Welcome dear reader at this page. I hope theat this information will be inspiring to you and that it may be of service on your path.

On this page you will find some information on my book ´the liberating power of emtions´, ´spark of light´ work and an article I wrote about fear.

Also you can contact me for Astrology and Human Design readings to find out which themes are playing out in your life right now and how to navigate them.

Listen here to an interview that Dolores Cannon had with me on YouTube.

The Liberating Power Of Emotions

The liberating power of emotions has always been and still is my path and my work. Deep feeling and expression of everything that comes up within me, has liberated me from old suppressed emotions, from pain and old structures. I began my life as a serious and quiet Capricorn child who had become a liberated and happy woman. Thanks to my own ‘Spark of light’ work, that is a hotchpotch of all the therapies I was trained in and which were effective, from Jungian Therapy, Gestalt therapy, Hypnotherapy, Postural Integration, Holotropic Breathing work of Stan Grof, Kinesiology till Initiatic Therapy of Graf Karlfried von Dürckheim.

35 years of my life I have assisted others in liberating themselves, first in a private practice in the Netherlands and since 1998 in our centre in the French Ardèche, where my partner and I gave intensive so-called Spark of Light weeks. In 2009 I decided to end my carreer as a therapist and teacher. Time for a new phase in my life! Writing is now my main occupation. My book The liberating power of emotions has found an American publisher and is available in English.

I also give consultation by telephone with your horoscope as a guideline. feel free to e-mail me at rietokken5@gmail.com

ISBN 9781886940567
Ozark Mountain Publishing

Spark of Light Work

Integral psychology and integral spirituality and how to find the lightswitch
How can we contribute to the enlightenment of the world?

Many people feel powerless in the face of the huge world problems. They may be full of fear and doubt about our common future. But what is happening on a large scale is also to be found on a micro level. Terrorism and wars also take place on a smaller scale, within our own environment, within our families, in traffic, at school, at work… But most of all within our own inner world!

And that’s exactly where we can find the light switch!

After all, our outer world is shaped by adding up the inner worlds. From our inner world we can, step by step, expel the darkness, the accumulated anger and depression, and this way turn them into Light. The responsibility for a better world in which we can live harmoniously starts within ourselves. If we acknowledge this responsibility and power, we are no longer victims, but active co-creators of a more enlightened world.
We invite everybody to make a serious start with one’s own ‘Light Work’.

We speak of Spark of LightWork, because everybody is a spark of the greater Light and everyone has to take care of his own part, his own spark of the Light, marked

What is brought to light, becomes Light

Spark of LightWork includes two closely linked aspects:

** Awakening to and working on everything that prohibits the light to enter on a spiritual, mental, emotional and physical level. This includes undigested  traumas and experiences, negative patterns of thought and suppressed emotions, both from this life and from former lives. So that means working on our personalities.

** Awareness of our soul, our so-called inner Light. Our soul is our divine part, where we experience ourselves as part of the Great Unity/Oneness we, from way back, call ‘God’.

Without cleansing  our personality we cannot solidly connect to our inner Light. Without a thorough therapeutical clearing there is no such thing as a healthy spirituality. Without spirituality, psychology and psychotherapy are left lifeless, without soul, and can only be directed towards fixing the personality, in order to adapt to current culture.

Both psychology and spirituality should cover the entire path of the entire human being!

Integral psychology encloses spirituality and integral spirituality also covers psychology. The entire path of the entire human being without any artificial restrictions!

In my book, the liberating power of emotions you will find precise and concrete help to liberate yourselve from depression, anger and anxiety, from guiltfeelings, shame and jealousy. Under the button english articles I have put some parts of the book to get an impression. Hope you enjoy!

Preface from the liberating power of emotions

The liberating force of emotions has been a leitmotif in my life, both along my own road to liberation and in my therapeutic work with others. Emotions have motivated me and given me a free and fulfilling life. I am very happy to share my vision of this path with you. The path consists of abandoning the fruitless denial of emotions and giving them a loving welcome instead. It is a way of achieving fundamental health. I am not describing yet another therapy method but rather a way of life in which healthy emotional management is a part of your daily routine.

I suggest that when you read this book, you keep one eye on the page. With the other eye, look into your heart, for this book is only useful when it moves your heart. I sincerely hope that this book begins or intensifies this process within you and stimulates you to enrich the quality of your life. Emotions can free you from old fixations and patterns if you manage them well. They set you free and give you joy and fullness of life. They can point you to your destination in life and your truth. Put simply: true feelings make you feel your truth, and this truth will set you free.

You can read this book from beginning to end or read chapters individually, depending on what appeals to you most. Each part is complete. It does mean, however, that there are a few repetitions, but I can’t see how this can be avoided and actually feel it is useful in a workbook such as this. Initially, I wrote each chapter separately, depending on what I felt like on that day. After I had completed the writing, I placed the chapters in sequence. This allowed me to keep up the creative flow from which this book was born. It is the fruit of thirty years of very intense work, but I wrote it in a three-month period with great joy and an unprecedented amount of energy.

Fear as a teacher

Fear is one of the greatest forces in the life of a warrior. It spurs him on to learn.

Carlos Castaneda

In this article I will look at fear in general, at the background of phobia, and at the connection between fear and anger. Fear of emotions is subsequently an important subject as fear often keeps other emotions firmly in its grasp.

Three Paths: Fear as a Disorder, an Illusion, and a Teacher

The starting point of this article is fear as a teacher. This point of view is at odds with accepted ideas (from conventional to New Age) that people have about fear. Conventional medicine and psychology view fear as a disorder that has to be combated by medicine, relaxation exercises, and talks. In a large part of the New Age circuit, fear is seen as opposed to love and people have to simply let go of fear on the pretext of “All fear is a thing of the past; now there is only love,” and “Fear has nothing to offer us because it is nothing.”1 I read somewhere else about the extent to which fear is denied: “We must expose fear as a lie,” and “The theme of fear has a pure spiritual dimension, namely the divine that cannot express itself creatively in this world.”2 And I found the next sentence by another spiritual writer: “Say softly, in your heart of hearts, that you are not afraid.” My commentary: you are by definition what you do not want to be. It is a clever way to deny fear. Will fear go away like this? Both ways deny fear or see fear as an enemy. You have to defeat an enemy and that means war. The one fights openly, often with medicine or a plastic bag at hand, the other secretly by declaring that fear is an illusion. Both methods are based on denial. In conventional psychological literature, fear and phobia are often portrayed as non-realistic fears. Expressing it in this way, leads to confusion. People experience their fear as real fear, but they are told that it is not real. They say to you: “If a certain situation does not frighten you normally, but you panic, block, or show physical tension reactions anyway, you have a non-realistic fear.” We should learn to distinguish between true and real. You can really be frightened of birds, for example, while it is not true that they will attack you at this moment. By being careful in the way we express ourselves, we do not need to deny anything.

Thankfully, there is a third way that does not argue fear away spiritually nor fight it but listens and takes it seriously. That way is the way of love that encompasses everything, even unpleasant things, such as fear. Fear has something to teach us, and fear can guide us back home again by taking us to those parts that need the most healing and love. We can make fear our friend by acknowledging it, bringing it to the light, and transforming it to courage and trust.

Defining Fear

Having said this, we can look at fear itself. What is fear? As a natural phenomenon, fear is a warning signal for danger. It protects us. Fear is the cause of the fight or flight response, which means we can survive if we are lucky. The problem with fear is that there are situations in which we cannot fight or take flight. These situations take place during times of great power inequality, such as in our childhood and during periods of war and violence.

What is the consequence? We become overwhelmed and paralyzed or petrified by fear. This paralyzing, terrible fear, together with having nowhere to go to, means fear can only go one way and that is inwards: fear lodges inside us, in our breath, in our muscles, in our organs, in our feelings, and in our thinking. This paralyzing, petrifying anxiety poisons our natural fight or flight response, crushes our energy, our trust, and our openness. It makes us live minimally and on alert. It is not about “fight or flee” anymore but about “paralyze or petrify.” There is no other choice.

Can fear still be our teacher? Yes it can, if we dare to look lovingly at the origin of our fear and at the bearer of this paralyzing, petrifying fear: namely ourselves. We, poor little frightened lambs, were pushed violently out of the womb straight into the hands of strangers who washed us, weighed us, and dressed us. If you were lucky, you were not held upside down by the heels and hit on the bottom. If you were lucky, you were not immediately put in a cot all on your own.

And then, later on in life, there were many other moments when there was nowhere to go—only inwards. The times that your parents quarreled and shouted at each other while you listened at the top of the stairs, petrified with fear. The times your father hit you, or your mother threatened to leave you or wished you were in a children’s home. The time you almost drowned, and your father just managed to save you. The time you wanted to touch your mother, and you were tensely rejected, the times the neighbor put his hand in your panties. The times… you can fill it in yourself this time, then look lovingly and compassionately at your fear, at that frightened child.

All that old fear that has been turned inwards is the real cause of most of your present anxiety.

It is important to learn to make a connection between the past and the present, between past and present fear—that is where friendship with your fear starts. Before giving a number of instructions on how to make that connection, I will first give you a quote from an informative website about fear. This is typical of current, conventional ideas about fear, about what happens when that connection is not made.

Some people are scared even when there is no reason for it. They dare not leave their houses without checking at least ten times if the gas has been turned off. Or they break out in a sweat at the thought of having to make a phone call. People who have such excessive anxiety are inclined to avoid situations that are often quite ordinary because they associate these with fear. That avoidance starts to dominate their lives, and their anxiety does not lessen. A person with this kind of fear has an anxiety disorder.

It is incomprehensible that you are suddenly scared of going out into the street when there is nobody threatening you or that you are scared of crossing a sturdy bridge. You must be going mad! It is incomprehensible that you wake up one morning and without apparent reason start to shake with anxiety. Without the connection, you will find it strange that you start breathing fast (hyperventilating), turn red when a man or woman talks to you, or feel scared stiff when you have to stand in front of the class and hold a talk. Or perhaps you are a stutterer or you act childishly or are a scaredy-cat. We judge people when we do not understand their behavior. In official jargon this is called a diagnosis. A DSM IV system looks impressive with its boxes and phobias all neatly arranged according to type, length, and symptoms, generalized or not, single or plural.3 Of course, classifications can help us understand reality better, but if an in-depth insight into the classification is omitted, this insight becomes superficial and nothing is gained from it. A person suffering from anxiety will gain nothing from knowing in which box his fear belongs. He needs a connection between his original fears and his present ones, which are a derivation.

The Degeneration of the Fight or Flight Response: Phobia and Hatred

When we are unable to react in a healthy way to our environment by taking to flight or fighting when necessary, situational taking to flight becomes chronic avoidance behavior and situational fighting becomes hate because of the original situation of powerlessness. By this, I mean that it is healthy to consider each situation in freedom and decide whether to fight or take flight. It becomes unhealthy when we constantly have an attitude of avoidance or hate, whatever the situation is.

We will begin with avoidance behavior. In jargon, this is called a phobia, a fear. The acute flight mechanism, originally biologically well-advised in certain dangerous situations, has been extended to a continual attitude of avoiding anything difficult. Avoidance, that is, of that which the subconscious associates with the original, frightening situation. It is time for an example:

An originally frightening situation from which you wanted to flee but could not: you were two years old, you were feeding the ducks in the park, and you fell into the pond and almost drowned. You survived, but because of fear, you disassociate from your feelings and from this situation. Later you will not remember what has happened, but what remains is avoidance of water.

Another example:

An originally frightening situation from which you wanted to flee but could not: you were five years old. You had been “naughty” and had to sit out your punishment in a dark cellar. In this situation, you again isolate yourself from your feelings; it is too frightening to keep feeling. After all, emotion minus loving reception is too hard to take. You forget the whole hellish experience; what remains is a fear of small spaces. You avoid those. In psych-jargon, this is given the label claustrophobia.

Characteristic of avoidance behavior is that it becomes worse and the anxiety grows. For this reason, behavior therapy advises you to repeatedly transform avoidance into approach. And that certainly does help. In this way, you experience that your avoidance behavior is not necessary in the here and now. It would be splendid if you could supplement this working method with insight into the original background. Not only would your attitude change to your advantage, but you would also widen your awareness and learn to have compassion with that frightened child somewhere inside you. But you will have to make contact with your anger about the misuse of power with regard to being locked up in a dark cellar.

With a phobia there is a kind of mutation from the original anxiety to fear. Depending on what the original fear situation looked like, the fear forms and directs itself. There are so many phobias: fear of stains, fear of open places, fear of birds, fear of spiders and…. fear of people. I will not discuss them all here. They can all be traced back to avoidance of the original, fearful experience that will have to be lived through again if you want to become free of fear. Becoming free of your specific fear can usually be done with behavior therapy, but you will not be able to get rid of your deeper-lying anxiety.

Avoidance will make your life petty and minimal. When fundamental anxiety is not treated, you search for false security in unimportant things, such as externals, gadgets, and fashion. The other side of fear is courage. To develop courage, you must extract your avoidance behavior by the roots—that is anxiety with, possibly, underlying anger.

Another option when there is danger is fighting behavior. Fear can turn into hate if we remain fixed in this. This type of behavior is not easily recognized. For this reason, behavioral therapy will not be able to accomplish much. This type of fear can be resolved by setting the underlying fear in motion. I will try to illustrate this with an example:

Harry is a 16-year-old boy who starts hitting people as soon as he thinks that he is hard-pressed. However, he feels hard-pressed very quickly. The original situation: when he was six years old, he was cornered by a group of boys, pestered, and kicked. Afterwards, he did an inward turnabout. Instead of being a shy, scared boy, he became a tearaway/hothead so he could survive in the asphalt jungle. When he was a teenager, you only had to point at him for him to start hitting out at you. He is, in reality, scared stiff but has banished this completely from his repertoire of feelings and turned it into the opposite. Flight is not tough, so he has “chosen” fight.

Anger and Fear: The Best of Friends

In all these examples, we see that anger and fear are really good friends. In the past, they used to be friends in the original situation, too, but they were then called “fight or flight.” They stood next to each other as two possibilities to choose from. Now they are under and above each other. If anger is above, fear will be underneath—they cover each other. An example of the latter type:

Margaret is an anxious woman, who lives a very withdrawn life. If we were to put her on the scale of the DSM IV system, she would belong to the social phobia category. In this category we find people who are very shy, scared of not doing the right thing or of people finding them odd. They have trouble making contact. On the face of it, it seems that this is a continuation of a flight impulse. But there is a repressed fight impulse inside. This comes to the surface quite clearly when Margaret visits her elderly mother and reacts testily to every little remark. She packs it in when her mother becomes needy. She does not want to look after mother and without saying a word, she breaks off the contact.

Essentially, fear gives the object of fear the label enemy. You would not have to be frightened of it otherwise. The cooperation with anger can be seen clearly here. In the case of being locked up in the cellar, we see that the small space, the original cellar becomes the object of hatred. One step further would be to direct the anger properly and in this case at the ignorant parents who had forgotten their own childhood fears. In reverse, the horror of fear is often to be found under anger as can be seen in the example of Harry. A safe contact could help him to come face to face with his fears after which he could vent his anger on a cushion. Anger that is expressed in a safe environment gives strength and courage and allows fear to melt like snow in summer. I remember Anne from the Spark of Light weeks in our house in France where we Work according to the principles of this book. She started the week as a timid, oversensitive woman, but at the end she was a strong and brave lass. She had used the carpet beater often and with a great deal of pleasure.

Fear of Emotions: The Greatest Fear

Our greatest fear is the fear of our emotions. This keeps all other fears and emotions firmly in their place. As soon as you set your emotions in motion, you become aware of your fears. You will start to feel them and that is scary. Fear is an emotion that is often denied. It is a taboo. Many people are not aware of their fears. I have noticed that people who are extremely anxious (but have it well under control) remark that they are not scared at all. You recognize them by their control behavior. There is a lot of hidden fear and a lot of fear that is masked. We should learn to recognize these first.

I often notice that people are very scared of starting on the path of emotional digestion and spiritual awareness. Most people are forced to start on this road by the blows life deals them: problems with relationships, illness, loss, depression, and so on. This is the chance that difficulties offer us. It is the hidden blessing in a crisis. In the Chinese language, crisis also means chance. However, people often stop the process of awareness as soon as the difficulties are over. They are then forced by the next crisis or loss to set out on the Path again. It seems that we have things to learn on this planet. The only choice we have is to learn voluntarily or be forced to learn! There is so little culture available in which to get to know ourselves (the only way to start to understand something about life) that we have learned to project learning outside ourselves. We learn all about the outside of things, but what about the inside?

Due to centuries of neglect, we are encrusted with a lot of darkness and dirt, ignorance and undigested experiences inside. Because of this, the light hidden under this darkness cannot be felt or seen. Because of this, we can no longer feel that we are light. Everybody would love to have that light, you only have to look at the enormous hunger within the New Age Movement, but not everybody wishes to fight the way to that light through all the old muddle and darkness.

Why is this? I think it is probably because of the fear of emotions. Fear is part of every step to awareness; fear of something new, fear of change and especially fear of pain. Everybody recognizes this. The difference lies in what you do with that fear; do you stand still because of it, or do you set foot on the Path to awareness and to the recovery of your emotional management (even though you may break out in a cold sweat). In other words: do you take to flight or do you go for it?

Let us look at this fear of emotions more closely. Clarity with regard to fear can be the first step to reducing the fear. The path to emotional liberation starts with awareness of your fear of emotions.

Judgments about emotions

Fear often disguises itself as a judgment. You could say there are just as many fears in this world as there are opinions. Judgments about emotions abound. They can be found in religions and in certain philosophies of life that have greatly influenced the way we think and the way we behave. Emotions have been declared taboo in many philosophies of life. In Christianity, anger was seen as the first mortal sin. Bible texts have greatly influenced the attitude towards anger and have declared it a mortal sin. For example Ephesians 4.26, “Be ye angry, and sin not, let not the sun go down upon your wrath.”

In the popular Course in Miracles (a kind of Christian New Age book of beliefs) we can find the following text: “God’s peace can never come where anger is because anger inevitably denies that peace exists. Whoever sees anger as justified in any respect or situation, declares that peace has no meaning and has to believe that it cannot exist. In this situation, peace cannot be found.”4 Whatever way you look at it, the reality of people being full of old anger is denied here! It is, however, a reality that cannot be swept away by spiritual ideas.

In some of the other New Age schools of thought, anger is found under the so-called negative emotions. Anger was once called a sin; nowadays it is called negative. I cannot see the difference. By labeling anger as negative, you take the fundamental ability to cope with life’s problems away. It is said that anger and fear are not spiritual. All these judgments stem from the fact that no difference has been made between healthy emotionality that helps us to digest life’s experiences and neurotic emotionality that is subconscious and misplaced in time, space, and with regard to people. It is in other words, projected.

The idea that we cannot heal everything is also an obstacle on this path to liberation. It is a way of masking the fear of emotions.                                            

Negative opinions about our emotions have the greatest influence in our situations of upbringing. We have all learned, to some extent, not to be too emotional. “Don’t act so emotionally,” “Don’t act so childishly,” and “Why are you crying?” are expressions many of us know. From these expressions we have learned that we are not lovable if we express ourselves too much. Later in life, it becomes simply frightening to show your emotions. We say we are scared of being vulnerable. Sensibility is often branded “hypersensitivity.” Public figures are still ridiculed or called “a Wally” (overly sensitive), if they cry in public. Being sensitive is seen as a weakness.

Especially men were not and sometimes are still not allowed “to be weak.” A lot of men were told that they were “a sissy” if they cried. Now that people are more tolerant, many men who have lost the ability to cry have to learn how to do so. After all, we can only fundamentally digest the things we experience in life if we can combine tears with insight. Thankfully, nowadays boys are allowed to cry more, at least inside the house. Outside in the street and at school, the culture of tough boys still exists.

It is also a fact that only the so-called “positive emotions” are tolerated in the spiritual part of the New Age circuit (not so much in the therapeutic and creative schools).

We are used to keeping our emotions under wraps. The saying “He learned it at his mother’s knee” plays an important role here. For example, how many of the age group of forty years and over, have ever seen their father cry? And what kind of impression did it make on you when he did? I remember, during my first therapy training (Gestalt), crying along with the men in the group when they cried. It affected me because I was not used to seeing men cry. I thought it was wonderful! It does women in our current Spark of Light group a lot of good when men dare to melt. And the men find it liberating!

How often do you swallow hard when something on television affects you? And how often do you call yourself emotional and hypersensitive?

I often come across a well-known way of thinking, namely: “I don’t really want to feel sorry for myself.” Why would that not be good for you? I advise you to feel really sorry for that little child who is inside you and who is still carrying a lot of old hurt and feelings of guilt. The words “feeling sorry for yourself” are an indoctrination and often used by parents and educators who were once under the spell of control and fortitude.

The first step is becoming aware of your opinions about emotions. After all, they have become your opinions. We treat ourselves in fundamentally the same way as significant others used to treat us. This is as constant as the northern star, but we can change it by awareness. In our group we sometimes do that by playing a game; we walk around and introduce ourselves as a little girl or boy with the messages we used to receive in the past about ourselves and our emotions. It goes something like this: “I’m Mary, and I must stop being silly” or “I’m little Joyce. I’m a cry-baby” or “I’m Pete and I’m Mummy’s big boy” and “I’m Martin and I act like a girl.” Having fun with a game like this helps you to laugh about these old imprints and become aware of them and let them go. You can, subsequently, work out how much these ideas still influence your present life.

Fear of pain.

Fear of pain is often a reason to deny emotions. You do not want to feel, as feeling can be painful. It is not the emotions that create pain, but the revealing of existing pain.

With regard to old pain, the only choice you have is between the chronic pain of resistance and the acute temporary pain of going through the emotion. You can compare it to an abscess under the skin, it will hurt for a short while if you puncture and clean it, but eventually it will be able to heal. If you do not, the pain will continue. Pain that has not been dealt with continues in the form of depressions and anxiety. The reason is that you do not really want to feel the pain.

Fear of the unknown.

An important fear for the depths of your emotions is the fear of what you will encounter. What kinds of things can you encounter in your age-old pools? There will be intense anger, hatred, sorrow, of course, many old frustrations and disappointments, many painful memories of this life and past ones. Many illusions and blinds will be unmasked. Perhaps you always thought you had a wonderful childhood, but it turns out that there is an experience lying at the bottom of your pool that proves that the fairy tale is false. 

Perhaps we are frightened the most by positive emotions and feelings, such as love and joy. People are constantly talking about love, peace, and freedom. But I do not believe that the old saying “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh” is often right. It is usually “The heart speaketh of the abundance of fear.” Receiving love, confronts you with all the old pain of not being loved that you can find in your soul’s history. That is the profound reason for there being little or no love in your life. You are afraid of it and have learned to isolate yourself from it because of old, unpleasant experiences of not being loved. Many people find it strange when I say that what you long for the most often frightens you the most. Accepting love confronts you with old loveless situations. That is why the confrontation with somebody who has completely become Love, is huge. The masses were opposed to a person such as Jesus because they were not able to cope with his love.

When I, myself, stood eye to eye with an enlightened Master, I could only cry. I saw the possibilities of realization in his eyes and cried because of my own lack of Love.

Fear of change.

Another fear in your heart of hearts is the fear that life will change if you feel completely. And that can mean anything! If you clear away your old anger, you know what you stand for and that can mean that you are no longer able to adjust to old systems and patterns, be that a marriage that is in a rut or a relationship that has gone cold, a job or an area of work that is no longer close to your heart. If you digest old pain, you may exchange your role of victim for one in which you make sure that you get what you need in life. It is possible that you will no longer put up with a partner who shuts himself off emotionally. It is possible, for example, that you will finally start studying to become a teacher, something you could not do earlier as your parents were poor or even worse perhaps, thought that you were aiming too high (or not high enough) for somebody of your class. If you can surmount your fears, what will your life look like? What would you do? And what would you not do? Let your fantasy loose; that is where many desires are hidden! My experience is that if you follow the path of your heart, you will receive everything you need. Liberation of old pain frees a lot of creativity to form your own life as you think best. In any case, inner change and renewal challenges your courage to take risks and align your outer world with the change in your inner world. You could start “fantasying” and ask the hidden, free child inside you, how it would like life to be. Children are often very wise!

Fear of losing control.

Loss of control is one of the greatest fears you will meet on this path, especially if you are used to controlling yourself. Control has often come to mean safety. “As long as I don’t show anything, as long as they don’t see me, as long as I don’t feel any thing” are all strategies for survival. However, surviving is not living.

We are often scared of showing the depth of our emotions. The following are examples of widespread fears.

The fear of going mad. With regard to most of the people reading this book—if you bottle up your emotions, you will go mad sooner! There is, however, a category of people who have not built up enough sense of self in their young lives and that means that the confrontation with their own emotionality must be slow and careful. Experiences should be integrated and the loss of control must not deteriorate into being completely swamped. It is, therefore, important to decide for yourself which steps and which type of therapy you can handle at this moment in your life. It is also important to distinguish between real fear and true fear. With this, I mean that it is possible that your fear of beginning to feel is real, but it does not have to correspond with the present. What you could not handle once, you can now, while the feeling of fear has stayed the same. It is good if you can do what you think you ought to do, namely develop yourself, even though you break out in a cold sweat.

The fear that people think you are odd if you show your emotions. You have become ashamed of showing them, perhaps because once your sister pestered you when you cried or were called a hothead when you got angry. The best way to get over this, is to do what you are ashamed of in a safe environment in the company of safe others. Once you have experienced a loving reception for your feelings, you will not be ashamed anymore. The criterion of safety is very important when you choose a therapist, especially if you suffer from feelings of shame.

The fear that nothing will remain of you. You have let yourself become so identified with survival strategies and control behavior that it seems that nothing of you will remain if you let go. Being conscious of this helps you to set a step into the unknown. You are, after all, not your survival strategies. You can find out step-by-step who you really are, when you dare to pass beyond these false selves.

The fear that you will not be loved anymore. This fear is the effect of deep imprints that we have picked up in the course of our lives. “If I show my true self, mummy and daddy will no longer love me.” “If I show emotions, they’ll reject me.” “If I don’t behave nicely, control myself, they won’t like me.” “If I cry, other children will think I’m stupid,” etc. You may fill in your own imprints here.

It is good to realize that emotions determine your whole life even though you think that you have everything under control. It is important to get to know your emotional boss, step by step, if you want to start a good cooperation. Control is, in reality, a no-confidence motion against this boss. For centuries you were taught to distrust your emotions. You can learn the path of friendship with regard to all aspects of your personality. What a chance we have

The liberating power of emotions

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