Each Phase has its own emotions.  Generally there is one we would consider positive and one we would consider negative.  Some of them we don’t actually consider emotions in the Western world, like the “positive” Water emotion, willpower.  But they are all necessary and appropriate reactions to certain situations.  They only become a problem if we can’t process them or if we experience them at inappropriate times.  Willpower, although positive, is an inappropriate response if you are really set on running out into the middle of a busy highway at night but a friend is trying to persuade you not to, for instance.  A more appropriate response would be the “negative” Water emotion, fear- just enough fear of being hit by a car to make you realize that running onto a busy highway is dangerous and therefore most likely not a great idea.

Fear is the emotion of Water because, if you have too much of it, it makes you do what overabundant Water does: freeze (we’ll leave out another reason Water might be associated with fear).  Even the freezing response, though, is appropriate in certain circumstances, so long as you don’t remain stuck there.

And there’s the rub: because Water puts out Fire, a Fire phase person can get stuck in an insecure, fearful state and lose the natural humor and positive outlook that both define a Fire type and should help temper fear.

A balanced Fire type can experience fear, which slows him down and dampens his enthusiasm enough to inspire reflection (a Water characteristic) on the level of real threat and possible options to avoid or face the threat.

The healthy mixture of Fire and Water, for both Fire types and Water types, allows for healthy, open, realistic assessment of the challenges that face us each day.  The Water phase grounds us in our own power and gives us the clarity to perceive and understand potential threats or challenges to our wellbeing.

Fire, mixed in a healthy dose with this clarity, allows us to see the bigger picture.  Reacting quickly and optimistically to the ever-changing circumstances of life, Fire responds to fear-inducing situations with the question, could this somehow be fun?  Naturally, when the situation is running out into the highway, the answer should weigh toward no- but if you’re experiencing fear before meeting a new group of people, Fire can allow the fearful mind to envision the possibility of laughter, fun and new friendships.

If you find that you are experiencing a fearful state when it may not be appropriate, use the power and perspective of Fire to expand your options and temper your fear.  Find a trusted friend or relative who can give you an outside perspective on the situation.  Look for the silliness in your fear: if you can laugh at your disproportionate fear response, it may add enough spark to the situation to help you find your next step of action.

Posted in Chinese Medicine, Elements Acupuncture News, Five Phase Theory.