The Intelligence Of Emotions

‘You always get exactly what you need’ is an idea and term sometimes shared in spiritual teachings and is the starting and end point for this article.

If we look along the path of becoming whole, the path of Yoga life will bring you the exact experience to trigger the emotions and parts of you that are ‘unmet’.
‘Unmet’ means a part of you that has split off, separated and as yet you haven’t ‘met’ or merged with it.

The original splitting off (usually in childhood) was no accident either.
As we go through life situations happen and in moments of overwhelm or trauma we push away, act in a certain way, repress and suppress certain emotions often in safety and defence.

We do the best we can in that moment based on our conditioning at that time.

However, now these parts are longing to return home so life creates these opportunities or invitations for you to become whole with the ‘unmet’ splintered off fragments.

When these ‘unmet’ parts arise there is movement, sensation, often discomfort felt in the body perhaps with an echo of the original situation.
Naturally we don’t want these feelings to be there, they are uncomfortable, and we want to escape them, want to get rid of them and long for it to be different.
We may apply the original learnt response or new tactics of denying, avoiding, suppressing, fixing, healing and so on, trying everything we can to keep them away.

All of these methods are resisting the ‘meeting’ therefore strengthening the separation and can feel internally violent as you fight with the emotion.

On a closer look you may realise that the only fight is with yourself.


Another phrase that is relevant is ‘what you resist persists’.

As you keep resisting the ‘meeting’ the more frequently and intensely these feelings often come which can become very painful in many ways, affecting us physically, emotionally and/or mentally.

Perhaps you are starting to get a sense of the intelligence of the universe and these emotions that are longing to return home.

At some point sooner or later a facing of the emotion takes place. This can be a conscious moment of openness, or alternatively, once you have exhausted your options, you just give up and surrender because you don’t know what else to do!

In that moment your guard drops, you turn towards the emotion, then through being open and vulnerable a ‘meeting’ can take place.

Now whether it is through a conscious choice or forced surrender either way we can call these ‘moments of grace’.

‘I Just Want To Be Loved’

To share a story from my journey of personal healing that may help illustrate what I’m talking about.

Life had continually brought situations that raised anger to the surface. I thought I was ‘meeting’ the anger yet it seemed like an endless pit and just kept coming. It wasn’t until I went for a walk with a dear friend and colleague that I realised I hadn’t.

We were talking and I shared I felt stuck and didn’t know what to do. He asked if the anger was there I said ‘yes, in my stomach’ and so he asked if I would like to try something.

He mapped anger on the grass. Stood together was me, him and anger, anger was given their own pair of flip flops!
I described anger as tall, red and fiery, really angry, stuck, SCREAMING!!!
As I looked across at anger I realised that anger wasn’t going anywhere and neither was I, we were ready to ‘meet’.

My friend asked what anger wanted. In that moment of open desperation I realised that anger just wanted to be loved, it wanted to be included. This was a revelation to me yet so simple.

My anger had been screaming for love and I had been fighting it and in the process becoming more and more angry. Life had continued bringing more situations to fuel the fire and all the time anger just wanted to be loved.

On feeling this a softness and gentleness in me and in anger occurred, a bowing, an opening of the heart and a merging took place. That is all we both wanted, no longer an enemy but a friend, a lover, no longer two but one.

It wasn’t that I was trying to love anger; it wasn’t a ‘doing’,
Just to discover what it really wanted was enough to merge with it.

So what do your emotions want, really want, what are they calling for, can you feel them fully, let them in rather than push them away?

Within this situation and process of integration it wasn’t necessary to go back into specific memories and analyse them it was to just fully ‘meet’ the present emotion.

Naturally what happened was a number of memories and impressions flashed past dating back to childhood with a sense of being integrated as an unwinding of tension in the body took place, this was a felt experience rather than a mental one.


Now linking back to where we started ‘You always get exactly what you need’.

Without the life situations that created the anger I would not have discovered this splintered off part that has now come home.

Life is continually trying to wake you up, to bring you back to wholeness and completion.

It is all about feeling.
The movements are the signals, the indicators that there is a splintered off fragment trying to make its way home.
The emotions and sensations are not wrong; they are a gift, a call from grace to reunite.

As we allow ourselves to feel and bring our curious conscious awareness towards these ‘unmet’ parts, safe passage for them to return home is granted.

What may be left amongst the peace is gratitude for those situations and the people that bring these emotions to the surface. And just perhaps… this attitude can be cultivated at the start of the process as it unfolds.

As you look at your own life, what keeps reoccurring?
Have you identified your triggers?
What emotions surface time and time again?
Are they calling to you, to be felt, loved, included, what do they want?

David Rees

From Finding Peace In The Very Heart Of Life

If you are experiencing difficult emotions and would like some support I offer: