Last night in my class the emotions flowed and many began to feel overwhelmed. The intensity of emotions that came to the surface stirred my heart and made me wonder: how come we are such emotional beings where we can go from teetering on despair only minutes after being giddy?
You (and the rest of us) are emotional being because you are in almost constant reactivity to your environment. Your emotions are activated by your reactivity, your reactivity is activated by your thoughts, your thoughts are activated by your conditioning, your conditioning started before your birth and continues until you get to the end of the road. We are feeling creatures and there are only a few things we can do to be less reactive.
I will get to the less reactive part a little later. You feel because you are alive. Your emotions began as thoughts in response to yourself, events, and the world around you. Feelings arise to add color, passion, and intensity to your life. Not feeling is numb, boring and lifeless.
Feelings also provide direction and feedback. When the primary messages of your emotions are fear, anger, worry and discontent than your emotions are guiding you away from the direction you are moving in. Being off course is always uncomfortable and unsettling. The natural response is to change direction in search of what will work better for you.
If you feel upbeat, hopeful, happy and peaceful, you are heading in the right direction. The reason you know you are on course is that you feel comfortable and going where you know you need to go. Feelings are a constant reminder of being in your body, of being in relationship to yourself and the life around you. If you didn’t feel there would be no color and vibrancy to life, no passion or lively interactions, no spice just bland repetitions.
Yes the emotions can feel like a roller coaster but without them life is more a traffic jam going nowhere, feed up and helpless and that isn’t much fun.
Let me share a simple formula for enjoying yourself as a feeling being. All feelings arise and fall, there are no feelings that just stay around without you fueling them with your thoughts. If you have feelings that are confusing or disturbing you, they quickly go away if you look at them, acknowledge them and accept yourself as feeling them. In a few shorts minutes of careful examination feelings naturally transform into other feelings. If you doubt me, try this: next time you feeling really happy about something try holding onto your happiness. Soon as you try to hold onto feelings they change into new forms.
If you don’t like what you are feeling change your thoughts and reactivity to what is going on inside of you and around you. Changing your thoughts is as simple as focusing on something you like or want to experience. Go into detail in your thoughts about this what you like or this new experience you want to experience and the past sticky thoughts is gone. You can also go in your imagination to your favorite place and see, feel, smell, taste and enjoy this imaginary place and you will feel as you are there.
I want to feel what I feel and enjoy and appreciate being fully alive. Feelings tells me I am alive. What do you want to do with what you feel, will it be exploring it, replacing it or fighting it?