Are You Being Held Hostage By Your Emotions?

Trapped man

As a follow-on to the Emotional Hoarding post from last week, I want you to look inside and see if you are being held hostage by your emotions.

  • Here’s the basic elements of a hostage situation. After I list them, I’ll discuss how this applies to you and your emotions.
  • Hostages (you and your true self) are being held by the hostage taker (emotions)
  • Containment with the threat of force by authorities (you’re paralyzed and unable to move forward)
  • Substantive demands by the Hostage Takers (continue to feel miserable, pay attention to me, don’t move forward, etc)
  • Communication between Hostage Taker and Authorities (Your higher self) – arguing about release
  • A leader amongst the Hostage Takers (which emotion rules)
  • Time
  • Need to live on part of the Hostage Takers (emotions want to keep on going)

Here’s the phases:

  • Initial – violent, brief (lasts as long as it takes for the hostage taker to make the assault and subdue the hostages) – this is the initial trauma you experience. It’s violent and may or may not be brief. But it is over when you start ruminating over the emotions that have blossomed as a result of the hurt or anger.
  • Negotiation – Demand received; authorities on site; it’s the “standoff phase” where nothing physically changes but a lot is developing relationship wise – “standoff” is a great word for our emotional hostage situation. Nothing appears to change but our relationship with these prominent emotions is changing. If your strong self was the higher “being” before, it’s as likely as not that you are trying to negotiate with these (perceived as) negative emotions but it’s also likely that the emotions will win and become the predominant emotions, taking a foremost position in your thoughts and feelings and actions. Are you consumed by hurt, by anger, or even worry?
  • Termination phase – brief, sometimes violent, final phase. There are three possible results:
  • The Hostage Taker surrenders peacefully
  • Police assault and kill the Hostage Taker
  • Hostage Takers demands are met and they escape

Part of the negotiation is to build a rapport and encourage the Hostage Takers to bring about a peaceful conclusion.

Unfortunately, we often do not even try to build a rapport or encourage a peaceful conclusion. Once attacked by the emotional onslaught of a trauma, we give in and just allow these same emotions to rule our being and our existence. It’s like we’re on a very, very small life raft in the vast sea of our mind. We hang on watching everything circulate around us, simply hoping and wishing things would change. But we don’t DO anything. We allow the sea (the emotions) swirl around us battering us up against the life raft no matter which side of the raft we hold on to.

Is this what you want? Do you want your emotions to be in charge of your life?

The first step in correcting this situation and being freed from the Hostage Takers is recognition and awareness.

Then you have to want to change. Believe it or not, many people want to remain in this abyss and be pushed around. When someone once was independent, sparkling and a free thinker, they now have formed this symbiotic relationship with the emotions that keep them paralyzed and unable to move forward. Is this you?

Let me know your thoughts below. Have you recognized what’s going on inside of you? Do you want to do something about it?




Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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