Nurture Your Emotions with a Woman’s Touch

by Melissa Karnaze

trying waterFirst nature for man is to use his emotions.

First nature for woman is to feel her emotions. And then, to nurture them.

She feels them because each and every one of them is special, with a story to tell.

She nurtures them because each and every one of them is a part of herself — and expression of her inner child, her inner children.

And so woman finds greater peace, clarity, and serenity, through all of her emotions — yes, even the tempered ones.

The act of feeling and nurturing yourself so that you can continue to feel — rather than preventing yourself from fully feeling by injecting rationalization, judging yourself, or suppressing your emotions — leads to the act of integration. This is the true power of a woman’s touch.

Woman knows how to integrate

What makes woman strong is that she can integrate, take something into herself, make it a part of herself, and grow because of it.

She accepts all of her emotions, and so she receives all the gifts they have to bear.

That makes her not only strong, but emotionally resilient.

Man must go out and take, or go out and make. But woman, she stays in place, and as the world comes to her, she experiences all of it — so that she can integrate it.

Integration is the feminine power

Woman knows that emotions are her tools, but she doesn’t seek to use them. She simply allows for them to transform her, by receiving them.

The emotions do their magic, not because she tries to tame them, but because she embraces and honors them.

Woman doesn’t have to lift a finger, and the transformation is hers, all because she has patience, surrender, grace, awe, and acceptance.

Integrate your emotions to tap into their power

To reap the rewards of emotional resiliency through mindfulness, you need to integrate all of your emotions. Which means, you need to accept that anger, jealousy, fear, and so on, each have a value — and that they are no less worthy of your attention than the more socially acceptable emotions, such as joy and love.

In so doing, you nurture your emotional self with a woman’s touch, by learning how to cultivate: patience, surrender, grace, awe, and acceptance…

1. Be patient with all of your emotions

Four-year-old Arielle knows that true emotional intelligence — not the kind that can be measured by a paper test — is the mastery of self-acceptance and timing. She will only play when she’s done crying. Because she knows that there’s a time for being sad, and a time for being happy.

She doesn’t try to manipulate those natural time scales by distracting herself or doing a cognitive reframe when she hasn’t even felt the emotions fully. But a lot of adults try to do this every day.

They use therapy or self-help books or meditations to make them feel “better,” to get them that quick fix — which won’t last for long. Therapy, self-help, and spiritual practices have their place, but only when they aren’t used to cover up or avoid negative emotions. Approached with mindfulness (of knowing your motivations for participating), they have value. Approached with fear (of facing negative emotions), they are self-destructive.

Arielle knows this. She has the patience. And she’s only four.

2. Surrender to the world as she is given to you

Because your life is a construct of your brain, it’s only natural for you to create a set of belief systems, assumptions, and expectations about the world and your place in it. American psychologist George Kelly referred to this natural tendency in Personal Construct Theory.

One construct that easily sticks, is the belief that you need to be in control of your life and your fate. Most people have this construct to a certain degree, which easily sets them up for disappointment when things don’t turn out how they had expected.

So when something goes “wrong,” or not according to their plan of how their life should turn out, they are left with the negative emotions that result, including the outrage and the pain. It’s difficult to eradicate this construct altogether, because this is a very human construct, but what you can do is keep the construct of response ability close by. So that when life takes an unexpected turn, you have a framework for finding your bearings and responding — constructively.

In order to be successful with response ability, you need to first get in touch with the feminine practice of surrendering to your life, and thus realizing that you really don’t control what happens “to you.”

This surrender is not an easy one, but it’s the only way to have an honest chance to respond to your life with true mindfulness. Remember, mindfulness means being mindful of all of your emotions. Surrendering to what is is the only way to truly connect to your emotions so that you can integrate them.

3. See grace in all of your emotions

Your emotions provide a vital source of information, about you, and for you. This information tells you what you need in order to be happy, healthy, and successful in your life. Without access to this information, you are like a wanderer lost in a desert, with no navigational system to find your way back home.

This is why you cannot afford to disgrace your negative emotions by putting them down or beating them down with dry logic — the dryness of which is questionable, anyway.

What you need to do instead, is learn how find the grace in all of your emotions. In so doing, you find grace within yourself. The grace to choose your attitude despite the circumstances and your emotional reactions to them, so that your framework for living is based on a mindful construct.

All of your emotions are messengers, here to help you live a fuller, more conscious life. This is why woman cherishes the beauty and opportunity in feeling and nurturing each and every one of them.

4. Be awed by what your emotions reflect

Emotions are encoded messages — about your constructs. In other words, accessing your emotions is a direct route to uncovering the thoughts, assumptions, beliefs, and expectations that underpin them.

Or, put in simpler terms: Emotion = Thought + Meaning (Expressed as Feeling).

So in order to decode your emotions, you have to feel them. (There’s no way around it.)

And once you do, you can start to see how they reflect all of the constructs that make up your multidimensional identity.

A big part of your multidimensional self is your Inner Child, and its shadow, the Ego. These aspects of you are incredibly important, because most of the time they react to the world much differently from how your conscious self does. And they can be in the driver’s seat most of the time — if you aren’t paying attention… to your emotions.

The Ego is usually sabotages himself in pursuit of self-preservation. The Inner Child mostly wants to play, and doesn’t know how to protect herself. That won’t cut it in the adult world. But nonetheless, those aspect remain within your consciousness. And they personify your emotional self, as well as your core needs.

So when you work with your emotions, what you are really doing is acknowledging your Inner Child and Ego, no matter how unreasonable they may seem. When you take a closer look at why they behave in the ways they do, they aren’t in fact unreasonable. They are instead doing their best with what resources they have.

If you find yourself at odds with your Ego — he’s gloating in such a way to push everyone away — the problem is not your Ego. Your Ego is just acting based on the constructs that are provided to him. There are explanations for why he is lashing out in such ways, which are directly related to your thoughts, beliefs, assumptions, and expectations. It’s probably the case that you don’t think you are good enough, so your Ego overcompensates.

It’s not always easy to recognize the pattern, or to interpret it accurately, but science has done very little by illuminating this huge facet of behavior: the subconscious (Inner Child and Ego). In other words, no one has all the answers for why you subconsciously act in the ways you do.

But — if you work with your emotions long enough, you can start to trace the patterns yourself. And with enough honesty, support systems, and introspection, you can start to find answers… and be awed by how simple the process of self-understanding really can be.

The only way to start the process is to first of all accept your emotions, no matter how childish or egotistical they may seem. Essentially, you need to accept your Inner Child and your Ego.

5. Accept all of your inner children

And really, you need to accept all your inner children — those aspects of you at different developmental stages in your life.

When you were younger, you were imprinted with experiences that taught you about trust, autonomy, your self worth, and so on. Each developmental stage had its unique experiences, which you respond to and internalize in unique ways.

If at any stage something occurred that led to a dysfunctional belief, that faulty construct remains with your in adulthood.

Woman knows how to nurture children, that’s her second nature. She unconditionally loves each and every one of them for who they are. You must do the same, though unto yourself, by accepting who you were before, and thus better understanding and accepting who you are right now.

This creates the foundation for self-compassion, which may be seen as the ultimate goal of working with all of your emotions. Because self-compassion is the foundation for maintaining your life as a mindful construct, and for being compassionate of others as well.

Nurture your emotions with a woman’s touch

Woman knows that the true power of emotions lies the stories they tell, about her past, her present, and her personal constructs.

It is by embracing all of her emotions, learning from them, and nurturing all of her inner children… that she reaps the rewards of emotional resilience and self-compassion.

Nurturing your emotions a the woman’s touch… by cultivating patience, surrender, awe, grace, and acceptance… is no easy feat, and it takes time.

But integrating all of your emotions cultivates an inner knowing and an inner power that will transform you, your life, and your response ability to it.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Cole Bitting November 20, 2009 at 8:29 am

You square up to the risk of walking away from feelings:

“The act of feeling and nurturing yourself so that you can continue to feel — rather than preventing yourself from fully feeling by injecting rationalization, judging yourself, or suppressing your emotions — leads to the act of integration.”

It’s hard to get anywhere if you ignore the defenses you leave behind.

Under it all is emotion. Emotions have grace. They evoke awe. And as you well note, they tell you their wisdom through feelings: nuture the feelings, discover the wisdom.

Toni lamb November 20, 2009 at 11:22 pm

Such a beautiful post! Don’t laugh when I tell you this one, but while I was reading this I had a feeling of total relaxation come over me and I felt so at peace. It was a wonderful feeling because I’ve had some really overwhelming anxiety lately. Your writing is beautiful, insightful, enlightening, and more valuable than you probably realize. Thank you for taking the time to write this. I enjoyed every word of it and the calming effect I got from reading it:)

Melissa Karnaze November 21, 2009 at 12:50 pm

Thanks Cole, it definitely is hard to get anywhere without nurturing your emotions. Which is why I think emotional health is so key to any type of success.

Toni, that’s wonderful to hear! Thank you for sharing your experience. :)

Walter November 23, 2009 at 9:43 pm

Being a man, it is hard for me to allow my emotions to manifest. It felt like I’m being weak and a disgrace to my manhood. However, I realized that emotions are part of me and I cannot escape from it. To this point I have learned to accept the wisdom of my emotions and allow myself to feel it but not necessarily act from it.

By allowing my emotion, I have learned a deep wisdom about how it affects my being. With this understanding I am able to act with more responsibility and sensibility. :-)

Melissa Karnaze November 24, 2009 at 11:07 am

Thanks for the great comment Walter! I admire men who allow for their emotions to manifest. For the reason you mentioned, that they can acknowledge who they are, because strength comes from knowing who you are. And it makes life a whole lot easier. :)

Eva November 15, 2010 at 7:03 pm

Wao! Lack of education and access to information is the only thing holding humanity back from progress.

This is the most valuable information I have found, in terms of emotions.

Thank you for the wonderful insights

Melissa Karnaze November 16, 2010 at 6:50 pm

Eva, yes, education is key! Hopefully one day we’ll look back at all the mis-education about emotion going on, and wonder how we kept it up for so long!

JaRoD August 29, 2013 at 9:06 am

I was teary eyed while reading the article and I don’t even know why. And it doesn’t really matter. I’m just happy that I’m starting to find my emotions after many years of not knowing them.

And I want to thank you for all the awesome stuff you have written! I shall read it all :)

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