Monday, May 2, 2011

The Breakthrough: Emotions as a Sense

The untethering of our emotions from external sources begins a journey of redefinition. This is not the redefining of who we’ve always been, but a discovery of what we really are. This process unfolds as the weights and the strings begin to be purged and sliced from our life. This is a breakthrough, and it significantly readjusts the way we experience and interact with everything and everyone.

Emotions are like a sixth sense. Emotions give us immediate, on-the-spot feedback on our life. That feedback can be a guide or an obstacle. The obstacle would be an unwillingness to remain aware and curious to what our emotions are telling us. This would be much like not removing your hand from a hot burner; it makes absolutely no sense.

Instead of working against these emotions, we could turn it all around by seeing these emotions as guides, not walls. By pushing away what we feel, we’re ignoring a large swath of input. This input is particularly rich in texture and diffuse simultaneously.

The nebulous nature of emotion is what confuses us, much like the cosmos confused humanity for generations. It still confounds, such is the complexity and unfamiliarity with the universe as well as our emotions.

We must take great patience as we embark on this emotional exploration. Following emotions to the origin is difficult, but we can at least have a sense of where those emotions do not originate, from outside of us. This is a most common misstep, the connecting of the cause of what we feel to any external source.

Challenge this premise objectively. Objectivity with emotions isn’t easy initially, just as walking wasn’t easy those first thousand steps. Give yourself at least that many here. We, after all, have been treating emotions pretty much the same way for our entire lives.

When we feel anger, is someone injecting that into us, or is someone bringing our innate anger out into the open?

We’re at the stove, we’re sautéing food and some oil splatters and burns our hand. We get angry. Is it the oil that's infused with anger and that makes us angry upon hitting our skin? Or, is that anger already inside of us and simply needs to be triggered to surface?

When we’re happy, are we being lifted up by someone else or an inner light being switched on by someone else? Often, people will remark on how someone or something makes them happy. Ferret out the truth, here. If someone makes you happy, why isn’t that always the case?

These emotions are similar to switches. Sometimes, the circuits break and the switches become useless. Unlike electricity, however, when the circuits break, the emotions may remain transfixed. This is what happens when we attempt to block out our feelings, it can overload the system.

The ramifications are complex and difficult to manage. Remember, our emotions are not us; our emotions are simply another sense, much like our physical senses. Just like our physical senses, our emotions can be misunderstood and easily misinterpreted.

Emotions are just that, impressions about what we’re experiencing. These feelings fluctuate continuously because our experience fluctuates continuously. It is the application of force and control that creates a blockage of that natural process and creates problems for us.

Try this, just experience the emotions. Close your eyes and simply allow your mind to become familiar with whatever it is you’re feeling right now. This is like watching your body breathe, which the body does all on its own without us even thinking. This is what we’re doing here, we’re not thinking about how we feel, but experiencing it as it is. No control required.

You may discover that there are subtle connections between your physical body and the way you feel. This exercise can provide a great deal of relief in the midst of an intense emotional experience. It is the intensity that our mind reacts to through shutting down the emotional process instead of allowing our emotional state to unfold on its own.

Emotions are our own. Emotions are a sense. Emotions arise to help us, not hinder us. Emotions fluctuate naturally; controlling emotions interrupts that natural process. How we experience and think about our emotions directly affects our daily life. How that experience unfolds is completely up to us.

Do we work against our nature, or do we make it work for us?

1 comment:

  1. Emotions can be misunderstood or misinterpreted.. So often, when one reacts emotionally to someone, it may have nothing directly related to that person. It has to do with something non-related to anyone else but the person reacting... Maybe they do not even understand why they are emotional..