Friday, January 4, 2008

The Rollercoaster

If you've been grieving for any length of time, you probably relate to the title of this post. One minute, you feel yourself plunging down into the depths of despair, wondering how low you can go. The next day, you can feel pretty good, them something goes well and you feel ecstatic for a bit, then something else happens and you're plunging down again. Another analogy is feeling like being bounced around in a big emotional clothes dryer. Sound familiar?

Would it be helpful if you had a map to this rollercoaster? It might be helpful to know when the next big drop is coming, as well as the loop-de-loop around the corner...

I'm about half-way through a very interesting book by Dr Paul Dobransky called MindOS™ - "The Operating System of the Human Mind". He's got lots of very interesting diagrams in there, and several stood out very clearly to me as I recognized what I was looking at — the Grief Rollercoaster!

Dr Paul talks at length about the Spectrum of Negative Emotional Energy. Here's his chart [pg 142]:

He explains that anger and anxiety are opposite emotions, and that other negative emotions are a combination of the two. The benefit to knowing this is that we can learn how to master all negative emotions — we just need to know how to master the two ends of the spectrum, anger and anxiety.

We can learn how to transform these two negative extremes into positive emotional energy, the two ends of which are well-being and confidence [pg 145]:

Now when I saw that chart, I saw instantly the sides of that emotional clothes dryer I had been tumbling around inside of for many months. It made sense to me as I looked at it and thought back over my many trips on the roller coaster. One minute I was feeling anger at my situation, then I did something and had a bit more well-being, then I plunged down into anxiety, then I did something else and felt a wonderful sense of confidence. Wash, rinse, and repeat.

In my next post, I'll explain the causes of both anger and anxiety, as well as what we need to do to transform our negative emotional energies into positive ones.

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