The primary emotions

According to Beyond Consequences, Logic, and Control (BCLC) authors Heather Forbes and Bryan Post, there are only two primary emotions: love and fear. When I first read this, I didn’t believe it. What about anger, frustration, sadness, despondency, and so many others? Is fear really the root of all these other emotions? We’ve been trying to practice BCLC for about a year now, and in that time, I’ve fully bought into Heather and Bryan’s theory. I’ve come to see that just like my kids, much of my negative behavior is driven by fear.

The other day, BE and I were talking about my dislike of fighting. I told her (truthfully) that there’s something in me that feels scared and nervous when she and BC fight and yell. She told me that some people say that they’re not afraid of anything. I know many people say this because they don’t have a phobia of spiders, or public speaking, or the dark. But, I think fear is much more than that. I told BE that everyone is afraid of something and that it’s ok to be afraid. What matters is that you recognize it and do your best to overcome it.


7 thoughts on “The primary emotions

  1. I completely believe this premise. My introduction to this concept wan MaryAnn Williamson’s book A Return To Love. it was a pivotal moment to my healing from all of the trauma (and PTSD) I was dealing with…it changed my whole thought process and has done wonders with combating my anxiety. I wish it I got it much earlier in life!

  2. I don’t think anger is a true emotion – rather it is a physcial reaction (hormones like adrenalin and cortisol) that flood your system.

    I have found that if I can “accept” whatever triggers me then I can escape the anger – and I mean that in the little day to day anonyances – driver using the zip lane to scoop in front of the line type triggers – brushing it off as “he must be late or having a bad day etc”. If I get angered – I need to decompress/stay calm for about 20 minutes without getting mad again which then triggers another release of hormones – aka Fight or Flight reaction.

    It works for me and has for about 15 years. I do still fail sometimes, but overall it is much easier than having a bad day because you can continue to be triggered all day long.

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