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SELF - WORTH FOR WOMEN Powered By Docstoc
              LESSON 3 - THE EMOTIONS

To begin this lesson we will review some of the things we learned in lesson 2. Write in your journal, using
the following questions as a guide:

    1. How has your self-worth been since last lesson? Right now, without thinking, on a scale of 1-10
       with 10 being the highest, how do you feel about yourself? My Self-Worth Quotient (SWQ) right
       now is _____________. Compare this to last lesson.

    2. Did you write in your journal? How was that? What sis you learn about yourself?

    3. Have you been writing about your dreams? What have they told you about you?

    4. Did you write at least one positive thing about yourself? Was it easy or difficult? Why?

    5. Do you still have the same goal for this course? Do you want to change it? Do you want to
       change your commitment statement?

    6. How did you handle compliments? Is it getting any easier?

    7. Did you remember any other successes?

    8. Have you added anything to your list of body parts that you like?

    9. Is there anything you appreciate more about your body? What have you stopped judging? What
       part have you accepted? What part will change? What concrete steps have you taken? Did you
       try an affirmation? How did that work?

    10. What did you learn about the relationship between your self-worth and the women’s magazines?
        How do the words and images affect your daily life?

    11. What did you find out about your comfort zone? Did you try anything outside of it? How did that

Introduction to Lesson 3:
The word “emotion” comes from the Latin verb moveo, movere. From it we can get a clue into its
meaning. In Latin it means to move, to set into motion, to stir. It also had the secondary meaning to move
mentally, to influence and to work upon.

The “e” or “ex” is a common Latin prefix that we use in many English words also; even before the advent
of the Internet. It means “from” or “out of”. Therefore the purposes of the emotions are to move us from
out of where we are now - from inaction to action. ∞Emotions make you aware that something important
is going on that needs to be dealt with∞. Emotions are good in that sense. You see a bear, you feel fear,
you are aware that there is danger and you move away from the danger. Of course not all the dangers
are that obvious. Sometimes you have to do a bit of analysis to discover what it is you are fearing, hating,
are jealous of etc.

     ∞Emotions make you aware that something important is going on that needs to be
                                    dealt with∞
How to work with Emotions:

Emotions can be a real bugaboo for women. The women in self-worth workshops say that they are often
accused of being over emotional – i.e. they cry too often or take things too personally. In other words they
do not seem to be in control of their emotions.

This is how we have traditionally interpreted these accusations. In fact, it might be said just as rightly that
women are in better control of their emotions because they acknowledge them rather than stuff them and
translate them into anger against someone. Women do get angry but they are most often angry with
themselves. ∞The key about emotions is to have balance, acknowledge them and deal with them
them∞. When we can move out of the pull of emotions, it is easier to accomplish our goals - once our
emotions have been identified, acknowledged and dealt with.

There is an imbalance when people stuff their emotions and do not acknowledge them. When looking at
cultural stereotypes, it seems to be more socially acceptable to hide emotions in our British North
American tradition than in other cultures, including the Latin cultures of Europe and South America. There
are other cultures where emotions are even reviled. We need to acknowledge all of our emotions, no
matter how negative they are or how much we feel they may not be worthy of us. We are not advocating
wallowing in any single emotion; we want to simply remind ourselves that they are there. To ignore or
repress them is akin to ignoring the proverbial elephant in the room: if there is an elephant in your living
room, pretending it is not there, will not make it disappear. It’s all right to hate, envy, lust, have greed, feel
shame, emptiness and depression.

        ∞Give yourself permission to feel whatever you feel at any moment. ∞

It is important to give yourself permission to feel whatever you feel at any given moment. This is you
expressing who you really are. It is precious and even sacred. The expression is perfect because it is
yours, like the affirmation(s) you have about your body, you can apply the same tool to your emotions,
e.g. “I love my anger because it is a part of me.”

When we are stuffing our emotions and presenting a placid face to the world, we are not acknowledging
that there is something that has to be dealt with. The worst case is someone in a catatonic state. It is not
desirable and just as dysfunctional as being hysterical. So, how can we use our emotions in a more
constructive way, after first acknowledging and thanking ourselves for recognizing that not all is well?

Being out of balance is not a comfortable state to be in. The cause is often unmet expectations. So, we
must look at what expectation is not being met. Let’s have a look at an emotion that women seem to
favour over anger – guilt. They are very similar. Anger has to do with a need that someone has not met
and is directed outwards to others, and guilt has to do with an expectation that we have not lived up to,
and is directed inward to ourselves.

At the same time, it is important not to dwell in the emotions longer than we really have to. Staying in an
emotion simply keeps us in a limited and reactive place. We can become addicted to the emotion, and it
begins to run us. Some people do not feel alive unless they have their emotions running on “full” all the
time. But it is important to remember that the job of emotions is to serve as signposts on the road of life.
They are not life itself. The stop sign does not force you to stop: you do that. You make a decision based
on information given, one of those pieces of information is the stop sign, it is still your decision whether to
stop or not.

   ∞Just because you feel something does not mean it is so. Your emotions can be
Just as sometimes the road signs steer us wrong, sometimes our emotions can steer us wrong.

We can use emotions as they are intended: as a signal that we are having a strong reaction, that we are
being moved to some action, or as an early warning signal. We can use them to warn us that we are
headed for a collision between an action and a belief/expectation. That means that we can then
consciously choose wisely whether to change the action or the belief. Either one is fine. There is no good
or bad. There are only choices.

For example, my mother asks me to do something I really don't want to do and I say no but then I feel
guilty. What is my expectation? My expectation is that a good daughter always does what her mother
asks of her. I hold an image of myself as a good daughter and try to live up to it.

Now, suppose I do the thing she is asking me to do. Then I might feel resentment against my mother.
Here my expectation is that good mothers don't ever ask daughters to do things they know they don't
want to do.

            ∞I have two choices: change the action or change the belief. ∞

With the first example, where guilt is involved, I could always do what my mother asks of me. Or, I could
change the belief about myself: I am a good daughter and good daughters sometimes say no to their
mothers (or other peoples’) requests.

In the second choice I could do what is asked or I could change the belief to: My mother is a good mother
and sometimes, good mothers ask their daughters to do things they know they don't want to do.

It is good to note here that our language is very important. When we talk in absolutes like “never” and
“always,” we are in trouble. But, when we stick to more neutral words like “sometimes,” or “occasionally,”
we are more likely to see the issue clearly. Even better would be to use specific language like: My mother
does not like doing this thing, so she tends to ask me to do it; I am still a good daughter if I say “no.”

                         ∞Emotions can be progressive∞

Emotions tend to be similar to each other and are often progressive. Guilt can lead to anger, envy can
lead to hate. Emotions also pile up on each other and lead to more severe degrees, consider the
following scenario: someone yells at you, you decide it’s your fault and that guilt reminds you of
something else triggering the emotion attached to that other thing. For example: you are standing in the
kitchen, about to walk into another room, your child/spouse/parent tells you that you left the milk out. Do
you tell yourself “I always leave the milk out, I am so stupid, I never do anything right, why would anyone
love me….” Until you end up on the floor crying, or screaming at the other person, or slamming the fridge
door, or committing suicide. All of these are, almost comically ridiculous, reactions to the reminder to put
away the milk, and yet all too often a familiar scenario.

Emotional reactions can become very circular, the belief that there is “no way out,” is often the end result
of your emotions and thoughts feeding each other and overwhelming you. You have to become conscious
of your emotions so that you can stop the cycle. Awareness is that ability that let you get out of the
quicksand of your mind. If you are lost in the forest, you need to notice the details, the differences
between rocks and trees, so that when you start noticing that you’ve “been here before,” you can find a
new way to go; forge a new path and get yourself out.
There are two other ways we can deal with emotional imbalance.

    1. Often simply expressing and acknowledging the emotion is enough to diffuse it. You can Express
       it/Talk it out, with the person involved (or someone who pretends to be the person involved), with
       a friend or In your journal.

    2. Forgiveness. It is an amazingly powerful tool that we think is important to explore much more.
       Keep reading!

People think that forgiveness is about the “other;” the one who did the hurt and, that by forgiving we are
saying that it is OK to have done the hurt. They think that out of the goodness of our hearts, we should
forgive those who have hurt us and thus free them from the responsibility or the guilt of the action.

That is not at all what forgiveness is all about. In fact, the act of forgiveness is forgiving ourselves so that
we can let go of the negative emotions that we have and get on with life in a more positive way. We
indeed are the ones suffering as a result. We are the ones bearing the pain. In fact, the person who did
the hurt may not even be aware of it nor affected by it. We are the only ones hurting and need to let go of
the hurt. That is our responsibility to ourselves and our own inner environment because that is where we
live every day -- alone inside ourselves. Telling the person helps, unless it is physically dangerous to do
so. Talking it out and writing in your journal helps too. You have a responsibility to get rid of that hurt
inside of you and clear yourself so that you have space for new things. The other person does not need
to be there or even aware of the forgiveness. I have found, though, that when I forgive someone silently
inside myself, there is also a subtle change in the relationship.

Try this. If you cannot talk to the person who has caused the hurt because they are deceased or cannot
or will not listen or if it is dangerous, you can write it all down. Everything you are hurt about. Don’t worry.
Be as negative as you want. Call him or her names. Do not use your journal for this exercise. Then tear
up the papers and burn them, in a safe way (see lesson 2, exercise 1 for help on how to do this). Then
create a forgiveness affirmation: forgive yourself for judging yourself (to clear yourself) for judging that
other person. Forgive yourself and let that other person go. And in that place, let appreciation for yourself
enter and fill the space, because you care enough about yourself to do this.

      ∞Holding onto negative emotions will make you project those emotions. ∞

We tend to focus on the things to which we give energy. Holding on to negative emotions will make us
reflect those negative emotions, even though we may not be aware of it. Because we feed the emotional
energy by allowing it to dwell, we give it strength. People react to what they see rather than the words we
say. Read the following and think about a time in your life when this may have been you speaking.
          “Are you all right” person 1 asks.
          “I’m fine,” person 2 answers.
          “No, really, is everything okay” person 1 persists.
          “I’m fine,” person 2 says.
          “You know, it’s okay, you can tell me,” person 1 says with a confidential air.
          “I’m fine,” person 2 persists.
          “Well fine then, don’t tell me!” Person 1 says as they leave in a huff.

Your emotional state is probably obvious to those around you. If you don’t want to talk about it to that
particular person, you need to clear it some other way, or these annoying conversations will keep
happening. Come into a situation of balance with yourself and you will be more balanced with your
environment. Come into a situation of true beauty. Remember, negative emotions are written in your face.
Lesson 3, Exercise 1
Correcting the Out of Balance State

Write in your journal, a list of five things that consistently upset you such as:
1.       I am asked to do something I don't like

2.      Someone does not seem to appreciate the kindness I have extended

3.      The phone keeps ringing when I am very rushed

4.      Others don't cooperate

5.      Something I have been looking forward to does not materialize.

Now look for the unmet expectation behind each upset.

1.      I should not be asked to do things I don't like. I do not want to face the other's disappointment or
        disapproval by refusing. I do not want the strain of meeting the request. I expect others to keep
        that pressure off me.

2.         Other should just automatically appreciate my "good works" and give them recognition.

3.      People should know better than to call when I am busy. I must answer the phone if it rings.

4.      I expect others to cooperate always.

5.      If I anticipate an event with eagerness, it should be forthcoming. Life and others should not
        disappoint me.

Once you have done the exercise, ask yourself if your expectations are logical. Is there something you
can do? Is there an action you can take that would get you what you want? Can you change the

Lesson 3, Exercise 2

Have you ever heard the expression that our best qualities can be our best faults? Surely you know
people who are stubborn or inflexible? What is the good side of stubborn? It is strong commitment and
dedication and stick-to-it-iveness. People with commitment are the ones who will see a project through.
Every organization needs dedicated people but there are degrees of dedication.

If someone is so committed to the result that even when circumstances change, she keeps going when
everyone else is going in another direction, then her dedication to the task is not longer useful and we no
longer call her dedicated, she becomes stubborn. What is the other end of stubborn? Let’s call it too
flexible or wishy-washy, changes mind, sits on the fence, etc. It is good to be flexible and adaptable but
too flexible is not good either. That person may never accomplish goals and probably have very good
reasons for not doing so.

Let us look at it as a kind of continuum with neutral at zero.

(Too)   5         4       3       2        1        0       1        2        3     4       5 (Not enough)

stubborn                                   Dedicated                                        Wishy-washy
Maybe you know people who are rash. They leap into relationships and new adventures without thinking,
often with negative consequences. What is the neutral position? Lets call it daring or courageous. What is
the opposite? Lets call it cowardly and place it on our continuum.

(Too)   5        4        3        2        1        0        1        2       3        4        5 (Not enough)

Rash                               Courageous                                           Cowardly

With these two examples, you get the idea. And it may be situational. Sometimes we need a stubborn
person to see a time-limited project through to completion. Sometimes we need a rash person to take the
first step in a situation, for example, when someone is drowning. We don’t want the lifeguard to analyze the
options available. We want her to jump into the water.

So now have a look at the qualities you have for which you judge yourself. Click here
if you have a problem finding some. First recognize that your exaggeration of a quality means that you
have that quality. All you have to do is rein it in a little or expand it. It is a matter of degree. So congratulate
yourself for having the quality. ∞Acknowledge yourself for using it correctly. Do you want to change how
you use it at other times, when maybe it is less appropriate∞? Then, what will you do about it? You don’t
want to change? Then accept and know that there are issues associated with it that you will also need to
deal with. You are fine the way you are and you can change what you don’t like. Do two qualities before
moving on.

(Too)   5        4        3        2        1        0        1        2       3        4        5 (Not enough)

(Too)   5        4        3        2        1        0        1        2       3        4        5 (Not enough)

Lesson 3, Exercise 3

Choose one of the examples from exercise 2 above – a situation where there were hurt feelings involved.
Write it in your journal in the original way it happened.


Emotional Approach A friend of mine, A, agreed to meet another friend to go to a movie for which we
have free tickets (for two) given to us by B. A calls during the day and we agree to meet there. When I get
there, I do not see A and become quite concerned. I decide to wait until the last possible minute before I
enter the theatre in the hopes that A will arrive. She does not and I am disappointed. I finally go into the
theatre with B and can’t get a good seat. B mentions that A is several seats in front of us. I see her there
with a male casual acquaintance. I am upset that she has chosen this man's company (because he was a
man) over my own. I know the man. He is not special. Just an acquaintance. I am angry and hurt that she
has rejected me in favour of this man who is not even much of a friend instead of me who has proven to be
a great friend of hers over the years. I am upset that she thinks so little of our friendship. It is something
that she has done before. I think I should find another friend.

Neutral approach A bunch of us have free tickets to a movie. A suggests that we all meet there. I talk to
A during the day and we agree to meet there. She then decides to ask a friend of hers who is male to go
with her. She gets there first and does not wait for me and goes right in. I come later and thinking we had
agreed to meet outside the theatre, and decide to wait. When I can wait no longer, I go in and find that A is
already there. When I see her next, I ask her if I had misunderstood the agreement.
Re-write your own situation in a neutral way. Pretend you are a detective just writing down facts - not
emotions or interpretations. You may note that just plain logic helps.

You can even write it down as a comedy skit. Sometimes, tragic events are funny with the right
perspective. Laughter is a powerful tool for coming into a neutral place. Use it whenever you can.

Lesson 3, Exercise 4

Journal writing ideas:

    1. How did forgiving yourself work?

    2. What are your most common expectations of yourself? Others?

    3. What “faults” did you discover about yourself? What is the neutral or positive aspect? How many
       of these “faults” are sometimes useful?

    4. Did you try the neutrality exercise in your everyday life? How did it work?

Reminder of tools you can use:

    1. Write in your journal.

    2. Record your dreams.

    3. Review your goals and see if there is anything that you want to change.

    4. Add to the list of things you like about your body.

    5. I have used the following tools this lesson to boost my self-worth:

    6. The tool I found most useful was _____________________________ because



    7. Remember to keep collecting magazines.
Congratulations on having completed Lesson 3 of the Self-Worth
Workshop for Women!

If you have any questions or concerns e-mail us at:

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