consider it “experience” or “terrible” or “frustrating” or “provocative” – rarely “entertaining.” When I see the same something happen to you, I’m much more likely to find it “entertaining” even though I may also feel emotionally sympathetic to your plight. (Think slip and fall, or pie in the face, etc. – maybe funny to me, not so much for you)

Maybe separation is the critical factor in entertainment – providing one reason I find someone else’s experience entertaining – it’s NOT happening to me! In this case, entertainment is more a sense of relief even when I may be engaged emotionally – as in a movie or book.

Certainly it is possible to entertain oneself – like singing to yourself – yet even then, the REASON I find it entertaining may be because it FEELS like I am distant (separate) from some negative emotional aspect within me. In this case, self-entertainment may be self-separation or survival through dissociation.