Why We Need to Know That All Emotions Stem from Either Love or Fear
The highly acclaimed psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross is quoted as saying that there are essentially only two human emotions, love and fear. According to her observations made through decades of work, all other emotions stem from these two. Comprehending the power of this statement is imperative to our understanding of our own personal emotions and to learning to not allow them to control our lives. Realizing the difference between these polar opposites will make it possible for us to rule our emotions, rather than letting them rule us.
Love and fear are the root foundations of all our other emotions. Not only that, but every emotion has a corresponding opposite emotion, that is based on the opposing root emotion. Once we are able to map which root emotion we are dealing with at any specific time, we are better equipped to understand what we are feeling and why. Then the next step becomes easier: how to effectively deal with our present feelings and move past them if desired, beneficial or necessary.
It is also important for us to understand that love and fear cannot exist at the same time. If we choose one, we are automatically shunning the other. If we know which emotions are based on love, and which ones arise from fear, then we know which option we are choosing at the moment. If we find ourselves experiencing a fear-based emotion, we can make the choice to strive for the opposing love-based emotion instead.
Emotions That Are Rooted in Love
Love is a feeling of unconditional, deep and intense affection, passion or affinity. Some of the various emotions that stem from this intense feeling are the following.
Happiness: Happiness can be experienced in many levels such as joy, delight, ecstasy, euphoria, pleasure, bliss, etc. True happiness only comes when we let go of all expectations and welcome whatever outcome we experience.
Empathy: Empathy comes from our ability to see ourselves in others and identify with their situations. It can also be described as compassion, pity, sympathy, kindness or affection.
Certainty: Certainty comes from our willingness to accept what is to come. It is our anticipation that all will be right in the end. Certainty can also be manifested as feelings of excitement, relaxation, tranquility, equanimity, faith, self control and inner fortitude.
Honor: Honor comes from the unshakable integrity of our own beliefs, choices and actions. It can be experienced as honesty, confidence, resolve, respect, trust, humility and forgiveness.
Belonging: We experience a sense of belonging when we feel that we are part of a group with which we share common interests. Feelings of togetherness, support, helpfulness, caring, connection, contribution and dependability are all manifestations of belonging.
Wonder: Wonder comes from our gratitude for what life presents to us. Feelings of surprise, amazement, astonishment and awe come from our sense of wonder.
Acceptance: Acceptance is that calming and inspiring feeling that is exemplified by relief, comfort, non-judgment, cooperation and contentment. It is the ultimate peace of mind.
Emotions That Are Rooted in Fear
Fear is a feeling of aversion that arises from the belief that something or someone will cause us harm or pain, or is somehow dangerous to us. Following is a list of some feelings that arise from fear. Notably, these feelings are the opposites of the previously listed feelings that arise from love.
Grief: Grief arises from a belief that things are wrong, unfair, or not as they should be. It comes from unmet expectations and an aversion to acceptance of what is. Some manifestations of grief include depression, remorse, regret, despair, gloom, hopelessness, disappointment, suffering, insecurity and doubt.
Apathy: Apathy is experienced when there is a lack of concern or respect for others. It stems from a feeling of disconnection with those around us. It can be expressed as hatred, contempt, scorn, indifference, disdain, disrespect, disgust, hostility, animosity, loathing or resentment.
Uncertainty: We feel uncertainty when we fear the unknown, which includes our entire future. Feelings of uncertainty are manifested as wariness, dread, distress, apprehension, worry, anxiety, doubt, uneasiness and stress.
Shame: Shame comes from a lack of confidence in our beliefs, the choices we have made, and the actions we have taken. It can be expressed as dishonesty, embarrassment, envy, jealousy, disrespect, guilt and humiliation.
Abandonment: Abandonment is an expression of our fear that we will not be accepted, that we will be ignored or forsaken. It can express itself as isolation, loneliness, alienation, neglect or desertion.
Horror: Horror is our fear of intense pain, irreparable harm, impending doom, or imminent death. Horror can manifest itself as feelings of terror, hysteria, shock, panic, helplessness, alarm, fright or disbelief.
Anger: Anger is sometimes an expression of our fear of the unknown. Other times we feel anger as a result of passing judgment when we believe that things are not as they ought to be. It is a result of our feeling that we have somehow been wronged, cheated, offended or denied what we believe to be rightfully ours. Expressions of anger include rage, fury, frustration, competitiveness, resentment, bitterness, aggravation and aggression.
The two above lists are not meant to be comprehensive. Rather they are meant to give us a starting point for learning to determine the root source of all our other emotions. Note that each item on each list was selected to have a corresponding counterpart on the opposing list. This is to illustrate how each fear-based emotion can be switched to its corresponding love-based alternative if we understand what we are experiencing.
When we find that we are presently living in the side of fear, we can decide whether we would rather choose love instead. When we make that decision, we are taking control of our emotions rather than letting them control us. We exercise our power over them and become the masters of our own happiness. This is one of the most important powers we have, and one of the few that cannot be taken from us by anybody, not even by our own reckless and unchecked fears. Every time we choose love instead of fear, we utilize that power. And the more we utilize it, the better we become at doing so.