What do painful emotions really mean?

I’m currently reading an intriguing book on the topic of authenticity and emotions. I’ve transcribed some passages that spoke to me and that I felt could help many others. Please find the bibliographical information in the footnote below.

Authentic power is alignment of your personality with your soul. Creating authentic power is dramatically different from the pursuit of external power.

The creation of authentic power is a lifetime endeavor. It requires becoming aware, moment by moment, of what you are feeling and the decisions that you are making. The creation of authentic power confronts you with the most unhealthy parts of yourself- the parts that blame,criticize,judge,resent,envy, and hate others, yourself, and the Universe. These are the parts that must be uncovered,acknowledged, and changed. They are also the parts that most want to change others rather than to be changed themselves.

Changing your life does not mean getting a new job, husband or wife, or moving away from your parents or back in with them. It means locating within you impulses to make yourself feel worthy by attempting to control others or the circumstances around you, and changing them.

When you become your own source of worthiness, you will still buy clothes, live in a house, and get haircuts. The difference is that you will not do these things to influence or impress others. You will choose your intentions consciously, not unconsciously.


Wishful thinking is not the same as determination. Authentic power cannot be created by wishing for it. It cannot be created by understanding it. You must travel beyond the territory of your mind. Good ideas are one thing. Putting them into practice is another. The first step in creating authentic power requires you to become aware of everything that you are feeling, all the time. It is not enough to experience peaks of emotions, such as anger, jealousy,despair, and joy. Your emotions are the force field of your soul. You cannot align your personality with your soul without becoming conscious of your emotions.


You cannot grow spiritually without learning how to detach from your emotions and understand them as products of the way energy is processed in your energy system. If you become angry, for example, and you cannot detach from your anger, you will shout, withdraw emotionally, or enact one of the many other ways that angry people express themselves. When you become happy and you cannot detach from your happiness, you become uncontrollably elated, buoyant, or exhilarated. Your emotions- whether anger or happiness or any others- do not depend upon what is happening outside of you but upon how your energy system is processing energy. Changing another individual or circumstance may alter your emotions temporarily, but your energy system will always generate another emotion. If you believe that this new emotion depends upon people or circumstances, you will have to change something or someone else again.

Recognizing that your emotions come from your energy system and not from your interactions with people or things, is important. You cannot always change people or circumstances, but you can always change the way energy is processed in your energy system. You only have to know where and how energy is being processed, and that is what your emotions tell you.

Each emotion is a message for you, a signal from your soul. If you do not pay attention to the signal, another will come. The message is important, and your soul will not let you forget about it. When you look at your emotions as obstacles, or experiences that you would rather have or not have, you miss the point.

The point is that every emotion offers information about you that is important. When you ignore your emotions, you ignore this information. Friends support friends through difficulties. The best of friends is the one who stays through the most difficult times. Your emotions are the best of friends. They do not leave you. They continually bring to your attention what you need to know. The more important that information is to you, the more forcefully they call to you.


If you break a bone in your foot, your foot will not stop hurting until you tend to it. The pain is not the problem. The pain is calling your attention to a problem. Painful emotions do the same thing. They call your attention to what needs to be healed in you in order for you to reach your fullest potential. You cannot heal a broken bone by blaming the ladder that fell while you were on it. You also cannot stop a painful emotion by shouting at people or things, or withholding your love. They are not the cause of your painful emotions.

Only you can make permanent changes in yourself.

Zukav, Gary, and Linda Francis. The Heart of the Soul: Emotional Awareness. New York: Simon & Schuster Source, 2002. Print.

4 responses to What do painful emotions really mean?

  1. cmunzo

    Reblogged this on Soothberry and commented:
    This is a great summary of what you need to pay attention to when beginning to become aware of yourself in order to become in alignment with yourself. Being out of alignment means you are betraying yourself and your emotions are your feedback. Thank you to Midnight Blahs.


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