Dr Niamh On The Plum Tree

Childhood Imagination Sows Seeds of Future Brilliance

The First Step Towards Developing Emotional Fitness: Identify Core Issues.

Ballet In Purple by Cher Duncombe

I have already spoken about how it is never healthy to bury our feelings.  Catharsis is the choice of the self-creating person. It guarantees that basic, valuable work is done at the level at which wounding originated.

What do I mean by this?

Whenever something hurts our feelings, it causes an emotional reaction. This emotional reaction occurs spontaneously.  It is an autogenic body response and; therefore, something over which we have little control. We can ignore the emotional reaction and pretend that nothing is wrong, or we can react and deliver our response. In both of these instances, there may be adverse consequences to relationships, which might, otherwise, be avoided.

Distress is often covered over with rationalisation or denial. Do we try to make anger go away? Do we try to meditate it away, practice calmness, cover it over with transcendental elegance? These methods cannot succeed, as the energy of wounding continues to generate itself at a core level of Psyche. Unfinished business cannot be resolved by working at it from an intellectual or spiritual/wisdom level. If we hide something we chew on beneath our shiny-topped dining table, it will still be there months/years later. Though we don’t see it, it becomes putrid and rancid and creates a very bad smell.  Likewise, deep-seated, denied distress can cause distorted, dissociated responses, which taint our emotional reactions and interpretations of the behavior of others. Alternatively, instant, reactive responses are too subjective and may, in fact, be the result of personal misinterpretation or misjudgment.

When something that someone does makes us feel emotional, it is because one of our core issues has been triggered. To develop good judgement and safe boundaries, we need to learn all about personal issues. What are our core issues? When one of them has been activated, how does it affect us? Being able to answer these questions, we begin to practice ownership of our issues. We accept that we have issues, and that when triggered, our personal judgement is impaired. This helps us to stop projecting or transferring blame onto others who may, in fact, have meant no harm. Joe Blogs cannot be held responsible for the fact that we carry emotional baggage due to past wounding.

Until we stop blaming the world, healing cannot begin.

In the next blog, I will talk a bit about how to identify personal issues.

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About Dr Niamh

When I was a little girl (a very, very long time ago), I used to love learning new, really big words like ‘discombobulate’. As I grew, my love of words grew too, until I loved them so much, I could not stop writing them down. One day, as I was scribbling a particular word, a very peculiar thing happened. The word shouted at me, “Stop! Don’t put me there!” As you can imagine, I was shocked and nearly fell off my chair. When I recovered somewhat, I said to the word, “Could you stop shouting, please? I am not used to it.” Can you guess what happened next? No! I thought not. The word said, “I might be small, but I will misbehave if you do not use me properly. I will not tell the story you would like me to tell. I will say something entirely different!” I dropped my pen. I hoped that by dropping my pen, the word would stop talking. Alas! It did not. It carried on chitterchobbling, even after the ink had dried. I was in a pickle. I could not allow my words to run away with my story, now could I? I don’t know about you, but when this sort of thing happens, there is only one thing left to do if you prefer not to spend your time arguing. “Very well,” said I. “I will do as you ask if you will just be quiet and allow me to concentrate.” Since that day, I have been paying special attention to every word I invite into my stories. After all, a story should say exactly what it means to say and not be led astray. With love from Dr. Niamh, Ph.D in Learning Through The Imagination and Founder of Dr Niamh Children's Books. www.drniamhchildrensbooks.com

22 comments on “The First Step Towards Developing Emotional Fitness: Identify Core Issues.

  1. mapelba
    October 15, 2012

    I grew up in a family with several hide-or-deny-enotional-damage experts. I look forward to the next post.

    Like

  2. Joss Landry (@josslandry)
    October 15, 2012

    I agree that we all have issues, deep rooted ones dating back to… well longer than we can remember. I also agree, that everything we attribute to others is rooted inside of us somewhere, the pain, the hurt, all inside, triggering buttons that operate out of our control. I believe as you do, if we bring all responsibility for our feelings back to us, we can better learn who we are, discover what makes us tick and get rid of automatic responses. Great topic, Niamh.

    Like

    • ontheplumtree
      October 15, 2012

      Thank You, Joss. I believe this to be of fundamental importance to how we learn to relate to each other.

      Like

  3. Margo van der Voort
    October 15, 2012

    This so important Niamh! I am very grateful you have the courage to open up this subject of denial, projection and triggers of emotional hurt. So glad I’ve joined your blog. Am also reading your books. We need people like you who can burst through taboo subjects. Thank You!

    Like

  4. Kitt Crescendo
    October 16, 2012

    I love your last line because it’s so true. “Until we stop blaming the world, healing can not begin.”

    Like

  5. the secret keeper
    October 16, 2012

    This is such a relevant post for me. All of the Emotioncal Fitness (TM) posts have been. It is difficult to list all the emotional issues that one might be reacting to but it isn’t fair to emote them onto someone else if they have nothing to do with the cause. Working through those issues is important. Triggers unfortunatley can come out of nowhere. It takes a great deal of discipline not to react to the triggers. At times almost impossible. Once you realize the core issue, what do you feel is the best way to release the emotions that are contained inside of them? What I am asking is what do you do when you are triggered? A totally complicated question, at least for me, to answer, especially when the trigger comes on you unexpectedly. Jennifer

    Like

    • ontheplumtree
      October 16, 2012

      I hope to be going into this next, Jennifer…what to do…but first, we need to identify when it has happened.

      Like

  6. Juliette
    October 16, 2012

    Well said. How many times do we need to remind ourselves to stop dragging around those trunks and suitcases full of toxic feelings and memories. Let it go and replace it with one small bag. Great post. I’ll be passing the link forward.

    Like

    • ontheplumtree
      October 16, 2012

      Thank You, Juliette! Nothing makes our shoulders stoop more than to drag a suitcase full of anger and resentment behind us…!

      Like

  7. the secret keeper
    October 16, 2012

    Reblogged this on the secret keeper and commented:
    The Emotional Fitness (TM) Series has been something I have found to be essential reading for me. This is another part to add to the series. You will find the rest of this post by following back the reblog and also you will find the first parts to this series at “ontheplumtree” by clicking on the blog name and going through the titles you find on the home page. This wrtten by Dr. Niamh Clune, the aithor of several books. You will find their titles on the right hand column of my blog posts. You will also find music that Dr. Clune has created. Reading this post will draw your attention to the importance of discovering your Core Issues that trigger an emotional reaction in you. This is made clearer by reading this post from the source. J.K. the secret keeper

    Like

    • ontheplumtree
      October 16, 2012

      Thank You for the re=blog, Jennifer. I really hope this helps.

      Like

      • the secret keeper
        October 16, 2012

        Your writing, your self, your comments, all of who you are help me more than you know. Words sometimes don’t express it all. I think 😉 you know how I feel. a.l. J.K. (jennifer)

        Like

      • ontheplumtree
        October 16, 2012

        I hope so…Jennifer. I hope to be able, step by step to reveal my new technique that I have been developing over a period of 30 years and teaching for as long.

        Like

      • the secret keeper
        October 16, 2012

        The depth of your knowledge and experience are something that I am learning from and want to continue to do so. Will be looking forward to your future posts and reading from your books as both are guides for me and to hear your words in my head echoing good thoughts and feelings. thank you, jennifer

        Like

  8. Patricia Tilton
    October 16, 2012

    I am so glad I stopped by and read your post at this late hour. When something stirs me, I know it is a reflection of something deeper within me. Core issues are tricky, and I can only hope that I am conscious so that I am not reacting. It’s a great teacher, but a tough one. Thanks for sharing your wonderful insights.

    Like

  9. harrietgrace
    October 16, 2012

    I came from a family where we didn’t know how to express feelings or have the language to do it, and yet of course they were there, so strongly and unexpressed. The idea of core issues, and the need to identify and know them, I find very interesting. I remember a therapist saying ‘while we blame others we are stuck’. And that has stuck with me every since. Much look forward to the next post. Thank you.

    Like

    • ontheplumtree
      October 16, 2012

      Yes, Harriet, we are stuck! We cannot move forward. And our emotions have nothing to teach us.

      Like

  10. An excellent article, Niamh, as always. The triggers you spoke of do resurrect those old trunks. Our past is part of our core being. The most salient aspect is how not to project those feelings onto undeserving others, but instead to keep them to the side as red flags. For me, sometimes the red flags are misappropriated and it becomes a flight syndrome. How to avoid that response? I truly look forward to many more of your articles. Let the healing begin.

    I am honored that you used my painting, my “purple” catharsis. Thank you so much.

    Like

    • ontheplumtree
      October 18, 2012

      I felt the painting spoke volumes about how we find our way through the flotsam and jetsam in search of the truth and meaning. Thank you, Cher.

      Like

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