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Emotional Response Primer

Have a good ... response lately? Is there someone who makes you see red every time you're with them? Do you replay ... over and over, getting upset or angry each time you do? You're no

Have a good emotional response lately? Is there someone who
makes you see red every time you're with them? Do you
replay conversations over and over, getting upset or angry
each time you do? You're not alone. Everyone I know does
this. How frequently it happens, and how we handle these
situations when it does, is a good indication of where we
are on our spiritual path.

When we accept total responsibility for our lives, we begin
to understand that we create these situations, and we
create them for a reason. While we cannot control the
actions or behaviors of others, we can control our
emotional response. With that perspective in mind, we start
to look at these situations as the opportunities for growth
and change that they really are.

Here are some simple questions to ask yourself when you find
yourself responding emotionally in a way that you don't
like. One of these questions (sometimes two!) will probably
allow you to release the emotional response and get on with
your life.

1. Is it them?

What if whatever the person said or did that pushed your
button wasn't about you, but about them? What would that
mean? Sometimes we play a role for others in their
development, offering them an opportunity to grow and
change. If we ask these questions, how does the answer leave
us feeling? Does seeing that whatever happened is a
reflection of them and not us help?

Feel calmer? Send a prayer to bless and release the other
person, providing them support to work through their issue,
but in a way that does not involve you emotionally.

2. Are they a mirror?

What action or behavior of the other person reminds you of
you, of an action or behavior that you don't like or are
ashamed of? Can you recognize yourself at all in the other
person's behavior? When we are uncomfortable about a
behavior, we sometimes ask (unconsciously, of course)
someone to mirror that behavior to keep us in check. Seeing
someone else take selfishness to the extreme serves as a
good reminder to us to keep that occasional selfish act at
bay. The problem is twofold. One, on a scale of 1 to 100, we
tend to perform the problem behavior on a 5 or 10, but we
ask someone who operates on a 90 or 95 to be our mirror.
Second, we forget that we asked them to be our mirror and we
get lost in the injustice of their behavior. Do you see a
connection? Be brutally honest with this one.

Feel calmer? Write a postcard to the other person. You
won't send it, you'll burn it. In the postcard, release
the person from the contract. Thank them for providing the
service, but tell them you no longer need it as you are now
aware of the issue. You now understand that you do not have
to keep yourself in check the way you thought you did. When
you burn the postcard, do a prayer to bless and release
both of you to proceed forward with your lives, either
separately or together in a healthy, happy way.

3. Is a value being violated?

Very often our deepest emotional responses come when one of
our values is being violated. This is actually one of the
clues to help you identify your values. Pay attention to
when the absence of something (like respect or justice)
pushes your button. It is probably one of your core values.

Feel calmer? Identify ways to bring this value into your
life in a more active way. Identify at least one major goal
that is linked to this value and start taking action on it.

4. What life lesson is being taught?

I believe that we come into this life with a specific
purpose and that part of bringing that purpose to fruition
is to undergo certain experiences or life lessons. I also
have a theory that the first half of our life is about
learning our lessons and the second half is about putting
that knowledge into practice in the service of others
(fulfilling our life purpose, if you will).

Does whatever is happening feel familiar? Can you remember
other times in your past when you felt this same way? What
pattern do you recognize? If there is a sense of
familiarity around what is going on, then it is very likely
a life lesson. This is a definite opportunity to learn the
lesson once and for all, since life lessons tend to keep
presenting themselves to us so that we may learn them.

Feel calmer? Take inventory. What do you need in order to
complete this lesson? Sometimes, awareness of the pattern
or life lesson is all we need to break the cycle. Sometimes
we need to take concrete action or develop and build skills
to strengthen ourselves or an area of our life. There are
times when we just need to understand that the experience is
linked to our life purpose, that by having that experience
we will be better prepared to more effectively fulfill our
life purpose. If that is where you are, then figure out how
to start expressing your life purpose.

5. Where do you need to take action?

Are there a number of people pushing your buttons? What is
the common thread on what is going on? Recently, a client
had 6 different situations that were bringing him down. We
started by discussing each one, but pretty soon a pattern of
feeling not in control and not respected started emerging.
We looked at his life and identified a major area where he
was feeling frustrated and it was causing him to lose
self-respect. He realized that this was the real area that
needed to be addressed. The primary difference between this
and a recurring life lesson is the time element. All of the
situations are concentrated now, not spread out over a

Feel calmer? Identify what action you are going to take and
when. Then do it. Also, write one postcard to all the
individuals who were pointing out the situation to you
following the guidelines above.

6. How does this serve you?

Sometimes a difficult situation that drives us mental
provides us with an unseen payoff. For example, a client was
frustrated because her daughter and new husband often seemed
to be at loggerheads, fighting over spending time with her.
As we examined this, she realized that the benefit she was
experiencing was to feel special because they were fighting
over her. In fact, she was able to accept that she was
creating the situation in order to feel special. (That is
the enlightened aspect we talked about earlier).

Feel calmer? A postcard is in order here, thanking the
individuals involved and releasing them from their
contract. Identify other ways to get that same feeling.

I hope you find this helpful. As a final note, I wanted to
mention that emotional response tends to be different than
feeling in that feeling is current. It exists in the
present and unites you to the present. Emotional reaction
appears to be triggered by a present event, but in fact is
seldom related to the present. It usually has a lot more to
do with the past or futureFree Reprint Articles, and contains a sense of

Article Tags: Emotional Response, These Situations, Feel Calmer, Other Person, Life Lesson, Life Purpose

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(c) Louise Morganti Kaelin. Louise is a Life Success Coach
who partners with individuals who are READY (to live their
best life), WILLING (to explore all options) and ABLE (to
accept total support). Find many free resources to assist
you in living the life of your dreams at For her free newsletter
of insightful, practical suggestions for creating your best
life, email

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