Note: This is a digest version of a longer essay.
Continuing my exploration of our emotional nature, I am expanding upon a system defined by Elisabeth and Jerry Hicks from their book “Ask and It Is Given.” It is called Emotional Guidance Scale.
This is an excellent tool in assessing where you are and figure out what is next in your healing and growth.
In the table shown below, identify the prevailing range of mood/feelings that you experience in your life currently. Then take note of the feelings right above you. While all of us oscillate among different levels, it’s not possible for you to make an instant leap from a low to high and stay there. If you’re in the pit of depression, you forget what it’s like to be joyful — so don’t try too hard for such a leap. But we always have access to feelings that are closer to where we are. When you are deep in to the negatives, even climbing up one level or so will not register in your head as “better.” So the idea is to look for actions, situtions and experience that give you a sense of relief.
First, you need to accept where you are. If it hurts, go ahead and cry, moan, complain, yell — whatever you need to do to express your feelings. But after a while, start looking for something that feels like a break, or a relief. Some people sleep. Some people watch TV. Others eat junk food. We often look down upon these acts — for a reason. If you’re in Level -1 or so, these acts will drag you down lower. But if you’re in Level -5 or -6? It’s better to eat junk food than to be suicidal.
Notice that the process of growth requires continuous evaluation. If you were in Level -5 and got up to -3 or -2, then it is time to seek better experience than junk food — exercise, eating whole food, reading good books, etc. It’s futile to continue what you did before to get to where you are, as your needs are different now. You need to constantly reinvent your actions to continue your healing and growth.
Understanding is the beginning of solutions. And remember that change is gradual — on a day-to-day basis you may not see any difference, and sometimes you go through regression. Don’t lose hope. Just keep reaching out to the feelings above you, and you’ll continue climbing up the ladder of healing and growth.
|Prevailing Emotional State
|Joy, Empowerment, Freedom, Love, Appreciation
Enthusiasm, Eagerness, Happiness
Frustration, Irritation, Impatience
Insecurity, Guilt, Unworthiness
|Depression, Despair, Grief, Powerlessness, Hopelessness, Resignation