Being able to feel emotions is part of what makes us human. So yes, they are inevitable. Primary emotions evolved in response to challenges faced by our remote ancestors and became ‘hardwired’ into different parts of our brains. They are commonly identified as happiness, sadness, disgust, fear, surprise, anger, shame, and excitement, with corresponding facial expressions that are universally recognized. There are many layers of more subtle and learned emotions such as pride, boredom, distraction, longing, love, etc. To try to get rid of negative or painful emotions through repression, dissociation, or splitting off does not work, as they will eventually leak out in uncontrolled ways that limit us and cause harm to others. Emotional distancing also makes us unavailable to joyful positive emotions and prevents us from showing empathy, compassion, care and love for others, which is of course essential for healthy integral relationships. Thus, it is important to become emotionally intelligent and available by learning to stay present with all our feelings and emotions, to identify them accurately, to own them as our reaction to other people’s reality, and to express them in non-judgmental, non-violent, compassionate, authentic ways instead of blaming, judging and projecting them onto others.

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