As Gay Hendricks began the process of losing his hundred-plus pounds, he realized he needed to learn how to embrace his emotions. He needed to let down his 300-pound wall of defense and build up a new emotional awareness in himself. It has caused him to wonder whether perhaps we should start learning the skills of emotional awareness in kindergarten.
He lists physical reactions associated with certain emotions (such as fear, sadness, joy and anger) and how they can be confused with hunger and fatigue, with problematic results. He relates his own awakening experience, where he came to understand the complexity of his “defense” mechanisms, to the importance of being alert to our own emotions and their power.