What is Emotional Association?
Emotional association is an important concept to understand if you are going to get to the root of your struggles. Let me just say that most of the times when you become angry, feel fear, or struggle with some other daunting emotion, it’s most likely not a result of something you are experiencing in the present time, but rather something in the present has just triggered a wound of the past. The key to finding out the root of this emotional issue is through understanding emotional association.
Emotional association is something your mind does automatically when you are triggered. It is where you feel the same feeling as you did in the past at the point of wounding. Let me give you an example, say you are like me and seem to get triggered by rude drivers on your way home from work – you know, the ones that jump into a freeway ramp just to pass a bunch of cars and then cut back in. Sure, there is room for some legitimate anger there, but it’s that ungodly rage that surfaces in you that isn’t healthy. One day while driving, right after my encounter with yet another rude driver, I realized something – that anger that rises up in me and wants to totally leave behind my “Christian” title and teach this unfriendly fellow a lesson, was actually the same exact feeling I’ve felt in the past with other situations, not even relating to driving or road rage!
I personally find that some of the best times to start doing ministry on myself is at the times when I’m triggered. Why? Because it gets me feeling the emotion, which helps me figure out the association (where did my heart learn this feeling?). Looking back, and finding out where the associated emotional experience lies, helps me get right to the root of the issue and quickly get freedom from the present day experience. Learning how to use your triggers to discover why you trigger is one of the most powerful everyday keys to finding lasting freedom from those negative emotions!
Why is this important? Because if you are ever going to overcome these types of ungodly emotions, it’s crucial for you to get to the root of that emotion. You need to find out where your heart learned that feeling, or rather the belief that produces that feeling. That takes me to another subject all together, which is beyond the scope of this monthly brief, but is covered in much greater detail in a recent teaching I posted on Holy Spirit Counseling.
If you will take the time to learn fundamental principals like emotional association, heart beliefs, etc., you can uproot once and for all some of the most painful emotions, along with things you’ve struggled with perhaps 5, 10 or more years. Many of us have carried emotional baggage our entire lives all because of things which have happened in our past that created heart beliefs which keep us living in those painful emotions many years later.
Blessings in Christ,