How Fit is Your Emotional Body?
Rachel was conceived during a one-night stand between two people who barely knew each other. They married several months before she was born and proceeded to fight on a regular basis throughout her childhood. They would yell at each other, throw things, and eventually one parent would storm off for several days only to return and repeat the pattern.
Rachel and her younger brother would try to wedge themselves in between their parents to stop the fights. Over the years they had some success in diffusing the chaos by yelling back at their parents and threatening to call the police. But they were never able to bring harmony to their family.
Rachel is now in a long-term relationship with Ryan. Ryan grew up in a similar situation with his parents continuously at each other's throats. His fathers rage was so intense that young Ryan was no match for it. He learned to cope by retreating to his room and absorbing himself in books.
Now when Rachel and Ryan have disagreements, she over-reacts by yelling and blaming and he under-reacts by going silent and disappearing into his computer. This hurts Rachels feelings and taps into her fear of abandonment, which causes her to flare up even more. Despite her small stature, she reacts in a big way by verbally attacking and yelling obscenities. This taps into Ryan's fear of anger and abandonment. He decides things are too heated and flatly tells her to be reasonable and stop yelling. She screams at him to have a heart. Eventually he just leaves, returning hours later to remain sullen and silent, his large frame once again slumped over the computer.
Despite coming from similar backgrounds, Ryan and Rachel react quite differently to stress in their relationship. These differences can be understood in terms of their distinct personalities and coping mechanisms developed through their growing up experiences. However, if we go a step deeper to discover the energy influences behind their personalities and defenses, we encounter the emotional body.
Just as your physical body has its own unique shape and dimensions so, too, your emotional body has its own special qualities. There's no correlation between the size of your physical and emotional bodies. You can have a very small physical body yet an extremely obese emotional body and vice versa. The emotional body plays a major role in romance since intimate relationships are based on feelingsfeelings of attraction. Within a relational context, any size difference between the two emotional bodies becomes highlighted. Like the physical body, emotional bodies are prone to weight problems and to being out of shape. This usually takes two forms: the overweight and the underweight emotional body. In the story above, Ryan exhibits an underweight emotional body while Rachel's is overweight.
If you're curious about the condition of your emotional body, complete the following checklist.
Emotional Body Fitness Checklist
Lets take a look at your emotional body. Complete the following checklist to discover if your emotional body is over- or underweight. Respond to each statement using your first impression without analyzing too much. There are no right or wrong answers. By answering as honestly as possible, you can discover more about your emotional body.
For those statements that apply to you, make a note of their corresponding letter.
_____ My feelings get hurt easily. (B) _____ I am sensitive but not overly so. (A) _____ Things just seem to roll off my back. (C) _____ I cannot see a sad movie without crying and getting upset. (B) _____ When conflict arises, it's best to remain rational. (C) _____ I tend to resolve conflict easily when it comes up in my life. (A) _____ I tend to take things personally. (B) _____ I feel my feelings but they don't overtake me. (A) _____ I have thick skin, nothing seems to bother me. (C) _____ I sometimes wish I had thicker skin. (B) _____ I almost never cry. (C) _____ Friends tell me I am grounded and centered. (A) _____ My friends tell me to stop being so sensitive. (B) _____ I stay in control in a crisis. (C) _____ I often name my emotions in words when talking with others. (A) _____ I sometimes wonder if I am depressed. (B) _____ Emotions are unnecessary. (C) _____ Feelings are feelings, nothing more, nothing less. (A) _____ If an animal gets hurt or suffers I get very upset. (B) _____ I can keep my cool when watching intense movies. (C) _____ I feel good about my interactions with people. (A) _____ When I get angry, my voice gets loud. (B) _____ If there is a problem, I stay calm, cool and collected. (C) _____ I often disclose what I am feeling to those close to me. (A) _____ I sometimes wish I didn't feel so much. (B) _____ Friends tell me I am easy going. (C) _____ I experience a full array of mostly positive feelings. (A) _____ I feel upset a lot of the time. (B) _____ I almost never get angry. (C) _____ I can tell you what I am feeling at any given moment. (A)
_______________________________________________________________________ Most points in the A category - You tend to have a healthy emotional body.
Most points in the B category - You tend to have an overweight emotional body.
Most points in the C category - You tend to have an underweight emotional body.
If there is no clear single category and your points are evenly distributed among the three categories, your emotional body suffers weight fluctuations.
Supporting Your Health on All Levels,