All conscious relationship begins with ourselves. To share the truth of how we feel, without attachment to the outcome of a relationship, is one of my many definitions of conscious relationship-- but we must be connected to our feelings in a very intimate way to be able to share them.

It all begins with ourselves. In fact, most of the emotional processes we go through are nobody’s business but our own. We are often stimulated into an emotional reaction by people we are in relationship with—but did they really do that to us? There is a process we go through between an event out there in the world and an emotional reaction in our bodies.

And that process is simply “Telling ourselves a story.” Your emotional reaction is based on the story you tell yourself about what someone does or says, about the weather, or the news on TV. There is no direct relationship between what happens in your world and your emotional reactions to it.

If the outside world were causing our emotional reactions, we would all react the same way to events. We don’t, because we are all telling ourselves different stories about the events in our lives, and thus the emotions that arise in reaction to them are different.

This is amazingly powerful information—it’s the good news and bad news. The bad news is you cannot blame anyone or any event for your emotional life. The good news is you can change your emotional life by changing the stories you tell yourself. If you don’t like the emotion (anger, fear, jealousy, hate, resentment, for instance) you can change the story and change the emotion.

Here is a simple roadmap to intimacy with your own emotions, discovering the story that creates them, discerning the truth or lies in the story, and changing it if you choose.

YOUR EMOTIONS: The first step is to embrace all of your emotions as a valuable source of information. Many of us try to deny our emotions, distance ourselves from them, change them, or ignore them. In a conscious relationship with ourselves, we turn 180° and welcome them as a guide to the stories we tell ourselves.

YOUR BODY: You feel emotions in your body. They rise up in your guts and your heart, and reveal themselves as tears, yelling, pouting, laughter, and many other physical expressions. Your opportunity is to recognize them as a gateway for entering an exploration of the stories you tell yourself. Love your emotions, no matter what they are.

DRILL DOWN THROUGH YOUR EMOTIONS: If you are in a heated or hurtful exchange, you may need to simply excuse yourself to go within. This is your work. What are you feeling? Anger? Sadness? Hurt? Drill down, and see what feeling is underneath it. If you are angry, ask yourself what is beneath the anger. Drill down. Listen quietly within.

You may hear “hurt” is beneath the anger. Drill down again. What is under the hurt, giving rise to the hurt? Most people find that at the base of all their emotional reactions there is fear.

FIND THE STORY: There can be a different story at each level as you go deeper. You are angry because your friend didn’t pay you back the money they borrowed from you. Story: “People should keep their word.” You feel hurt. Story: “They don’t think I am worth respecting enough to keep their promises.” You find fear: “I am afraid it is true, I am not worth their (or anyone’s) respect.”

IS IT TRUE?: At every level you can ask, “Is it true?” Is it true that people should keep their word? Do you? Is it true their not paying you is because they don’t think you are worthy of respect? And once you find the fear story, the question to ask yourself is, “Is it true I am not worthy of anyone’s respect?” The ultimate fear story for most humans in our culture is our fear we are not worthy of the love, respect, care, or approval that we try so hard to earn. It is a lie!!!

THE NEW STORY: It is a lie that we are not worthy of love. We are beautiful gifts from the Divine to creation. We are the very love that created us. We don’t have to be worthy of love; it is our nature, our being, and our reason for Life.

Tell yourself this truth, over and over and over. Tell it one more time than it takes to overcome a lifetime of hearing the lie that says you have to prove you are good enough to be worthy of love.

Be in conscious relationship with your own Divine being, and meet your beloveds there.

Then tell your friend you want to talk about that money.

IN love, of course.

Author's Bio: 

Allan Hardman is a relationship coach, author, teacher, and Toltec Master, trained by Miguel Ruiz in the tradition The Four Agreements. He teaches in Sonoma County, CA, and guides “Journeys of the Spirit” to sacred sites and tropical beaches in Mexico and beyond. He is the author of The Everything Toltec Wisdom Book, and co-author of two books with Deepak Chopra and others. For information about his work with The New Relationship, spiritual coaching, journeys, and to subscribe to his free e-newsletter, Or call (707) 528-1271. E-mail comments: