Emotional blocks can seriously obstruct our ability to love someone unconditionally. Our emotions will control us if we don’t control them. The best way to cope with emotions and emotional blocks is to face them head-on.
Our emotions are the roots of the tree of love.
When we lose control of them, we lose control of ourselves.
We scream. We hurt people we care about. We make decisions that we deeply regret.
From relationship researcher John Gottman to Gary Chapman, author of The 5 Love Languages, many love researchers agree on one thing: the biggest struggle between couples is an inability to understand the different needs of each other. We often love our partners the way we want to be loved, even if it doesn’t match their individual needs.
The other reason a relationship may fail is that the individuals don’t know what needs they should ask their partner to fulfill. They’re mindlessly unaware of the emotional barriers that prevent their relationship from feeling like heaven on earth.
So how do we become more aware of our own emotional motivations? Here are three powerful ways to start:
3 Tips To Conquer Your Emotions and Getting Past Emotional Barriers
1. Ask Yourself “Why?” Three Times
Asking “why?” will give you insights into the needs you need most. An amazing relationship is a byproduct of meeting your partner’s needs, while they are meeting yours.
This brings me back to my earlier point. If we are unaware of our needs, our emotions and thoughts can hijack our actions into doing things we deeply regret – like snooping, cheating, or lying.
Often when we ask ourselves why we do what we do, our egos get in the way. Our egos tend to push aside our deep-seated needs to protect us from our own raw vulnerability. In my experience, the first “why?” I ask tends to be rationalizing bullshit.
Here’s an example from my own life. Before I started focusing on my own emotional needs and working to improve my relationships, I transformed from a nice guy to a crazy, untrusting boyfriend. It wasn’t pretty.
One night, I hacked my girlfriend’s phone by using her apple sign-on and password to read her personal text messages. 1
Here is my answer to the question of why when I made that decision.
“Why did I hack my girlfriend’s phone?”
“Because she seemed more interested in this other guy than me. I felt inadequate.”
“Why did she seem more interested in the other guy than me? Why do I feel inadequate?”
“Because I’ve been cheated on before. It pains me to have to experience that betrayal again.”
“Why does being cheated on hurt so much? Why is betrayal such a bad thing?”
“Because being cheated on makes me feel like I am not good enough to deserve a woman who will only want me. And betrayal validates that feeling. It makes me sick. The lack of security and trust in my relationship kills me.”
This relationship was one of the relationships I had before my health declined into this:
Studies show, time and time again, that when our emotional needs are neglected, our physical and mental health gets neglected as well.
Back then, I was still coming to understand these needs. Uncovering the answers I explored above was not easy.
Sometimes this exercise would lead me to ask the same questions for days. I was trying so hard to unearth the answer. But if you keep asking, the answers will come. They may be ugly. But the truth will set you free.
So pay attention. Explore what feels right. Keep asking. Keep questioning your motivations. The more uncomfortable the answers become, the truer they are.
2. Mindfulness & Meditation for Emotional Barriers
First off, meditation is damn hard. You sit silently. You focus on your breathing. You allow whatever thoughts and feelings to enter your mind until they decide to leave.
Are you kidding me?
My mind is a dungeon of evil. I battle thoughts of being cheated on. Feelings of doubt and mistrust swirl like a hurricane.
And that’s exactly why I need meditation the most.
Prior to meditating, I took my thoughts and feelings as a reality. This is a common experience, but just because we feel something doesn’t make it so. Just because we believe someone is cheating doesn’t mean they actually are.
Learning to take a step back from our emotions requires emotional maturity. That kind of maturity can easily be developed in meditation. Meditation teaches you that thoughts and feelings are nothing more: They’re just thoughts and feelings. You can witness them flow into your consciousness, and then watch them wash away with the next coming thought.
Learning to do this is a vital skill that will transform many parts of your life. Meditation simply trains your mind to be aware of your own thoughts and emotions, rather than react to them.