Wheels of Spiritual Growth
How to Use the Z-Axis Life Wheels
The Feelings WheelTM
Early in my spiritual journey, a friend found on the internet something called the Emotions Wheel. On it, in the inner ring, were six main emotions, three negative and three positive. The outer rings contained more nuanced versions of these main emotions.
I began to use this wheel to identify what it was that I was feeling. It fascinated me because, although I could see the word on the wheel and say, “Ah! That is what I am feeling,” I had no idea that there was a basic emotion underneath it. For example, I felt hurt. When I searched for Hurt on the Emotions Wheel and traced it to one of the six basic emotions in the inner ring, I found, Anger.
Anger? Feeling hurt is actually anger? That was shocking! I discovered other emotional foundations: feeling overwhelmed was actually fear. Feeling lonely was actually sadness. I began to trace every emotion I felt to this wheel, to discover what it really was underneath. After a bit of thought, the basic emotion always rang true.
I began to identify some emotions that weren’t on the wheel, such as melancholy, contempt, and self-protective. I noticed that the wheel had a lot of blank spaces. The obsessive attitude in me wanted to fill them in. If a wheel partially filled in was helpful, then a wheel fully filled in would be even more helpful, I reasoned.
I began to add emotions to the wheel. Then I began to rearrange them. Some of the emotions that were in the outside ring seemed to fit better in the middle ring. For example, Secure seemed to be more general than Trusting. Valuable seemed to be more general than Appreciated or Respected. Some of the emotions that were in the middle ring seemed to fit better in the outside ring. For example, Hurt seemed to be a lighter emotion than Offended. Intimate seemed to be a subset of Compassionate.
Some emotions did not seem to fit on the Feelings WheelTM at all, such as Guilty and Selfish. These were judgment statements, not truly emotions. Some of these non-emotions I moved to what was later created, The Control WheelTM.
Finally, I noticed that some emotions within each basic emotion seemed more related to one another. I began to rearrange them again, grouping each basic emotion into two subgroups. For example, Generous, Humble, and Forgiving all seemed to have to do with being kind toward others. Safe, Secure, and Free all seemed to have to do with some kind of inside confidence that had nothing to do with others. The significance of these groupings would become apparent when I designed the Love/Evil WheelTM.
Then I made sure that each emotion in the middle ring corresponded with the middle ring emotion opposite from it. Each pair had to ring true as opposites.
What resulted is the Z-Axis Life Feelings WheelTM.
We experience six basic emotions, three are negative and three are positive. They are actually opposites of one another. Peace is the opposite of Fear. Anger is the Opposite of Power. Joy is the opposite of Sadness.
All emotions are God’s energy. God’s energy is always positive, but when that energy flows to us, it goes through a filter that is comprised of our beliefs in lies. This filter turns his positive energy into negative energy. This is why we experience negative emotions.
Together, I call negative emotions, suffering. All suffering is the result of evil.
Together, I call positive emotions, love.
Each basic positive emotion is comprised of two parts. One half is passive energy, or Charity (a feeling of love toward others). The other half is active energy, or Truth. For example, Wise, Accepted, and Valuable are active versions of Power. Generous, Humble, and Forgiving are passive versions of Power. Compassionate, Connected, and Belonging are active versions of Peace. Safe, Secure, and Free are passive versions of Peace.
The passive emotions are the result of feeling God’s love for ourselves, others, and God. The active emotions are the result of knowing the Truth about ourselves, others, and God. Think of the passive as the stuff that we use to create in the world and the active as the act of creating.
To use the feelings wheel, look for the emotion that you are feeling. Trace it to the basic emotion in the center ring. If the emotion that you are feeling is negative, look across to its exact opposite in the middle ring. This is the emotion that you were expecting, but did not get. You were expecting the other person to give, say, or do something that would make you feel a positive emotion, but he did not do it. Therefore, what you actually felt was its exact opposite negative emotion. For example, if you feel Abandoned, it is because you expected someone to make you feel Supported or Value, or like you Belong, but she didn’t.
What emotion(s) do you feel most often?
Do you feel a certain basic emotion more when you are with a particular person?
How do those positive emotions sound? Would you like to feel those all of the time? Do you ever wonder how you can ever get to feeling them?
Wouldn’t life be worth living if you could feel that way most of the time?
The Control WheelTM
One afternoon, my friend and I sat down and began to talk about how our ex-mates made us feel. I began to make a list. Many of the feelings that we were naming were not on the Feelings WheelTM. In fact, I noted that they weren’t really emotions at all. They were more like … naming the cause of an emotion, or the justification for it. For example, I often used to feel Defective. Defective isn’t really an emotion … it’s an explanation for not feeling the emotion Accepted.
In just a couple of hours, we had named a full range of explanations and had identified the particular attitude in the other person that had caused each one. I began to group similar explanations and attitudes together. I realized that they were well suited to be on another wheel. I placed the explanations across from the attitudes. At first there were a few missing ones, but I had enough puzzle pieces to fill in the blanks. After using the wheel a few times and doing some fine tuning, I had completed the Z-Axis Life Control WheelTM.
The top of the wheel are the attitudes of the controller in a relationship. The bottom of the wheel, in opposite fashion just like the Feelings WheelTM are the explanations that the attitude generates in the controllee.
Generally speaking, there are three basic attitudes in a controller: Entitled, Self-Righteous, and Devaluing. These attitudes make the controllee in the relationship feel Obligated, Wrong, and Non-Existent (or Devalued).
Each of these basic attitudes generate manipulations, or games, in order to get a certain reaction out of the controllee. For example, Playing the Martyr is meant to make the controllee feel Wary, Insensitive, and Unreasonable. This manipulation is meant to change the controllee’s behavior so that he will be more kind, merciful, and humble with the controller.
Wait! Aren’t those words, Kind, Merciful, and Humble, on the Feelings WheelTM? And aren’t they in the same location on the Feelings WheelTM as Wary, Insensitive, and Unreasonable are on the Control WheelTM?
The two wheels correspond with one another.
The three attitudes on the Control WheelTM are played out by manipulations. These are roundabout ways that use trickery, lies, and the creation of obligation, to get the controller the feelings of love that he needs from the controllee.
The problem is not that the controller ends up getting those feelings of love from the controllee, which successfully mitigate his suffering. The problem is that the lies and manipulations of the controller make the controllee feel the explanations at the bottom of the Control WheelTM and, of course, the corresponding negative emotions on the Feelings WheelTM.
For example, if you feel Foolish and Manipulated, this is because your controller has Created Chaos by Gaslighting you or by making your Conversations Circular. You also will feel, on the Feelings WheelTM in the corresponding location, Anxious, Hypervigilant, and Confused.
Or, suppose you feel like Part of a Team but Stagnated. This is because your controller is Task-Focused, Busy, and Productive. She has created the obligation for you to help her complete tasks and be productive, but her activities do not actually move you forward. You are not actually creating anything of meaning or value. You are being kept occupied and distracted from pursuing Joy. You will also feel, underneath the Stagnation and on the Feelings WheelTM, Grief, Loss, and Disappointment.
The reason that the Obligated section has positive explanations in it is because these are the things that drew you to to your controller in the first place. They are the “positives” that your controller still gives you and that you need and value. The problem is that the controller is not showing you real love. He is lying to you. This is why you keep feeling negative emotions as well. Everything your controller gives to you comes with a price, an obligation to comply with his system of rewards and punishments in order to keep the fake benefits coming.
If you are feeling anything on the bottom of the Control WheelTM, you are in a control connection. You are being controlled (or it is possible that your beliefs in lies is creating a control connection in your head where there is none).
All controllers have all of the attitudes and use all of the manipulations on the Control WheelTM. But each of the three types of controllers will use one section more heavily than the others. The narcissist will mostly make you feel wrong, although he is also very good at devaluing you! The obsessive-compulsive will make you feel devalued more than anything, but she is also very good at making you feel wrong! The borderline will make you feel obligated more than anything, but he is also very good at making you feel devalued!
The Love/Evil WheelTM
I read in Eva Pierrakos’ Lecture No. 248 (Volume 5, 2012) about the three principles of the forces of evil, Deadness, Lies, and Separateness. I wondered if I could correlate each principle with each of the three basic negative emotions?
Separateness was what I felt when my controller devalued me. So I put this principle of evil in the same position as Fear. I knew that Power was associated with discovering Truth. Therefore, Lies must be the opposite of Power. I put Lies in the same position as Anger. That left Deadness in the position of Sadness. Then I named their opposites: Connected (or Oneness or Unity), Truth, and Alive.
I’m not sure how I came up with the rest of the wheel. It downloaded to me in a matter of a couple of days. I remember that I couldn’t find the personality disorder that belonged in Sadness and when I looked up blocked emotions, I came across Borderline Personality Disorder. This discovery completed the Love/Evil WheelTM.
The top half of the love/evil wheel represents evil, or non-love. The bottom half represents love.
I’ll discuss the bottom half first.
Each of the basic principles of love correspond with the three basic positive emotions. Connection corresponds with Peace. Truth corresponds with Power. Alive corresponds with Joy. The Love/Evil WheelTM is to be used in conjunction with the Feelings WheelTM.
Each principle of love is divided into two sections, just as the middle ring of the Feelings WheelTM is divided. The section on the left is the active version of the principle of love. It is experienced through the knowledge of Truth. The section on the right is the passive version of the principle of love. It is experienced through the feeling of Charity (love, giving to others). For example, the passive principle of Joy, or Aliveness, is Feeling Fully Alive. The active principle of Joy, or Aliveness, is Creating.
Each section of each principle of love can be gained primarily with a certain spiritual skill, although all of the skills come into play for all principles of love on a spiritual growth path. For example, to gain Wisdom, one must Ask the Divine for Help. To gain Mercy, one must develop Self-Awareness. To feel Fully Alive, one must allow Emotions to Fully Flow. To truly Create, one must Grieve that which the Self-Will desires.
These sections correspond with the same sections in the Feelings WheelTM. For example, when we gain Mercy through Self-Awareness (and other skills), we automatically show others Kindness, Generosity, Loyalty, and Forgiveness.
Each of the three principles of love results in virtues, which are in the outer ring, but only when both the active and the passive parts are joined. This is why Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, that without love, “it profits me nothing.” If we have Wisdom but no Mercy, we are cruel. If we have Compassion without giving the other person Freedom, we are controlling. If we Create without relying on our Emotions, we go nowhere.
Also in the outer ring are the personifications of God that we communicate with in order to achieve the virtues. For Truth, we must ask the Holy Spirit for help. For Connection, we must develop a loving, trusting relationship with Jesus Christ.
The top half of the Love/Evil WheelTM represents the lack of love, or evil. The active and passive sections support the three main principles of evil. For example, the passive energy of Lies is Hiding. When we operate in this principle, we hide from ourselves what we are actually feeling, thinking, and doing to others. The active energy of Lies is Pride. When we operate in this principle, we think ourselves better than others. We must use Lies to support this Pride and to keep our real selves Hidden.
When we feel Separate from others, we are afraid. To deal with this Fear, we Trust only Ourselves. We do not trust others and we do not Trust God.
When we feel Dead, when we Block our Emotions and do not allow them to flow, our Self-Will must be in charge. We cannot experience God’s energy (emotions) in ourselves. Without his energy, we are Dead. Without his energy, we have no direction, no Purpose. We must make up our own direction and purpose for ourselves. This is our Self-Will.
The next ring are examples of the lies that we believe that cause us to block emotions, to hide, and to not trust. There are any number of lies that each of us believes and they are all unique to us. We each have three basic, foundational lies that block the principles of love. For example, “Dependency is Weakness.” This makes us not Trust God and not trust others. We will depend only on ourselves. This Separates us from others and causes Fear.
In the outer ring are the manifestations of each principle of evil. These manifestations are what results in the physical world when we believe a lie about why a principle of love is bad or wrong. For example, if we believe that We Are Defective, we will hide that defectiveness from ourselves. We will cover up our shame with Pride. Then we will go about proving that we are better than others by Living in Fantasy, accumulating Flashy Stuff, being Aggressive in order to feel powerful, and Manipulate others in order to support the Lies that we tell ourselves. The extreme version of this principle of evil is Narcissistic Personality Disorder. This is one of the three types of controllers.
You can see, just by examining a person’s house, where his most powerful lie is operating. A person with an extremely neat and orderly house is living in Fear. A person whose house is chock full of stuff is living in Deadness. A person whose house is impressive is living in Lies.
Use this wheel to help you grow. If you are experiencing sadness and a lack of direction, you are not Feeling Alive or Creating. You are not allowing your Emotions to flow and there is likely a goal that your Self-Will wants that you must Grieve.
If you are confused about who is telling you the truth and who is not, you need Wisdom. Ask the Divine for Help. You can use this skill to help you with your employer, your spouse, even your government!
If you Accumulate Money and can never have enough savings, you are experiencing Fear. You feel disconnected from the Divine, from the love and care of Jesus Christ. You must learn how to listen to your intuition, your gut, in order to Trust that God will take care of you today as well as tomorrow.
Our relationships, particularly our intimate one, are based on this wheel. We are drawn to others who appear to have what we feel we lack. A controller will be drawn to a controllee who has access to the principle of love that was most lacking in the controller’s childhood. A controllee will be drawn to a controller who appears to have access to the principle of love that was most lacking in the controllee’s childhood.
For example, a Fear-based controller, such as an Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disordered, will be drawn to a controllee who has Peace, who feels secure and who trusts his intuition, the Divine source inside him. A controllee whose parent was Fear-based will be drawn to a Fear-based controller because the controllee has been falsely convinced that he does not have Peace. The controller appears to have the Peace that the controllee craves. (The reality is that the controllee has the real thing; the controller does not.)
This is why people with Asperger’s Syndrome, who are Truth-based, are drawn to narcissists, who are Lies-based. The Aspie has the real deal, but has grown up being told that he does not know the Truth of the world. He believes that he lacks Power. He is drawn to the narcissist, who exhibits lots of Power. The narcissist is drawn to the Aspie because the Aspie has real Power. The narcissist will garner tons of fuel when he makes the Aspie, feel powerless. Which he does, throughout the course of the relationship.
A Sadness-based controller, the Borderline, feels Dead inside. He is drawn to a controllee who is Alive, a person who can feel her emotions fully. The controllee thinks that the Borderline is Alive because the Borderline is so dramatic. But the drama is only a technique that he uses to feel Alive; it is not true Aliveness. The Borderline then proceeds to shut down the controllee’s real emotions at every turn. His drama, which makes him feel Alive, causes real suffering in the controllee.