I’ve been very emotional lately, with a lot of negative feelings. And as I’ve mentioned earlier, I am a bit tired of myself. Of my feelings, thoughts, worrying and being hurt. So this night, I got up again when I got overwhelmed by my feelings and couldn’t sleep. And I started writing,. I wrote for a couple of hours. Some of my nightly thoughts make sense, and some of the things I wrote, shows that I should’ve been in bed sleeping instead. 🙂
This is my opinion. Our feelings are our natural response to our thoughts and intentions. By stating this, I do say that we don’t really choose our feelings directly, they are a feedback mechanism. They indicate whether we’re moving into alignment with our true desires (positive feelings) or out of alignment (negative feelings).
Simply put… I think we feel good when we’re moving towards what we want, and we feel bad when we’re moving away from what we want. And that movement is more about thought and intention than it is about action.
Seeing feelings that way, as feedback, forces me to deal with negative feelings and to back track them to their source. That source is found in my thoughts and intentions. When I ask myself, “What thoughts and intentions are giving rise to these feelings?” I can eventually find the answer. I can see where I’m out of alignment with what I really want. Negative feelings reveal that I’m moving away from my true desires instead of towards them, so I do my best to acknowledge and accept my true desires and to align my thoughts with them.
There are a couple different processes I find effective here. The first and most important to me is blogging and writing a diary. I write to clarify my negative feelings and to figure out what thoughts are causing them. Sometimes it takes me a good while to understand where I am, and this delay the process. Then, when I finally start writing about the real feelings, I sometimes experience my feelings as an earthquake before my world is understandable again.
The second process is get in to my negative feelings source is by conversation. I have a very close friend, and we use each other to get a better understanding of our own feelings. I can say “I’m feeling stressed/angry/disturbed/etc., but I’m not sure why? Will you help me figure this out?” Then we sit and talk for a while to get to the bottom of it. These conversations often happens on the phone, we live in different towns, but it is always a great way for me to get a better prospective on my own feelings and my situation. And I know it is the same for her.
But most of the time my feelings arise from my own thoughts, and either through writing or conversation, I can track them to the source. Invariably this reveals I’ve been inadvertently moving away from something I want. The negative emotions are a way for my true desires to get my attention: “Hey there… remember me? I’m still here, and I’m not going away, so you’d better deal with me soon.” Identifying the source of feelings like this is more scary and challenging but also most encouraging.
Lately I’ve often found myself sitting down to work, and I just can’t seem to get anything going. I feel no passion for what I’m doing, the work on my plate seems really tedious, and I just don’t feel motivated to do anything. By succumbing to this pattern for days and even weeks, I feel even worse now because I’m not getting anything done. I’ve disguised the problem a bit, it’s summer/ I’m taking some time off/ etc, but the reality hit me tonight. In this situation I need to call a time-out and track those feelings back to the source. Eventually I found the unacknowledged desire screaming at me: “you need to do more of the things you want to do. And you need to find a way to keep your focus on exactly what you are going to do, and just stay focused and get to work!” So I acknowledge that desire and take a stab at coming into better alignment with it. This feels a little better to me, but I can tell I’m still not quite there yet. There’s still this gnawing feeling of negativity that I’m missing something.
Another round of introspection brings up more revelations. “Yes you need to focus on your writing, but you also need to see more people. You need to get out of the house and change your surroundings.” And I hear myself argue that I’ve done exactly that, these summer weeks. I’ve been having visitors, and I have been visiting friends, and been doing some traveling. So why am I in this situation now then? I start to realize that what I need is to find the daily balance of working as a writer, and meeting people, or simply living my life.
I hope that by continuing to use feelings as feedback, I will keep listening and taking action, noticing what works (positive feelings) and what doesn’t work (negative or neutral feelings) And I hope that if I keep making changes to bring myself into alignment with my true desires, my baseline emotional state becomes increasingly positive.