OK, so now that we're grudgingly starting to accept that repressing, suppressing and drugging away our emotions could make us (and our children) spiritually, emotionally and physically ill.
Great! So what, exactly, are we supposed to do about it all? I mean, if it was so easy to deal with our negative emotions in the first place, no-one would go to all the bother of trying to make them go away.
In the secular world, this is where I'd be pushing you down the therapy route, where you spend the next 20 years of your life talking it all out with someone you're paying a fortune to, just to listen to you.
Thank G-d, we're not in the secular world! There is one way, and one way only, to heal the soul, and that's to get G-d involved in the process. Over the course of many years of praying, teaching and trying to heal myself and others, G-d's helped me to understand that healing the soul can be broken down into three main areas:
NESHAMA healing: Happens when we strengthen our tangible connection to G-d. We do this by talking to Him every single day, for at least five minutes; and working on our emuna that G-d is running the world, all of it, even the bit called our life (This is Rav Arush's first rule of emuna). That emuna is what gives our neshamas the strength they need to start to impose some spiritual order on the ruach and the nefesh.
RUACH healing: Happens when we work on improving our spiritual health, and in particular on developing healthy compassion, accountability and appropriate kindness. How do we do this? We talk to God about it! We also work to develop the belief that G-d is doing everything, even the things we don't like, for our own good. (That's Rav Arush's second rule of emuna.)
NEFESH healing: Happens when we work on improving our emotional health. I don't repress my feelings, and I also don't give myself licence to act out and hurt others. If I get angry, for example, I'll admit it to myself and I'll take it back to G-d and I ask Him to help me deal with it. If I lash out at someone else when I'm angry, I'll also take responsibility for my behaviour, apologise to them, and ask G-d to help me work on it better.
At the same time that I'm praying for G-d to help me stop feeling so angry, I'm also doing my own detective work to find out WHAT is making me so angry in the first place, and what might need to change in my outlook, circumstances or relationships to prevent it from re-occurring. (This is Rav Arush's third rule of emuna, namely that G-d is always sending us messages to change, grow or improve in some way.)
Here's the magic touch: working with our energy meridians and acupressure points can also help us to unblock this stuff from the NEFESH up. For example, sedating gallbladder meridian can unblock and dissipate repressed or over-whelming feelings of anger, making it much easier for the person to work through their anger, and reconnect at all levels.
You can sum it up like this:
More G-d = stronger neshama = healthier emotions (ruach) = nefesh (body) more under control.
In the last post in this series, I'll share a quick diagnostic quiz tool, to help you see which part of your soul might need some work.