Physiology of Emotion – How to Move On?

“I met a guy last night at a party. I didn’t let anything happen between us, even though I did like him. I just don’t want to be hurt,” a young woman said on her first appointment with me.

“You probably associate love with disappointment. When you think about love, you remember pain, sadness, anger, rage even – the baggage from a past relationship in which you were hurt.”

As we look at the world around us, we build models. The more information we get, the more opportunities we have to filter out our own. What we usually do in the end is to tell ourselves a story about what the outer world actually is. Every piece of information we take from our surroundings and process, invariably mirrors the events we have experienced and our emotional responses.

“It’s not only one guy, but a few have hurt me already. I won’t let that happen again.”

“You won’t prevent it either by restraining yourself from falling in love. Instead, you need to forgive the men you got involved with, and find out exactly what lesson you’ve been skipping stubbornly, only because you don’t want to learn it. You tend to repeat your mistakes again and again!”

“I find it very difficult to accept this spiritual concept. I’m a doctor, I only believe in physiology,” she said.

“We can do it your way, too. You know that the neurons igniting together stay connected. If you do something over and over again, the neurons establish a long-term connection. If you are angry or frustrated every day, if you suffer daily, you invite more suffering into your life! Every day you reconnect that neural network, which has already set up a long-term connection with the other neurons we call your identity. Likewise, you probably know that the neurons that do not ignite together are no longer connected either. Whenever you stop the thought process, there’s a chemical reaction in your body.

When you begin to notice it, you stop the process simply by not encouraging it. The perception alone triggers an automatic reaction, shutting down the autopilot in you, and because of that reaction we are no longer a corporeal and emotional person reacting automatically to the surroundings.”

“Does that mean that emotions are good or that emotions are bad?”

“You can’t look at emotions that way. Emotions are made to intensify our experience, so that we can store them in long-term memory. That’s why we have them. Every emotion is a holographic imprint of chemical matter. The most sophisticated pharmacy in the universe is right here, within.”

Part of the brain known as hypothalamus is a small mental factory. It’s the place where chemistry and emotions merge. The human body is essentially a carbon-based structure consisting of some 20 amino acids.

Our body is also a protein-making machine. It is in the hypothalamus that small chains of amino acids called peptides bond to create the neuropeptides or neurohormones that correspond with the emotional states we experience daily. More precisely, there are separate chemical compounds for anger, sadness and suffering. There is a chemical compound for lust, too! There is a compound corresponding with each and every emotion we experience. When we experience an emotional state in our body or in our brain, the hypothalamus immediately joins the peptides together and releases them into the blood through the pituitary gland, and from there to different centres in the body.

Each individual cell has its surface receptors. A peptide binds to a cell using a lock-and-key type of binding, staying attached to the membrane receptor. The chemical reaction “moves” the receptor, sending a signal to the cell, like a doorbell.

Each cell has billions of membrane receptors that merely receive information. The peptide attached to the receptor changes the cell in many ways. It triggers a series of biochemical events, some taking place in the nucleus. Every cell is definitely alive, and every cell has its own individual consciousness, if by “consciousness” we mean an observer’s viewpoint. There’s always the perspective of a cell. In fact, a cell is the smallest unit of consciousness in the body.

“As for your problem, you are either in an emotionally isolated place, or you act as though today is yesterday.”

“What do you mean?”

“You either shut down, or react overemotionally, because you’ve shifted to an earlier reality and cannot function as an integrated whole. You push yourself into the situations that will meet the biochemical requirements of your body cells, creating the circumstances that echo your internal, chemical needs you are not aware of.”

“Can we, please, get back to that spiritual concept of yours – physiology seems to be way too complicated for me.”

“To begin with, forgive all your emotional partners. Don’t worry about what they need to account for, just settle your own accounts.”

“How do I do that?”

“Imagine your ex-boyfriends on a mental screen, one after another. Than you tell them this:

Everything that happened between us is part of a journey we had to travel, learning our lessons. I forgive you for everything that made me angry. If in any way I made you feel bad, please, do forgive me. Live your life in peace and serenity, as I will live mine. Thank you for the good times you gave me.

In the end, add these words, if you feel that they are close to your heart: With Divine Love I am serene and joyful in every aspect of my emotional life.”

When you are drowning, it doesn’t really matter who’s to blame, but only how to survive. Take off the bondage pulling you to the bottom. Whenever you don’t know how to do it, forgiveness is the key.

Anger is just a cup of caustic soda on an empty stomach!