Episode 81: Let’s Talk About Emotions

by | Last updated: Jun 24, 2024 | Podcast

Every woman I know has felt some level of shame for showing emotion… and on every end of the spectrum. Deep grief, anger, even pure joy.

In this episode, I’m talking about the importance of understanding your emotions for a healthy intimate relationship.

You’ll learn about the wide range of emotions we have access to (but why we’re only familiar with a handful), how your avoidance of emotion is keeping you stuck in indecision about your marriage, plus the two options you have when it comes to uncomfortable emotions – including heartbreak.

Listen to the Full Episode:

What You’ll Learn In This Episode:

1:10 – From positive to negative emotions… where’s your “home base” emotion?
5:01 – Why we avoid emotions & shame people who show them
7:06 – Your emotions offer important guidance about what’s for you… and not for you
10:00 – What this means for your most intimate relationship
13:24 – Are you trying to avoid heartbreak? (Is that possible?)
15:03 – You have two options
17:09 – THIS is the price of a life well-loved

Featured On Let’s Talk About Emotions

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Struggling to decide whether to stay or go in your marriage and you’re serious about finding that answer?

Book a Truth & Clarity Session with a member of my team. We’ll discuss where you are in your marriage and explore if there’s a fit for you and I to work together so you can make – and execute – the RIGHT decision for YOU and your marriage.

Welcome to the Loving Truth Podcast, where it's all about finding clarity, confidence, and peace in the face of marriage challenges. And now, your host relationship expert and certified master life coach, Sharon Pope. Hello, loves. This is Sharon Pope, and this is the Loving Truth. Today, we're gonna have a really soulful conversation around our emotions. Look, there are probably hundreds of emotions.

I've heard upwards of a thousand, but I've never actually counted them. So let's just call it a few hundred emotions that all of us have access to. The problem is, is that most of us just feel the same, I don't know, five to 10 emotions over and over and over again. We don't really go looking for or wanting to experience or understanding that we have access to a much broader range of emotions than most of us really will look for or acknowledge.

So let's talk about some of these different emotions and put them in some context compared to one another. So on one end of the continuum of emotions are all the negative emotions, all the nasty stuff that none of us enjoy feeling, right? Those are things like fear, grief, shame, despair, worry, doubt, feeling powerless in our lives. Those are all the,

the emotions that are very like low energy. They're gonna pull you down. I, many times when I think of those emotions, I think of them as like you're, you're physically curled up in the fetal position, and you're not able to take big steps from that place. So when despair shows up at your door, you know, you just want a pillow and a blanket,

right? So those are, those are the really bad feeling emotions. And then on the other end of that continuum are all the really good feeling emotions, the ones that we want to feel, and some of us feel entitled to feel every single day. And those are things like joy and love and gratitude and appreciation and empowerment in our lives, and freedom in our lives,

and enthusiasm and curiosity. Those are all the really the good stuff that we want to feel in our lives. And then in the middle, you've got some anger, which leans a little bit more towards negative anger, rage, jealousy, blame. Then you move up to a little bit of pessimism, and you might get into boredom or apathy. And then you might get into some range of,

now we're leaning more towards the positives, hope, optimism, maybe a little positive expectation in our lives, right? So those are, those are some of the better feeling, but a little bit leaning more towards neutral compared to love and joy and appreciation, right? So that gives you some context for just the range of emotions that we have access to.

Now, all of us have what Tony Robbins would call a home emotion. Now, what does he mean by that? He means that there's usually like one or two emotions that is our go-to emotion, right? So let's say something bad happens and we go into anger and blame. That's a home emotion. That's the the comfortable one that we go to over and over and over again.

It's sort of like that easy answer that we can reach for. And it's so familiar to us that we don't have to think too much about how we want to feel when something doesn't go our way, right? And if we extend that analogy, so Wayne Dyer has an analogy that he talks about where, you know, if you squeeze a lemon, you should never expect to get grapefruit juice,

right? If you squeeze a lemon, you should expect to get lemon juice. And so when we are squeezed as human beings, IE, we are under some pressure, or we're under a lot of stress, whatever's on the inside is going to come out, right? So if your home emotion is, if we go back to the idea of say,

anger and blame, when you get squeezed, that's what's gonna come out because that's what's going on inside of you. But if what's going on inside of you is gratitude and love, even in the context of difficult scenarios, then when you get squeezed and when you get stressed, what's going to come out is gratitude and love. So we really would be well served to be more in touch with our emotions and to understand our emotions a little better.

But how many of us avoid our emotions? Right? At least from time to time, we like to avoid, especially the negative emotions. There are even some people who say like, I don't do emotions. I don't do 'em, my friends to, to me, when someone says that, what that means is that their emotions are doing them because it's not like they missed that at birth.

Oh, sorry, these little infants, they get emotions, but you, you don't get emotions. No. Let's think about this. So we avoid our emotions, particularly the negative emotions, all those nasty feeling ones because they're uncomfortable, right? There's a perfectly logical reason why we avoid them, but also because we were socialized to avoid them, because emotions make a lot of people uncomfortable because we don't understand them.

And so when we see them being expressed in other people, sometimes we wanna shut that down, don't we? Right? We tell little boys, oh, don't cry, boys, don't cry. Suck it up buttercup. Be a man, right? And that's the way in which we teach young boys to disassociate from themselves to not acknowledge the experience that they're having.

And we subtly tell them, don't feel any emotion. I mean, you can if it's anger, rage, jealousy, or blame, because then we'll still consider you a man. But if you show sadness or you show despair, or you show worry or concern, or you show insecurity, that's really gonna make a dent in your manhood, right? And boys learn that at a young age,

and those young boys turn into young men, and those young men turn into old men, and we carry those same ideas. And every single woman on the planet has been shamed at some point for showing emotion to someone who it made them uncomfortable. And then they said, oh, don't be so emotional as if it's a bad thing. When your emotions are really important guidance about what's for you and what's not for you.

So when we shut down to our emotions, we are losing that important guidance. And for so many of us, we view emotions as if it's weakness and being in our head and intellectualizing everything as if that's the the real talent. When I would argue all day long that since we have the same thoughts, we have 65,000 thoughts a day. I think it's like 70% of them are negative,

and 90% of them are repetitive. So I don't know why that's the goal, is to live in our heads where it's all negative and it's the same story over and over and over again, just spinning on the same spin cycle a again and again. That's not gonna necessarily get us anywhere. And then we shun emotions, which we can literally feel in our bodies,

and we try to not pay attention to that. We will even go so far as to numb the emotion that we're feeling in our bodies. Now, there is no shortage of ways that we can do this. Folks, all you have to do is go to the grocery store, right? Go buy three bags of Oreos, couple bags of chips, like we can numb out just by overeating,

or we can numb out by drinking a bottle of wine every night. We can numb out by throwing ourselves into something else to the point of overdoing it. Like work. We can overwork, we can throw ourselves into our kids, which just is a socially acceptable way of numbing out to the problems and challenges in our lives of we're gonna ignore what's going on in our own own lives by throwing ourselves into our kids' lives.

That feels so much better than me having to deal with the stuff going on in my life. And then there's drugs and there's porn, and there's, there's just, there's no shortage. There's gambling, there's a million ways that we run from our emotions, and that's all we're doing is we're just numbing those sharp edges of our lives so that we don't have to feel them so much.

So then we show up to our most intimate relationships thinking that we're going to create intimacy, IE in our intimate relationships without ever understanding, acknowledging, feeling, or showing our emotions. That's not a thing, right? You cannot create intimacy if you don't understand your own emotional wellbeing and your own emotions, how they get expressed and how you want to feel.

And then be willing to show them to your partner, because that's how we're going to know each other at an intimate level. So if you are here, you are probably in some version of the stay or go decision, and some people are leaning more towards stay, and some people are leaning more towards go. And one of the reasons that people will stay stuck in indecision is because they want to avoid the feeling of some version of heartbreak,

right? We have all had our hearts broken at some point in time from some experience. It's happened to all of us. I know it's happened to me multiple times, right? And so let's just put it out there. Will your heart get broken if you stay in your current relationship? Probably. You know why? Because as human beings, we hurt each other sometimes we don't do it intentionally.

We don't go out of our way to hurt each other. But when you are living in that close of an intimate relationship with another human being for five or six decades, inevitably you're going to hurt each other. Occasionally it's going to happen. And so you're going to feel that experience of hurt or heartbreak. That's part of being in a relationship is that sometimes we don't bring our best selves to our relationships.

Sometimes, as a matter of fact, we give our best selves to everybody else, and we bring our worst, the scraps of what's left over when we're absolutely overwhelmed and exhausted into our most intimate relationship. And in doing so, we're going to unintentionally hurt our partners. So I just view that as it's going to happen. These are table stakes of wanting to be in relationship with another human being.

You just don't want to feel an experience that hurt every single day, obviously. Now, will your heart get broken if you choose to end the relationship? Probably because it's not a straight line. It's not like you go through divorce, which is heartbreaking in and of itself, and then you come outta that. You meet someone, they're so easy to love,

and there's never any hurt or heartbreak in being in relationship with them. No, my friends, that's not how it works. Usually you're, you're going to meet someone and you're gonna fall in love with them, and then maybe it's gonna work out and maybe it's not. And then if it doesn't work out, then there's some version of hurt and heartbreak that comes out of that as a result.

And then if it, when you do meet someone and it does quote work out, you decide to be together. Now you're back in an intimate relationship with someone where occasionally you're not gonna bring your best self and they're not gonna bring their best selves, and you're going to unintentionally cause hurt or heartbreak to one another. So there it is. The very thing that we are avoiding hurt and heartbreak,

which is just an emotion, it's a vibration in the body that doesn't feel good, right? I'm not gonna pretend that hurt and heartbreak feels good, but can we do it? Have we lived through it before? Yeah, I told you I've been heartbroken several times, but I would never say, oh, I wish that never happened. I wish I never had loved that person.

I wish I'd never had that experience, because all of those experiences are what brought me to this place in my life, and I wouldn't trade this place in my life for that. So everything that we are avoiding is just a little bit of heartbreak. And I can argue that if you stay stuck in a place of indecision, that you're breaking your own heart every single day,

right? Because I'm not taking any active steps towards creating the kind of loving, committed, soulful relationship that I really want to have because I'm just scared and I'm stuck in this place of, I don't want to feel any pain. So let's talk about that. You have a choice as it relates to emotions. We'll go back to the principles. We all have emotions.

We can choose to understand them and honor them and show them or not. But what we don't get to do is feel all the really positive emotions. We're back to love, joy, gratitude, appreciation, empowerment, freedom, enthusiasm, right? We don't get to feel all the good stuff and avoid all the bad stuff. You cannot selectively numb your emotions,

and you cannot selectively choose which emotions that you, you're going to feel. So if we could, everyone would choose, I only wanna feel love, joy, and appreciation, and I never wanna feel fear or anger or despair or shame. I never wanna feel the nasty stuff. We would all choose that, but that's not the way it works. So here are the two options that we have available to us,

and I want you to think of it like a pendulum that's swinging back and forth. It's just a matter of how wide that pendulum is going to swing. So here's what most people do. They don't want to feel those low negative emotions. They don't wanna feel heartbreak. They don't wanna feel hurt. So instead, what they'll do is they'll stay in what I would call the numb zone,

that middle zone. I'm not gonna love too much because I don't wanna hurt too much. I'm just gonna stay in this place of indifference or apathy, a little pessimism mixed in, maybe boredom. I'm just gonna stay in this very safe, very narrow, numb zone, which means I'm not gonna feel the high highs. I'm not gonna feel love, joy,

gratitude, appreciation, but I'm also not gonna feel shame, despair, doubt, worry, pain. Okay? That's an option. That's a choice. And frankly, a lot of people choose it. Many people choose it unconsciously, but that's where they stay. And so they don't love too much because they don't wanna feel too much. Or you can be brave enough to say,

I'm here in this life and I wanna feel the range of emotions. I'm willing to feel the low lows. I'm willing to feel despair and sadness and grief once in a while, because I want to also experience the really good stuff like joy and love and appreciation. And that's where the pendulum swings much wider, right? And so when you become willing to be the person who is going to experience that totality of life,

you're gonna have a richer life experience. I mean, I would argue that heartbreak and pain inside of relationships is sort of the price of admission to a life well loved. Like when I, when you feel hurt and heartbreak, it means you loved someone. It means you tried for something and it means you cared about it deeply. And isn't that a beautiful thing,

right? Even when it's painful, isn't the opportunity to love in that way? Isn't that a beautiful thing? It's kind of like where I go back to, I would never say to myself, oh, I wish I never had that experience. Or, I wish I never knew that person. I wish I never fell in love with that person because it,

it ended up in some pain for me when that's what brought me here. And I want to live a life where I get to feel all of it. I get to feel the full range of emotions knowing that at the end of the day, it's just an emotion. It's a feeling in my body. And even when it feels bad, I don't wanna stay there for very long.

Like, don't get me wrong, I don't like feeling that stuff anymore than you do. But I can tell myself in those moments of when I'm in despair or heartbreak, I can tell myself, you know what? It's not gonna feel this way forever. Because the one thing that I do know about emotions is that they're always in motion. They're always moving,

right? The way I woke up feeling today is not the way that I'm going to feel later today. It's not that our emotions stay stuck. And I think sometimes that's why we avoid the negative emotions is we're so afraid to go there because we're afraid, we'll, it's like an abyss and we'll never get out. And that's not true because our emotions are constantly moving.

I think of 'em like water. Our emotions are like the ocean. They're ebbing and they're flowing. They're moving in and out, and they never just stay stagnant for too long. So even when you're in a dark place, you can remind yourself that it won't always feel this way. So I only have one question for you, and that is, are you willing to feel some of the negative emotions occasionally so that you get to feel the really good emotions in your relationships and in your life much more frequently?

Or are you gonna live in that safe, numb, narrow existence? It's just a choice. I hope you'll choose wisely. Until next time, take good care. If you're listening to this podcast because you're struggling to decide whether to stay or go in your marriage and you're serious about finding that answer, it's time to book a Truth and Clarity session with a member of my team.

On the call, we'll discuss where you are in your marriage and explore if there's a fit for you and I to work together so you can make and execute the right decision for you and your marriage. Go to clarity for my marriage.com to fill out an application now that's clarity for my marriage.com.