Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Masked Emotions

I was about 16 years old when I heard something from my Mother for the first time... I was in the middle of growing up, and dealing with emotions that I just didn't understand at the time. My Father was never around during a time when a boy needs guidance and direction to find his way...and I didn't understand what it meant to take responsibility for who and what I was. It was easier to be angry and blame what I felt on others or the situations that surrounded me. I was angry...very angry...and I didn't even really know why. Then my Mother said it... She asked me..."What are you afraid of?" Of course I didn't understand and sometimes we don't want to understand. We would rather just be angry and left alone. She pried her way through my barrier, and struggled to keep my attention, but persisted and held my attention. "Really Matt, What are you afraid of?... Anger is a form of fear. So what is it?" That was the first time I had even thought about what and how we deal with things. I've always been intrigued by objective thought, and the way my Mother seemed to be able to deal with things. Cause and effect. I felt angry, but what was the cause?... What was I afraid of? Could it be that I was afraid of having to take responsibility for myself? That I could no longer blame my life on what my Father did, or did not do? Did I have to actually face myself, and that is what I was afraid of? As I have experienced life and it's many emotions that come with it, I've often thought of that experience... Stopping and trying to analyze what is the root or cause of how I'm feelings.
There is always cause and effect, in everything in life... However the interesting part is our own tendency to not accept that we might be causing the emotions that we experience. Most emotions are reactionary to protect ourselves to avoid blame. We naturally don't like thinking that we are in error, so we react with emotions that are designed to self protect. For example..."hate"... A very insightful quote that was submitted just recently via this blog was:
"Dissect hate and you'll find that it's nothing more than love wearing shields and armor..."
(Tiyu Zafu)
Think about that... Hate is the protective emotion. Jealousy is really fear of losing someone. Anger is really fear, masked to protect and divert blame. Hate is only love wearing a shield.

I often hear..."I can't help it... it's just the way I feel." That is a simple choice to ignore our own responsibility. We really can be in control of our
emotions... in fact it's better to not feel the emotion at all, than to have to force one's self to "control" something that is a reaction to...what? Negative thinking! It has been said that "thoughts are things"...and that "every negative thought is something bad we put into our bodies"...We are what we think about..."As a man is he".
Thoughts CAN be controlled...negative emotions can be what I like to think of as "red flags" or warning signals that our thoughts need attention. It is much easier...when one feels anger, fear, anxiety or some other negative examine what one is thinking to generate that emotion...and change one's thoughts...or, as some would say, "change the channel to a different frequency". It is our thoughts, and the emotion generated by those thoughts, that trigger the Law of Attraction and attract more like thoughts.
"All stress is caused by one negative thought...gone unchecked...and then another and another..." That can be altered by just one positive thought...again...change the frequency.

Thanks Mum :)


  1. Too often what we are most afraid of is losing control.

    In our lives, we are afraid of losing control of a situation…we don’t always realize we can’t control it anyway. Sometimes we are afraid of losing control of another person’s actions/reactions/feelings for us…in truth, we can’t control other people any more than they can control us.

    The only thing we can control is our own thoughts…we have to stop being afraid of losing control of what we don’t have any control over in the first place.

  2. Matthew,you said you want friendly banter,here it is....true,anger is a form of fear but it is what it is,anger.An emotion just like the others.Sometimes I am angry because of the situation,not because I lost control or am a negative person.I was a angry teenager like you.I've worked with teenagers for over 10 years and sometimes life just sucks and no one has taught them to feel any different.Most of them just wanted to be noticed as an individual.Your mom was awesome in taking the time just to talk to you and not at you.You don't need to analyze the emotion unless it effects you and those around you (like hitting another person or road rage)which would fall under cause and effect.Women are generally good with dealing with problems and emotions.What do we normally do when we are around our girlfriends? We talk. We talk out alot of crap and bounce it off it other until,most of the time,we work it out in our head.I was a negative person until my late 20's or early 30's.One day I really heard myself.From that time on I try to be positive. I "hate" to be around negative people.Life is too short for it. Am I perfect? Not even close.But I am surrounded by friends who love to be with me because of attitude. I'm sorry to disagree with the part that reads...Hate is the protective emotion. Jealousy is really fear of losing someone. Anger is really fear, masked to protect and divert blame. Hate is only love wearing a shield.
    I feel that there is many layers to emotions to tie it to one definition.Right now,this week,anger most likely is fear for me in all honesty.
    Thanks for the blog.I enjoy reading your thoughts.

  3. Dissect hate and you'll find that it's nothing more than love wearing shields and armor

    This one spun me in a loop I had to chew on it for a bit.. Ive always thought of love and hate as being on complete different north and south poles... It's hard to break it in my mind. the closest ive been able to pull it together and maybe its different in each individual heart when you dissect hate... but that maybe a wounded or injured love... like a wound or hurt or injury prone area in the body you would want to protect it with armor so stuff cant touch it and even have offense weapons to attack anything that does... that is an interesting line of thought

  4. I'm actually a sixteen year old, and I can really relate to what you said about being angry and blaming that anger on others.My parents got divorced at few years ago. He hasn't been around much lately and whenever I am at a disadvantage or do wrong I tell myself it's because I'm stuck with a "single-mom" family. I've never really done anything worse than talk back to my mom, but I'd really like to stop being so angry towards my dad every time I think about disadvantages in my life. You're right about taking it as my own responsibility, and I think I need to grow up. Thanks so much for all of your wisdom!

    By the way, I just watched your film The Eleventh Hour and liked it so much I decided to research you. After finding this website and reading your bio page, I was surprised to find you are actually a public speaker. You're a good role model and I think you should write a book!

  5. Hey Matthew, this is definitely something I needed to read, thanks for sharing!
    You know, I too had that problem of anger hiding the true pain I had within me, where basically I felt like an outcast, that I'll never achieve greater things, and that I was a hinderance in everybody's lives. I began struggling with isolation and even thoughts of suicide. It was such hard times for me that I wasn't sure what God was planning for me throughout all this.
    After praying and seeking guidance from my parents and ministers, I saw now that I was in perfect hands already with God and that anger was never necessary.

    When I saw your movie "Belle & the Beast" (which BTW was a great movie unlike Hollywood's version of romance), I related a lot to your character of Eric Landry as far as someone who lived with so much anger hiding the pain he had for the loss of his wife and the blame he held towards God, until the day God sent Belle in his life to help him remove his mask of emotion and show him happiness.

  6. Very enlightening thought and well said. My husband did a brain study last Summer and read a lot about the affects "negative thinking" has on ones life. A lot of times, fear, jealousy even hate are product of ANTS (Automatic Negative Thoughts). A lot of times when we question our own self worth, we become jealous, or become full of hate etc. Retraining our brain to think positive thoughts is a hard thing to do but in the long run it'll affect your life in an awesome way! Believe me I know... I was (and sometimes still am) a negative thinker. I was so bad that I had awful anxiety attacks all because I expected the worst of any situation. Once I began retraining my brain to see the positive side of things (also with the help of a B-Complex cocktail), the anxiety attacks stopped. When I first went to my Dr. office with my condition I was sure I had lung cancer because I couldn't breath. Once again I saw the negative side of things! When he told me I was having anxiety attacks and told me to buy some paper bags I felt stupid. My negative thinking was affecting my health! Put a stop to the ANTS or it'll affect every area of your life.

    Now that I've written a novel... Thank you for this post. You opened my mind to a lot of things to think about today.

  7. Matt, to have this insight given to you by your mom at 16 makes you about 20+ years ahead of most people! I certainly didn't come to the understanding of blame vs. responsibility until I was 27 years old. I know many individuals in their 40's and 50's who still suffer from blame syndrome. They are typically the most cynical bitter individuals in the universe. I was infected with the blame disease after James died. I blamed God, myself, Joe and even James for inflicting this pain on me. I was a victim and I needed to learn how to be a survivor. At first I blamed myself and that was painful living with the guilt of the death of my child.That was no fun, so I then blamed God and then Joe and my marriage to him for the pain I had to endure. Blaming others ultimately gave away my control over the outcome of my life, and it left me feeling weak and vulnerable and scared. Think of when you are driving a car and you lose control-it's scary to be out of control! I was a piece of bark drifting in the ocean because when there is no responsibility there is no course. You stand by and take a beating from everyone around you (figuratively). When you take responsibility you define your course and you become captain of that course navigating your own ship! No longer are your emotions subject to other people and their actions, but only subject to you and your actions. No longer are you a piece of bark drifting, rather a vessel sailing through the choppy waters of life. My anger was a form of pride not fear. However, I looked at my anger as an emotion-that was uncontrollable- because it was an emotion. I didn't realize that we have the power to control our emotions and not let them control us! I would rather be responsible for my actions and emotions to be in control of the outcome of my life, not leaving it subject to other people. It's a much calmer way to live life-in control of our own destiny.



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