There has always been a question in my mind regarding the use of emotions in attaining enlightenment/self-awareness. It is said that emotions come and go in waves. That often times we try to suppress the negative emotions like anger, lust, greed, jealousy, fear, sadness etc. thereby creating a shadow space in ourselves comprising all the unaccepted parts of ourselves like the negative emotions. If we were to allow these emotions to run their course than they would simply pass through our body without leaving any residues. It is in generating/offering resistance to the emotions that we build the obstacles to the free flow of energy in our body. Given that all emotions are energies of different patterns and wavelengths we only need to give them free passage to enjoy good health and wellbeing.
So far, so good. But how does one allow a negative emotion to ride through without being adversely affected by it. Say I am in a situation where I feel intensely angry/lustful/greedy/jealous/fearful/sad, allowing the emotion's wave to flow through I need to remain aware that I am not the emotion. I do not identify with the emotion nor do I deny it. I take responsibility for the emotion acknowledging that it is mine and I can use the energy in the emotion any which way I want.
Patterns of emotional expression
Of course there are cultural definitions to the expression of emotions as for example we generally weep when we are sad or sit with a long face, shout or bang doors when we are angry or cringe and try to hide when we are afraid etc. patterns of expressing emotions tend to run in families since that is where we get our most intense emotional training. There might also be genetic predispositions to certain styles of expression. But emotions come and go in every one. Perhaps even in the most enlightened beings, except I would imagine that they have reached a stage where they experience a constant flow of different sensations, energy...