There was a time in my life when a particular song would come on and when it got to a specific set of lyrics, no matter where I was I would burst into tears. Weirdly, it wasn’t a song I had a deep prior connection to…and I just couldn’t figure it out. I mean, bawling uncontrollably at the gym on the treadmill was new and perplexing.

Have you ever had an experience like this? It could be a commercial, a song, or even a video clip of a gorilla being reunited with the human that raised him years later. But for some reason, it just gets you right in the gut and suddenly you’re all choked up or you’ve got full-body chills.

What does it mean when something seemingly random resonates in a deeply emotional and even physical way that leaves you asking why?

This week, I’m exploring emotional triggers that might seem out of place, but can actually be opportunities for you to more deeply know yourself.

If you have ever cried at a commercial and felt like you might be nuts, I invite you to click on this video so you can begin to gather these beautiful clues from these moments and use them to take deeper, better care of yourself.



I got inspired this week by coach and “deep soul encourager,” Serene Hitchcock. She writes about the kind of instances that rock you to the core and that we should definitely pay attention to them because they have much to teach us if we allow ourselves to fully process them.

From a psychological point of view, it’s almost as if your unconscious mind is peeking up into your conscious experience and saying, “Hey, this is meaningful. There’s more for you underneath this. I see you.”

It’s a moment of emotional recognition, where something that’s within us recognizes and connects to something outside of us in a powerful way. So what do we do with that?

Now in my case, I did what any good therapist would do. I talked to my therapist about it. I share the rest of my own story of emotional recognition with that darn Chicks “Travelin’ Soldier” song inside the episode, so be sure to watch it here or listen to it here.

In this week’s downloadable guide, I’m giving you some questions to help you identify the types of emotional recognition you might be having and to help you connect the dots to an original experience in your own life that might need your attention. You can grab that right here.

The more information and data we can gather about ourselves, the better. Taking the time and space to learn about who you truly are is what will allow you to create robust mental health.

As a psychotherapist and relationship expert for over two decades, I’ve created what I believe to be the 5 essential pillars of self-mastery. They are tried and true and build upon one another:

  1. Self-Awareness – because we can’t change anything we’re unaware of.
  2. Self-Knowledge – this is the stage in which we dig in to examine our unconscious and subconscious mind. You can use your own moments of emotional recognition as clues.
  3. Self-Acceptance – we learn how to accept what we’ve experienced for what it truly was. Rather than avoid the pain, we have to be willing to revisit anything that might need our attention, love, and care.
  4. Self-Compassion – we treat ourselves with understanding and loving-kindness, the way we would a cherished loved one.
  5. Self-Mastery – this looks like embracing and practicing real self-love, deeply knowing yourself and doing the work, communicating your needs, wants and desires clearly, and living out your amazing, one-of-a-kind life.

I hope that this episode inspires you to follow the breadcrumbs back to things in your life. You’ve only got this one life (at least in this incarnation), so why not become an expert on YOU? I promise you that when you do, it will open a new world of possibilities for you to truly THRIVE.

If you’ve ever questioned yourself and your emotional reactions to certain things, don’t forget to download your guide to emotional recognition right here!

If this episode of The Terri Cole Show added value, please share it with the people in your life! I would be so grateful. Thank you for being you and I’d love to know what you think (or even what commercials you always cry at) so tag me and let me know @terricole on the ‘gram!

Also while I still have you I wanted to let you know about “Crushing Codependency”.  Last year I  teamed up with my friend and fellow relationship expert, Mark Groves (@createthelove), to create a course called Crushing Codependency. If you have experienced codependency, are confused about what it means to be codependent, or feel you are codependent and ready to go deeper into understanding it and move onto the road to recovery, this might be for you.

This virtual course is therapeutically based, grounded in both positive and practical psychology, and based on my five pillars of self-mastery to accelerate transformation. I would absolutely love to have you join us so you can finally learn how to free yourself from codependency.

Here’s where you can get all the details for Crushing Codependency and enroll! 

I hope you have an amazing week and as always take care of you.

Terri Cole is a licensed psychotherapist, transformation coach, and an expert at turning fear into freedom. Sign up for Terri’s weekly Newsletter, check out her blog and follow her on Twitter.