Have you ever noticed that sometimes you have a hard time letting go of a negative emotion that feels really painful, an emotion you wish you could make disappear? In today’s post I’ll explain why that happens and also give you a few techniques to lessen the intensity of those unpleasant feelings.  (I provided one such technique in an earlier post, https://www.mortylefkoe.com/upset-today-upset/#.)

Why we resist letting go of painful feelings

When a man says: “I am a man, or a woman says: “I am a woman”, they are describing who they experience themselves to be.  They are describing part of their identity. Our gender is so much a part of us that if you weren’t the gender you are, you would no longer feel like “you.”

The same is frequently true for our intense emotions.  When you feel upset you experience: I am upset—with an emphasis both on the “I” and the “am.”  It feels like who you are is upset and that you are almost defined by that feeling.  Thus, when you feel upset, if the upset disappeared, it seems like the “you” that remained would not really be you, because the upset you are is no longer present.  If an emotion that seems like an inherent part of you—like part of who you are—disappears, it feels like you have been wiped out of existence

There’s another reason it can be hard to let go of a negative feeling.  If you try to dissolve the meaning (the occurring) that gave rise to the feeling, some part of you doesn’t want to let go of the meaning because it validates and justifies the feeling.  For example, imagine someone says or does something and you feel angry.  Assume you had given what the person said or did the meaning: If he really cared about me, he wouldn’t have done it.  The meaning you gave to the event justifies and validates your feeling of anger, which feels like a part of who you are.  If you dissolved the meaning and realized the event had no inherent meaning, you could no longer justify the anger.  So some part of you wants to hold on to the meaning.

How to lessen the intensity of your negative feelings

In the blog post in which I describe my recent upset I offered you one technique for lessening the intensity of your emotions.  (https://www.mortylefkoe.com/upset-today-upset/#.)  Here are three techniques that I’ve used personally.

1.  Get into the creator state using the Who Am I Really? Process.  In that state the negative emotion will disappear.


2.  Get into the creator space using the following technique.

  • Realize that the emotion I am having now is being caused by the meaning I gave a reality that has no inherent meaning.
  • If I created the meaning that caused the feelings and thoughts, what does that make me?
  • Is it real now that I’m the consciousness that creates meanings that ultimately determine how I experience my life?
  • Check and see if you are in the creator space. The way to be certain is to ask yourself what’s possible (answer: anything) and ask yourself if you have any limitations (answer: no).

3.  “Step outside yourself” and observe yourself having feelings.  Say to yourself: “I have feelings; I am not my feelings.  They have nothing to do with reality.  They are not caused by reality.  My feelings are the result of automatic, unconscious occurrings that are not true.”  To the extent you can make this real you will be able to detach somewhat from your feelings.

This week’s exercise

The next time you experience an upset or any other negative feeling, notice that some part of you seems to be holding on to it.  See if my explanation accurately describes your experience.

Then, use any of the three techniques I described in this post to reduce the intensity of the feeling.

Please comment on this post and write your results from the exercise.

Your comments and questions increase the value we all receive.  I read them all and respond to as many as I can.

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Copyright ©2012 Morty Lefkoe


  1. Carlo May 13, 2017 at 6:46 pm - Reply

    I met a man that pulled me out if my comfort zone,he begged me to be with him ,to trust him , saying he wanted a relationship ,I fell for everything he had told me ,he asked me to trust him I did ,I am a older woman my husband passed away ,I was in my comfort zone,it hurts when someone comes around to hurt you ,I asked him if he was sure he wanted a relationship with me ,he pretend to care for me I gave a good heart it’s broken I am having a difficult time getting back what I had what do I do I pray and ask God not to let me hurt but it does I have no faith in men it’s terrible

  2. Jackie Mackay May 6, 2013 at 7:15 am - Reply

    Hi Morty
    Great article as ever and I do admire your consistency. I have a theory about what part of us keeps a grip on the upsetting thing one can let go of using your method.
    An argument or a conviction (belief) can make you feel “right” if it is agreed with and “wrong” if it is dismissed or despised. The feeling of pain at criticism or being argued with reduced so astonishingly after I did the confidence course of 13 beliefs that I have far less problem being ‘wrong’ and can let go of a bone quite easily now – except for sometimes – hence my questions

    1) Do you think there are any ‘rules’ such as less secure/confident people have a harder time letting go of being ‘right’?
    2) or is there a parasitic/addictive element present that gains from the pain which does after all stimulate the release of adrenal chemicals? It is known that these can be addictive causing strange behavioural preferences like ‘liking’ bungee jumping which most sane humans regard as utterly daft. (Brit for loony ;-) ) Or try telling a mountaineer or car circuit racing driver that they are addicted to adrenaline (and maybe therefore not such a hero).

    I’d love to know what success you have had with addicts who (I have one in the family) and the entire addict world (incl helpers and councillors) live in Belief City.


    • Morty Lefkoe May 7, 2013 at 4:48 pm - Reply

      Hi Jackie,

      It is possible that “less secure/confident people have a harder time letting go of being ‘right’?”–but they don’t have a harder time eliminating beliefs.

      To some extent, needing to be right is a function of experiencing oneself as a “creation.” As a creation your survival is always at stake, so you need to be right. When you experience yourself as the creator, as consciousness, you no longer need to be right.

      You definitely can get addicted to an activity due to chemicals associated with that activity.

      We have had some experience with addicts, not a lot, except for emotional eating.

      Love, Morty

  3. lynda January 24, 2013 at 4:51 am - Reply

    this is all very well but what if the person that did or didnt something acted like like because they didnt care, so that the meaning we put to their actions was in fact the correct one, seems to me these techniques are about absolving others of their bad behaviour although of course there are times when the meaning we assume couldnt be farther from the actual intention of what a person has said or done and we are right to question the meaning we have attached to the event!

  4. mopeychild December 21, 2012 at 9:14 am - Reply

    ok so i have a question..and an observation..i think i resist feeling good, cuz im scared il have to face reality (ie that my boyfriend left me) and then il have to face the spiral of sadness again. how do i get rid of this?

  5. Bing Han November 29, 2012 at 1:09 am - Reply

    Good post

  6. James November 21, 2012 at 3:21 pm - Reply

    So if I identify “I am creating upset” that puts me a step further from “upset” and might maintain my identity (creating) even if I shift to “I am creating joy.”

    Interesting code.

  7. jason linder November 21, 2012 at 9:29 am - Reply

    Yes, yes! Awesome post.

  8. frances cranton November 21, 2012 at 5:41 am - Reply

    Thank you Morty for this sharing,Iwas having a similar thing this morning and when I have these moments it is automatic for me try and evaluate or understand it which I suppose is a step towards clearing the issue ,but the penny dropped when you said that really it is my ego identifying with itself and for some strange reason I feel so much lighter knowing this,Wow! I like to practice being the silent witness to these moments and as you aptly put it be in the creator mode .thanks for sharing

  9. Patricia November 21, 2012 at 4:00 am - Reply

    Thank you Morty. I have used your process and it truly works. The “I Am”statements are truly statements of power. What we say after them is what we do experience. Knowing we can choose what to believe changes everything. Your process has helped me greatly. Thanks again. Namaste.

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