Naming Emotions in my Models

Hello Coaches,

I have never been good at feeling emotions. When I was young, they were just unacceptable, whether happy, sad, or afraid, and it was as if being stoic or indifferent was how I flew under the radar. In my teens and 20s, my emotions ran my life from dark corners, speaking out while still hiding, no longer willing to be quiet. Anger pushed me forward with a force and power that gave me rebellious confidence and caused poor decision-making, almost always accompanied by guilt. In my 30s, I began making better and harder decisions and buffered away all the feelings. In my 40s, I could no longer ignore what I had created, and it was time to handle the overdrinking and overeating. I became braver and tried to engage my emotions. When I let them in, they were so intense that it was as if they would swallow me alive and I would disappear and it was terrifying. I wasn’t quite ready to be that brave so I stuffed them some more. Now in my 50s, here I am at Scholars purposefully and deliberately engaging as these uninvited and unexpected emotions appear. Occasionally I even make a date with one of them and reluctantly hang out treating them like a cherished guest I hang off every word or sensation. I am curious, I am interested, I am strong enough to entertain the fear and I am fully aware of how messed up my relationship with myself has really been. I am committed to sorting this out.

As I work through my models, I have challenges, especially with naming my emotions appropriately. Or, I think this is the case… I want to give it the ‘right’ name but have difficulty figuring out what the emotion is. I can pick out happy, angry, sad, afraid, guilty or confused, but these often feel too broad and don’t fit in every case. I have charts and lists and spend too much time reading all the labels trying to decide what matches my vibration. The process makes me feel confused and defeated in the inquiry process using the model. I feel like I am making this harder than it needs to be.

C: I have emotions
T: I don’t know how to label my feelings and when I try there are so many to pick from that I can’t be sure I have the right one.
F: Confused / Defeated
A: I read through the lists, I try to match how I am feeling to the label, I find more than one possible answer, I become frustrated and bored with the process. I just pick something. I wonder if it is right. I think of other feelings. I mix up my models. I set it all aside and doubt that the model really works.
R: I don’t work the model or process the feeling.

Thanks for reviewing this and providing some insight.