Uncover Hidden Emotions: What’s Really Pushing Your Buttons and Why?

“When you judge another, you do not define them. You define yourself.” ~Wayne Dyer

Lately, I’ve been confronted by envy. It’s one of those negative emotions that I used to avoid taking credit for.

“I really am happy for everyone,” I would tell potential mates and friends.” And I thought I meant it.

Instead of feeling envious, which was impossible since I didn’t do envy, I would feel an ambiguous sense of dislike for the person. 

My elementary school best friend who went on to become a Miss America contender? I made up a story that she was being “fake” by parading around wearing too much makeup. I wanted to be happy for her, but it was too hard.

There’s another young woman I didn’t like, too. She’s a bestselling author and spiritual teacher who is adored by millions and actually looks cute delivering love from the universe. Why didn’t I like her?

I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, so I made up another story about how something wasn’t in alignment and I didn’t trust her integrity.

And the hardest to admit, I suddenly didn’t like an acquaintance I’d known since high school when she started hanging out with a guy I liked. You’d think I could put it all together, but my mind wouldn’t let me see the truth.

Since this feeling of dislike was subtle and ambiguous, it slipped past my internal radar.

There’s not doubt you see my pattern, though. What I masked with disdain was really a crown of envy.

I was unable to admit to myself that I wanted what these women had. 

I wanted a bestselling book and I wanted to be in the spotlight. I even wanted to be with that guy, who is now my boyfriend. I wanted to share universal love with masses of people—and tiaras are just so sparkly and awesome.

It took me years to discover this. It bothered me that I didn’t like these women. It bothered me so much that I paid extra attention to them. I read their blogs, watched their YouTube channels, and followed their event schedule. I never did read those books, though, even though I really did want to!

Until I was mature enough to acknowledge my real issue, the lack of understanding of why I didn’t like them had a real hold on me.

The switch from dislike to open envy may not seem like a big deal, but from a healing perspective, it was.

No amount of healing can occur when it is directed toward a lie. The time I spent disliking these women was wasted time. It was an artificial reason and therefore could not be healed until I got to the root cause: that I wanted what they have. 

It also took humility to accept the fact that I was envious. I spend a lot of my day focusing on love and service. I had a false perception of myself as being beyond that particular emotion.

I saw it as something I had transcended, but that thought was false. In admitting that to myself, I grew above it and my heart opened again.

From there, I was able to objectively look at my life and see where I could incorporate actions that would give me similar results. I was also able to have compassion for these women. I could see that, just like me, they had insecurities and were not perfect.

I had inadvertently put them on a pedestal while I was judging them. I needed to make them different from me in order to find fault. It turns out that taking them down off the pedestal actually empowered me to take steps toward achieving my dreams. 

In my envy, I was preventing myself from creating what I wanted. I was holding all of that at an arm's distance. It was sabotage in the sneakiest way.

How can you benefit from my transformation? Here are some steps that you can take to uncover hidden emotions and flip them from negative to positive:

Look at who or what is pushing your buttons.

Everything external is internal. This means that if something outside of yourself is bothering you, for example, someone else’s behavior, then you have that within you as well. If you didn’t, there would be no emotional charge to it.

Take away the judgment.

You are not less spiritual, lovable, or amazing because you are feeling a negative emotion. Allow yourself to be honest about what you want, what you are feeling, and any attachments you have.


Shower love on yourself, your truth, your pain, and everything associated with your current dilemma. This will ease your body and mind, allowing for the situation to pass. You can now see the wisdom and reasoning behind its creation.

Remember that we are brilliant beings.

The fact that we create lessons for ourselves using negative emotions in roundabout ways shows two things: we cannot escape ourselves, and personal evolution is always available if we allow ourselves to see the next step.

Photo by Javier Armas

About Rachel Archelaus

Rachel Archelaus teaches people how to have a two-way conversation with their Higher Self using Intuitive Art. She also teaches healers and coaches how to incorporate this modality into their practices to create a business that supports their Purpose. Take a free Intuitive Art class at

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  • Dochy

    This is SO true Rachel! You hit the nail on the head with “if something outside of yourself is bothering you, then you have that within you as well. If you didn’t, there would be no emotional charge to it.”

    And I’m so proud of you to have accepted your emotions, found your true feelings and for having worked on them! Not many people (including myself) would be able to do it well! Kudos to your healing and for sharing this! 🙂

  • Graham Fraser

    And if the emotion is just a bit darker and slightly more intense than envy? If it boarders on a near-pathological rage? Without being too graphic – and I hope with enough sensitivity – how does a concentration-camp survivor find it in them to “shower love” on their pain when it feels so wrong to want anything except ten-times more for “them” than what they inflicted on you?

    Any suggestions to turn that around? I’ve read all the “spite is drinking poison” and “meditate on love in/hate out” and etc., and etc. with no effect…. mostly ’cause love and hate can’t be breathed in and out (how do you people imagine the impossible? There is nothing physical in love and/or hate for your lungs to be moving! It makes no sense) and I am even more self-hate-filled now that I’ve allowed the thought into my head that maybe the real “I” decided to put me “here.”

    Not self-hate of my body or lack of tallent or whatever…..

    …..I hate my “self” and can’t imagine any way not to.

  • Thank you so much Dochy! I am soaking in your support. You are much stronger than you think you are and I wish you lots of love on your own journey. <3 Rachel

  • Hi Graham,

    The sayings that you dislike are true if you think about it this way: is your rumination actually hurting the other person? No. It is contained within you. They probably have no idea that you are harboring these feelings, and if they do, it isn’t causing them the same kind of harm.

    You also mention that hate and love are not physical things, yet if you look at a person who is jubilant and in love, the person walks lighter, their skin glows, they have clear, sparkling eyes, and a huge smile. That is the physical representation of love; it is a well-functioning inner system that allows the body to move with ease (granted there are no disabilities, etc. and even if they are, the mind will function better.) In a state of deep depression or self-hatred, the body is constricted. The muscles will ache, the shoulders will be in knots, and the person will have a hunch, look down, and not smile. These physiological symptoms cause different chemical reactions within the body and actually alter mood, thoughts, and behavior. So everything is really tied together.

    You can activate self-love by thinking of a time when you were really happy. Even if was just a memory of a great hug when you were younger, or a pet that was special. Thinking of these things will trigger your heart area to feel expanded and tingly. Put your hand over your heart while you are imagining so you can really feel the change. If you make a habit of doing this exercise, you will retrain your mind and body to produce these happier feelings more often. Try to make decisions when you are in this expanded state. The more you live from this place, the more your life will transform.

    I really hope that you can give it a try and ease the distress you are feeling. It will take effort, but it’s well worth it. Much love to you!

  • Over It

    “Everything external is internal. This means that if something outside of yourself is bothering you, for example, someone else’s behavior, then you have that within you as well. If you didn’t, there would be no emotional charge to it.”

    I have a big problem with this “mirroring” statement and always have thought it most ridiculous. Mirroring makes life’s problems/evil so superficial. I hate the behavior/actions of a murderer, child molester, abuser, etc. to the very core. Yet to adopt the mirroring philosophy means that I have those aspects within myself as well. I most definitely do NOT have those qualities within. You cannot separate it out just for the good people….you have to include ALL people. This is what makes this feel good way of life so superficial….it NEVER includes the bad, evil, vile, and atrocious actions of really sick and twisted human beings. Get real!

    Sorry…I’m not buying into it!

  • Graham Fraser

    Thank you for your quick reply.

    Keep trying….. *sigh*….. That’s what I’ve been doing; 16+ months and still all I hear when contemplating “letting go”, or forgiving, or allowing love in (or out, for that matter) is a voice saying:

    “NO! NEVER again!”

    Ps. I know hating God (whatever) and/or my soul and/or the idiots who birthed me does nothing to them, and significant damage to me. That knowledge changes nothing: I’d take god apart slowly and painfully over centuries and enjoy every sick minute of it if I could figure out how.

    And it’s killing me. How can I love me, if it was me that put me here?

    I. HATE. HERE.

    but I don’t want to any more.

  • Jenn

    Thank you for this Rachel. I find that when people are hurt and frustrated with life or their circumstance, the easiest thing to do is direct those feelings toward someone or something else, which is to externalize, because the emotions are too difficult for us to confront at the moment. I encourage anyone who misunderstands this message to look beyond the surface. When we begin to tear someone else down because of behaviors, beliefs, and quirks that are harmless in the grand scheme of things, we need to do some soul searching. Being angry about hateful behavior, evil, and injustices toward mankind is something else all together. Again thank you for this Rachel. I am just a bit better because of this message.

  • This is a wonderful article!

  • Thanks for this very honest post.

  • Thank you for your reply “Over it”. I do, however, consider the evil, vile and atrocious with this philosophy though. Having compassion for people who commit murder is very possible and also very healthy. We all have the capacity to do evil things – just look at all the people who helped build the atom bomb, who kill people in wars, or the people who assisted Hitler in exterminating the people at concentration camps. Most of those people are just like us. If the circumstances in your life were so degrading, abusive and unhealthy, you might be pushed to a limit just like people who do bad things. I’m not saying that if you have an emotional charge to murder then you are a murderer, what I’m saying is that if you don’t have any compassion for the murderer, you are not acknowledging your humanity. I hope that makes sense.

  • Thank you so much, Jenn. I’m glad you liked it!

  • Ting

    Thank you for sharing !

  • Karisa

    I really needed to read this article today. I’ve been have a tough time with admitting to my true emotions. I am trying to be happy with myself and be a more positive person, so when I have off days where I am sad, I often avoid feeling it. I think, how can I be sad? Im a positive person now! Yet its hard to admit that problems don’t go away that easily. And its true, I have a problem being truly happy for others if I am not happy with myself. Its hard to address, but everyday is an opportunity to learn and progress.

  • That’s such a great attitude to have, Karisa! I bet you’re inspiring other people to look at life that way too. 🙂

  • Sammieanntha


    “how can I love me, if it was me that put me here?”

    Is this the only reason that’s holding you back from loving yourself……because you put yourself here? Have you ever asked why you did that? And then why to the answer of that question, and so on? Have you attempted to retrace your steps meticulously to find out the source of your situation?
    When you have all the evidence you can analyse and determine a reason/motive.
    With this, you should have a clearer understanding of events.
    Understanding requires an amount of empathy.
    When you can truly empathise with the situation in the third person, throw some compassion into the mix.
    Now what do you need to do to get to forgiveness?
    I think you’ve probably served enough time battling with yourself over and over…..? Attempt some forgiveness, just a little bit….one tiny piece of the equation. When you feel safe enough afterwards do a bit more but don’t deviate from equilibrium too far or too fast.
    Over time the energy you have been pouring into hating yourself will become free. You must use it wisely. Introduce yourself to yourself. Find out what yourself likes, doesn’t like. Hobbies, interests etc etc. get to know you from scratch, as if you’d never met before. Form an acquaintance, then a friendship….date for ages before you let down your guard and fall in love. It will be a much more stable relationship if you take your time.

    I have hated here too. For a very long time. After 15years of hating, I didn’t want to anymore. I had a little help in the beginning but most of my work has been done alone. It has taken me over 2years to get somewhere Between acquaintance and friend but I know I want to find out more about myself… really get to know me before I let me into my heart and start loving…..

    If you don’t want to hate anymore then don’t. Pick up your spy glass Sherlock and get sleuthing instead!

    Wishing you all the very best,

  • This is just the article I needed to read! Thanks for sharing the insights of your journey.