Emotions are part of God’s design for humanity. They are not intended to harm us; they are to assist us in living with integrity. If you have spent years ‘blocking’ emotions, it can be difficult to identify what you feel. I encountered this feeling wheel years ago in “The Search for Significance” by Robert McGee. I particularly appreciate the fact that it helps me trace peripheral emotions back to a root emotion. It is not necessarily accurate in every case, but I found it helpful to look at the linkages in emotions.Once emotions are identified, what do we do with them? We trace them back to see what generated that emotion. Emotions do not simply appear. They are actually chemical responses triggered by thoughts. So under every emotion is a thought.
Thoughts have roots as well. Some are thoughts based on past experiences; others are divinely inspired thoughts. Some are from the devil–yes, he can put thoughts in minds. Thoughts are actual ‘things.’ They take up space in your physical brain. Thoughts produce a chemical soup that either bring health or illness. Thoughts are powerful!
Underneath thoughts are the things we believe. Our beliefs are our foundation for living. If we have a faulty foundation, our life will be shaky. There is only one foundation: Jesus Christ, the Living Word.
Here we have the purpose of emotion: our beliefs hide! Emotions are the marker that help us trace back to whether our beliefs are rooted in the Word. God designed us to live according to Truth. The deceiver continually tries to destroy us with lies and unbelief. Emotions helps us discover what we believe–and then, when the roots are exposed, we get to work.
If you need help discovering roots, there are many resources on this page–and links for other helps. If you need an extra hand, you may want to consider Discipleship Coaching.