Chapter 1: The Heart of the Matter
Emotional Release Therapy: Letting Go of Life's Painful Emotions
My joy is gone, grief is upon me, my heart is sick. -Jer. 8:18
My heart is broken and heavy, and I cannot fight back the tears." -An abandoned wife
Where in the brain could we possibly store our emotions? I have never felt fear or anger or sadness in my brain circuits. I have never felt any emotions in my brain. How about you? If emotional pain were stored in the brain, then you could think it away. But you can't. This seems obvious!
Since childhood, you have known where most of your emotions are stored. Where do you feel your joy, your love, your lightness, your happiness? Where do you experience your loneliness, anger, sadness, worry, and fear? In your heart, naturally. We have all felt our hearts filled with love and joy and, at other times, with emotional pain and heaviness.
For thousands of years, long before the birth of psychotherapy and modern medications, poets, seers, saints, lovers, and the common person knew where we store our emotions. They have told us in countless ways that we store our emotions in our hearts.
The ancient truth came to us more than 2,500 years ago as the Psalmists wrote about heartfelt states:
- How long must I have sorrow in my heart all day long?? (Ps. 13:2).
- My heart is in anguish within me, the terrors of death have fallen upon me? (Ps. 55:4).
- Insults have broken my heart, so that I am in despair? (Ps. 69:20).
- With my whole heart I cry? (Ps. 119:145).
What does this imply? Where does this point? Since our emotions are located in the heart, the obvious truth is that we store our emotions in our hearts.
The next logical step is to conclude that each of us likely stores our whole emotional history in the heart. This includes our cherished emotions like love, joy, and peace, as well as our destructive emotions like fear, sadness, and anger.
Like books in a library, the emotions in the heart are stored in separate areas. In one area we store our anger, in another our fears, in another our happiness, in another our joys, and on and on. These emotional storage areas begin forming in infancy, with each area enlarging as we experience more and more of the specific emotion stored in that area.
For instance, the first fear may begin to be stored before birth while we are in our mother's womb, or at birth. Throughout a lifetime, that fear area can grow in size. Or it can be diminished by experiencing constructive emotions like love, confidence, and security.
If we go back in time to the first fear and remove it, which is possible to do with ERT, we remove all fear, because the storage area created by the first fear has been removed.
Once we accept these obvious truths, we naturally ask the question: How can I remove the destructive emotions from my heart? How can I rid myself of my fears, my sadness, my anger, my emotional pain? The answer is: through the new process of Emotional Release Therapy. The second question we should ask is, how can I intensify the quantity of my cherished emotions like love, joy, and peace? The answer to that question is the same: through Emotional Release Therapy. Through the heart, we can release emotional pain and enhance cherished emotions.
But emotions are not limited to storage in the heart, where they are supposed to remain. Emotions can be stored in all body tissue. From my experience in practicing Emotional Release Therapy, it appears that the cherished emotions of a healthy, happy person are naturally stored in all body tissue. In these persons, destructive emotions are found only in the heart, because destructive emotions are not supposed to be stored anyplace but in the heart.
But if the quantity of destructive emotions becomes too great for the heart to contain, they expand from the heart to the solar plexus and lower abdomen. Then they expand into the organs of the body, such as the liver, lungs, stomach, intestines, pancreas, spleen, kidneys, bladder, sexual organs, and reproductive organs. They can also expand into the muscles, nerves, blood vessels, bones, joints, skin, and soft tissue.
Sometimes the destructive emotions can apparently completely skip the heart, the solar plexus, the lower abdomen, and go directly to a major organ or to one precise area, such as the lower back, neck and shoulders, calf muscles, hands, feet, or joints.
The area where these emotions are stored becomes susceptible to dis-ease or disease. Thus the mind-body connection is not so much the "brain-body" connection, but rather the "heart-body" connection. The heart and the emotions become a major component of all medical conditions.
By removing the destructive elements of this energy, we can restore health to any part of the body. While doing this, we can also enhance the quantity of constructive energy.
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