What, then, is emotional genius? A developed form of perception that asks, listens, and learns from the knowledge within our feelings. It is a vision beyond simple awareness, which allows us to discern and deeply understand. Cultivating our emotional genius pushes us to see beyond the limited perceptions of exterior appearances, to the unexplored depths of what lies beneath. The judgement, discord, and disharmony that we humans create originates from our subconscious thoughts; those unique beliefs about ourselves that reside below our conscious awareness, buried away from our rational and logical mind. It’s from these concealed beliefs that our discordant emotions flow. Those feelings then directly influence our actions. Seeking the answers to why we feel the way we do, and then understanding those answers activates our emotional genius by encouraging self-reflection and self-awareness. Mobilizing our emotional genius is the key to our understanding of ourselves and each other, and demonstrates a heart-based desire to evolve beyond our deepest wounding.
When someone acts with intolerance, instead of going straight to judgement in your mind, ask yourself why that person needs to act with prejudice. When someone shames another for the way they look and act, ask yourself why they feel the need to belittle. Seeking the deeper meaning behind the action, is love in action – a willingness to use your emotional genius to discern the truth behind the action.
In junior high I was attacked by my friend’s mother because I said her daughter would be the first to get pregnant. This was not a malicious statement; it was an eleven-year-old girl talking about her friend, who happened to have the first serious boyfriend. The friend’s mother and her entourage (including her husband, my friend, and another friend) showed up at my door one Saturday night, pounding to be let in. My parents happened to be out for dinner, so for the first terrifying 15 minutes, I stood there absorbing the mother’s verbal blows with no adult buffer to protect me.
The shame I experienced during that event shut down my ability to talk about the incident until I was in my mid 40’s. The subconscious beliefs (below my conscious awareness) I unknowingly adopted because of that moment led me to attracting people in my life who continued to act as my punishers. It required years of emotional unpacking so that I could understand myself, my choices, and my actions. That understanding empowered my ability to forgive myself and all those involved.
Discernment is the the pursuit to understand our own and others’ circumstances, so that we can bring awareness to the pain we absorb and inflict. Discernment acts as energetic armor that protects you from accepting someone else’s pain as your own. Discernment = love in action.
What would cause a grown woman to unleash her fury on an 11-year-old girl for saying her daughter might be the first to get pregnant? I honestly don’t know the truth of the mother’s situation, but I do know that a deep pain within her triggered that unhinging. Was she pregnant when she got married? For a Catholic woman in the early 1960’s, premarital sex, especially premarital sex resulting in pregnancy, could have infected a “good girl” with deep shame. Her feelings of self-shame, whatever their cause, then found me, a vulnerable target to project her pain upon.
Because the mother was emotionally unaware, she reacted from hatred and anger towards me due to her own shame. Her shame started an avalanche of shame, fear, and self-punishment within me, which buried me too. A few weeks later, because I was humiliated and seeking acceptance from the friends that hurt me, I then hurt someone else by writing them a nasty and demeaning letter. I started another suffocating avalanche of harm. How many people do we bury in our reign of shame?
Love has the power to stop this cycle. Instead of accepting people’s damaging words and actions as the truth of who we are, we can learn to expand our emotional genius in order to discern the pain behind our perpetrators’ actions. As love, in the form of understanding, begins to guide our reactions, we are triggered less, and better able to see the naked vulnerability of our own pain and the pain of others.
Emotional genius requires an intelligence beyond logic, which uses discernment to untangle the story of your life; it’s cast of impactful and important characters and all of the “big” moments, both good and bad, that really stand out in your memory. Those clues, when intuitively followed, illuminate the buried beliefs you hold about yourself.
Contrary to what religion and history has taught us, love does not judge – ever. Love discerns. Love explores the reasons behind the actions and encourages compassion for ourselves and all who trouble us.
Love always accepts you as you are. Love guides and offers a helping hand and never controls, because love understands that we all learn through experience – the bad and the good.
As your emotional genius expands, love empowers you to set boundaries where they are needed. If people hurt you with their words or actions, limit your interaction with them or cut them out of your life. As a healthy person who loves themselves, you advocate for yourself by surrounding yourself with people that build you up and support you. Love never justifies verbal or physical down-grading.
Love wants you to be the happiest, most self-fulfilled person you can be. Love encourages you to seek understanding and ultimately forgiveness so that you, yourself, can be free.
I no longer blame myself or my friend’s mother. That experience started my journey to learning about love in deep and meaningful ways. It was my personal experience that taught me how to evolve well beyond trauma’s limitations. Love Ignites Peace called me to dig deeper, so that through my own experiences I could then share Love’s many messages with you.
As our emotional genius expands well beyond its current awareness, love ultimately shows us that these painful experiences fuel our ability to evolve beyond accepting or inflicting more pain – we can be love in action.
Choose to explore your emotional genius by seeking the deeper meaning behind your actions and the actions of others. Discernment in action equals love in action; a superhero’s go-to for creating peace.