We are not our feelings, either.

Be here, Now.

Be here, Now.

We so often derive a sense of self from what we feel.

When a feeling arises we assume that a self feels it, owns it, attaches to it.

Yet there is a profound other possibility as we explore the realm of non-duality, of what we truly are.

Quite often we first begin to realize that many thoughts aren’t true.  They’re figments.  They’re ghosts.  They’re fiction.  They are born from the mental cradle and we’ve been conditioned to create a sense of self from the flimsy thoughts which rise and fall.

We’ve created an entire world, an entire play, an entire drama literally out of thin air.  We’ve created a named creature, a self, like the main character from your favorite book.  You’re the star of your favorite TV show.  You’ve created a “you” and you want to prolong the plot another thirty or fifty years.

When you start glimpsing through the impermanent pages of your story–if you’re diligent or lucky–you might start realizing the fictional nature of thoughts.  But you still might follow the deep rootings of your emotion, the swift or passionate desires arising, the hot and cold nature of feelings.

You will probably still imagine that the feelings arising are “you”.

Continue to witness.  It sometimes arises like this:  warm/hot/cold sensation in chest, in solar plexus, in stomach.  It rises like a storm, a tempest brewing in the Gulf, the waves beating the shore.  You feel you can’t live through it.  You must give in to the wanting, the desire, the anger, the emotion.  You will die if you do not somehow engage, batten the ships, disperse the energy.

Keep witnessing.  Stay in the storm.  Don’t be afraid of the lightning and thunder of your emotions.  Stay there without thoughts, without the story you’ve added a hundred thousand times.

What you might notice is this:  those feelings are not you.  They are simply the by-products of the storm.  They’re the wind, the howling, the rumbling, the waves rising.  They are not the you who sees the entire scene.  They are only passing flotsam and jetsam and seawater.

You’ll see this once, one fine storm, but it’s usually not enough.  In every emotional storm that arises see it again and again and again.

Yesterday, in a brief emotional storm, I saw all the way back to babyhood.  To the baby crying, wanting, uncomfortable, desiring.  Save me.  Give me bottle, change my diaper, hungry, give me food, hug, want.  Help.  Help.  Help.

Discomfort arose and a parent arrived to croon, “You, You, You.”  The parent sang you into existence as it changed your diapers, as it cuddled, as it shaped you into something more than discomfort.  It shaped your discomfort into a want and showed you how to appease it.  It also formed you into a self, into the main character of your novella.

The intensity of our feelings formed a sense of self along with the thoughts which plumped it out.

As we mature into realizing it becomes suddenly clearer, like blue skies after a rainstorm:  I am not my thoughts.  I am not my feelings.  I am not my body.  The realization may arise on the mental level but longs to sink deep into your knowing.  Let it sink into your heart, your actions, your dreams, the next moment, the next unexpected crack of the Thunderbirds.

(Then you will perhaps begin to more assuredly use your inner compass to direct you, one that utilizes feelings, thoughts and body, the lady next door, the chickadee singing, everything you’ve previously labeled as separate, as outside the self.  That inner knowing, that inner intuition, will guide you because it is Everything.  It is the maturation of the baby’s cry.  It is the maturation of your entire evolving.)

If you’re ready to realize who you are–don’t waste another storm with another chapter of your saga.  It can be survived, just barely, if you’re ready.  If you’re not ready bring your umbrella of stories and have a ball writing them in the pouring rain.

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6 thoughts on “We are not our feelings, either.

  1. wait…you mean there are people that do not notice these things as wind and thunder and ect., as symptoms, byproducts, expressions? I cannot comprehend it. Do I want to comprehend it?

    • The If/Than statement at the end, to me is a false alternative. It has not been experience that there is only this if only that. I wonder, quite frequently how so many other writers get away with it. I also note, that in the arena, words, definitions and understandings can require hip boots or even a life vest. I have yet to see you write that someone has failed at reaching some destination called ‘there’, and being less than or storied for all else.

      • You are right, Elisa. Totally right. Perhaps I fell into conditioning when writing that summary. Or perhaps someone could take the energy in that sentence and realize what hasn’t been realized? I know I grabbed the energy in a paragraph like that earlier in January and realized more “here-ness” than ever before when reading it. (One always needs hip boots and life vests when reading words because their opposites are almost always true. To say anything is to risk it all. Or perhaps to say anything is to risk…nothing.)

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