Emotions like a ball of wool

I just thought of a good analogy about our emotions and how they are constructed. Think of a small piece of thread that represents the first feelings of love not being there for us for whatever reason that was. There’s a bunch of reasons (or causes), so there’s a bunch of threads and they all are distinguishable by different colours. Then these threads get bigger as we get older as a result of the pain that caused them, which just couldn’t be expressed emotionally because crying too long was bad or embarrassing to our parents for instance. An emotion that can’t be expressed emotionally is not going away via any other means other than – emotionally. That’s why emotion is often said to be – energy in motion, not energy that stops – that’s the opposite like denial of it or something similar.

I’ve gone off track a little so on with the analogy…

The threads get longer and longer because they grow as they aren’t expressed and start wrapping around themselves and the other threads. So, you’ve now got knots and all sorts of tangles of colours – twisting in and out and wrapping around like an object that represents our current emotional condition. Imagine now it’s looking like a big ball of colourful wool wrapped tightly together. Now we know at the other end of these threads are the causes of these emotions, but we can’t see them from the outside, we just see the how these threads have grown to be where they are now, but the rest, the how and where exactly it’s all coming from is just an intellectual conjecture for us at this point.

Then we start the process of unravelling and loosening the structure. So we start feeling the emotions on the surface and this loosens the whole structure on the outside – so now we can more easily unravel and untie the knots further along. Then we see a bit deeper and we start feeling that, then we go down further and now we can start looking back at the beginning of all this unravelling and make some sense of where to go next. So it becomes a skill of knowing our own emotions on a personal level. We can see the types of defences we’ve put up along the way, why we did this and that and importantly how we can unravell it emotionally. Soon enough it’s getting a bit less complicated, we might be still re-wrapping the strings around as our denials and defences are still actively coming up but we’ve slowed that process down a fair bit, the ball of wool is not anymore endlessly growing larger and more formidable, it’s perhaps a little smaller, it’s looser and more easily unravelled.

Eventually we’ll pull it all apart to the point that we feel through the last little threads that started it from the beginning. Amen!!

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