The Three Levels of Emotional Development
It turns out that there are three levels of emotional development.
Spoiler alert: When most men do their “personal work,” they only get to the first two levels. Let me explain:
- The first level of emotional development: On the first level of emotional development, you want what you want when you want it, and your priority is to get it. At this level, you’re willing to debase yourself and others to get what you want. The first level is where most men live their lives, before they do a weekend like the Crucible.
- The second level of emotional development: On the second level, your priority is to be authentic and congruent with your emotions. If you’re angry, you want to be angry. If you’re sad, you want to be sad. And so on. You the priority is to be authentic and congruent with what you are feeling. The second level of emotional development is where most men live their lives after they do a weekend like the Crucible Weekend.
But “being congruent with your emotions” is not the end of the line for a man’s emotional development.
There’s a third level that we rarely hear about…
- The third level of emotional development: On the third level of emotional development, you are committed to truly living your life in God’s blessing for you.
At that level, you know that any emotions other than feeling blessed are roadsigns that reveal places in your psyche that are ready to receive God’s love.
Rather than focusing on being congruent with feelings of upset, the third level man uses emotional upset open to God’s love in new places in his psyche.
The third-level man really “goes for” a life of joy and ease, in every area, each day, no fooling.
Put another way…
Rather than seeing upsetting emotions as experiences that need to be expressed, the third-level man sees upsetting emotions as useful indicators, which guide him to the heartbroken parts of himself.
When you then open to God’s love for those heartbroken parts of yourself, those parts are transformed. Your blessing then overflows into every area of his life.
So here’s your challenge:
- Next time you are upset about something, step away from that upset for a moment.
- Let yourself see the small part of yourself that feels as though you have no choice but to become angry, or sad, or afraid, or ashamed. That’s the part of you that your upset has revealed. That the part of you that needs love.
- Then turn to God and ask, “How do you feel about me, O Lord, even when I feel like I have no choice but to be unhappy like this?”
- Let yourself then feel the love that God has for this part of you. Drink that in. Bask in that love.
- Then go back to your life, and see how life is different moving forward.
– By Dimitri Bilgere
Dmitri Bilgere is a Crucible Project Leader and leader of the Inner King Training, InnerKing.com. He is author of “Gateways to God: Remove Your Roadblocks and Live His Love.”
Photo Credit: Elysium 2010 via Creative Commons