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This is Part 1 of a 6-Part guest post series on Emotional Anatomy by Steven Horne.

I first met Steven at the LDS Holistic Living Conference where he was teaching a class on herbal remedies.  His class was completely full and after hearing him teach I understood why.   I recently participated in a free preview of Steven’s Emotional Anatomy webinar and following the webinar contacted Steven to see if he would be willing to submit a guest post on the topic of Emotional Anatomy.  I am grateful and humbled that he accepted.

Steven is offering the complete, seven-session Emotional Anatomy Webinar for only $97 through February 1, after which the price will increase to $127.  The complete webinar goes into greater detail about the various types of emotional wounds and tools you can use to help people heal from them.  On his Tree of Light Publishing website, you’ll also find a free preview class that explains the entire emotional map he uses and his technique for healing emotional wounds.  I hope you enjoy the following Emotional Anatomy Introduction by Steven Horne.

It’s no secret that people in our modern world are facing a lot of stress. As we hear about the economy, wars, natural disasters and other troublesome news, it’s natural for us to feel negative emotions like sadness, fear, anger or even depression. In addition, we all face everyday problems that bring up negative emotional responses, such as conflicts in relationships, unexpected bills, struggles with health and other challenges.

In helping themselves to feel better, most people try to change their emotions through their mind or body. Many people believe that if they “think positively” that they’re never going to feel any negative emotions, but this is unrealistic. It’s normal for healthy people to experience emotional shifts depending on what’s happening in their lives.

Millions of Americans have also adopted the philosophy that if you’re feeling bad emotionally, you need a drug. That’s why millions of Americans are on drugs for depression and anxiety. They have bought into the idea that their negative emotions are the result of chemical imbalances. Unfortunately, these drugs often mask the real problem and can have harmful side effects, including making people feel even worse emotionally.

I view negative emotions in the same way I view pain. We may not like pain, but if we didn’t feel pain, we wouldn’t know what was harmful to the body.  Without pain to warn us we would injure ourselves and never know it.  Without the discomfort associated with disease symptoms we wound not know that we were sick and would not be motivated to seek healing. Whether we like it or not, pain is a necessary part of our lives.

What pain does for the body, negative emotions do for the soul.  Negative emotions tell us when something is wrong in our lives, which needs to be identified and healed. Feeling angry, sad or even depressed is a sign that a particular behavior or attitude is harmful to us. So, just like pain can teach us to avoid injuring our body, negative emotions can teach us how to stop harming our soul.

Unfortunately, few people learn the lessons that pain and negative emotions are trying to teach. When it comes to pain, most people seek symptomatic treatment. Without identifying the cause of the pain (or their disease symptoms) they take drugs that merely address the symptoms.  This provides temporary relief, but the real problems are never resolved and overall health deteriorates over time This form of medicine is known as allopathy, which literally means “against the symptom.”

As a natural healer, one of the hardest jobs I have is to help people understand that natural healing does not provide symptomatic relief.  Natural healing is about identifying the root causes of health problems and fixing them. The true natural healer doesn’t treat diseases, per se, but rather looks at the habits and lifestyle of the person to determine what they are doing that is harming their body. The “cure” is to fix the cause, which may mean addressing nutritional deficiencies, reducing exposure to toxins, drinking more water, breathing deeply, getting more sleep or exercise or dealing with sources of emotional stress.

When the cause is addressed, the effect (the disease symptoms) disappear.  As the pioneer herbalist Samuel Thomson stated, “Remove the cause and the effect will cease.”

In the mid 1980s, I figured out that people do the same thing with their negative emotions.  They practice a form of “emotional allopathy,” meaning they try to make the negative feelings go away without understanding what is causing them.  People do this in a variety of ways.  For example, they may take drugs to suppress their depression or anxiety, but they may also seek to numb their emotional pain through alcohol, eating, sex or other addictions.

There are also more subtle ways people practice emotional allopathy on themselves or others. For instance, most of us have been taught to suppress one or more emotional responses by denying what we are feeling. We may also learn to project the responsibility for what we feel outward through blame.  That is, we seek to restore our sense of well being through attacking others, playing the victim or otherwise trying to make others responsible for our happiness. None of these strategies actually help us feel better.

We live in a society that tells us that feelings aren’t important.  We are treated like we are all supposed to be cogs in a machine, just mechanically doing what we are supposed to do.  I have learned that this isn’t true.  We need to get in touch with our hearts, because our hearts hold the key to our ultimate well-being. Our primary goal is to be happy and we can’t learn to be happy if we are in denial of our feelings.

Scripture doesn’t say, “As a man thinketh, so is he.”  The actual passage is, “As he thinketh in his heart, so is he.”  Feelings are how our heart thinks, so it is our feelings, not just our thoughts that determine who we are.

Furthermore, if you look at the fruits of the Spirit described in scriptures, you will find that they are qualities of the heart such as love, patience, tolerance, kindness, etc.  Our heart is the doorway to the divine because it is only when we offer up a “broken” or “open” heart and a contrite or humble spirit that we can truly know God.  This is why emotional healing is essential to our ultimate health and well-being.

Look forward to  Part 2 of Emotional Anatomy coming next week.

Steven Horne is professional member and recent past president of the American Herbalists Guild (AHG) and a professional member of the International Iridology Practitioner’s Association (IIPA).  He has also served on the board of directors of both organizations. An herbalist, natural health teacher, author, and consultant, he is a popular speaker and students find what he teaches is practical and easy to understand and apply. Steven is the author of numerous books and course on natural healing. He has been a consultant and product formulator for several herb companies and the founder Tree of Light Publishing, an educational organization dedicated to helping people to heal themselves on all levels. Recently he started the School of Modern Herbal Medicine, which is dedicated to “excellence in herbal education.”  He also offers personal health consultations through ABC Herbs in St. George, UT.

Other articles in this series include: