Emotions are a lot like undedicated people.
They may come on strong at first, but without constant support and encouragement, they give up and fade out.
Even more like undedicated people, another one will come along almost immediately.
According to various studies, emotions don’t last that long at all.
When one initially hits, we have a window to decide how we are going to handle it. We can accept that it is there and let it run its course. Or, we can invest in it, feed it, and hold on to it. We talked about stories yesterday, and this is exactly where they kick in.
We don’t often even consider this to be a choice. We think we “are” our emotions or that they have a right to be there or that we have a right to feel them. I suppose we certainly have the right to experience our emotions, and I would encourage everyone to do so. But feeding them and talking them up bigger and bigger often just brings suffering. This even applies to happiness. By talking it up and trying to hang on to it we give the whole thing this air of desperation, killing the happiness.
The question is really why we aren’t allowed to experience our emotions without the thoughts that accompany them. Why do we have to think about everything we are experiencing?
I get that this is part of the price of our level of consciousness, but it also binds us up in a great number of ways. We feel what we feel, and that makes sense, but then our thoughts rush in and mess with things.
Sometimes it makes sense that we feel terrible.
The loss of a loved one, treating someone poorly, the loss of a relationship we cared about, disappointment. It makes sense to feel anger over someone doing something to our child, to seeing injustice and harm to others, to being attacked or manipulated. We should be sad over some things, fearful about others. The issue lies in our thoughts seeking to have a say in the rightness or wrongness of what we are experiencing. This is where it all gets messy.
Why judge or feed something that is a natural result of what is going on around us?
Why cling to or reject something that we have no control over?
Looking for something more?
I write, podcast and make videos about living in freedom through mindfulness, intentionality, compassion, and equanimity.
Want to know when I post something new, subscribe to my newsletter and never miss a beat!