Are Not Your Feelings
Not long ago, I was well into one of those walks when
I realized that I wasn’t noticing anything at all. My mind
was caught up in some things that had happened earlier that day,
and I realized
I felt annoyed and irritable.
Fast forward to the following evening, same walk, same little
buddy trotting along side of me, and I’m feeling good, positive--back
to my old self.
Hmmm—I thought—what’s that about? How did something
that felt so real just 24 hours ago now seem like a memory, and
a very distant one at that?
Later that night, my husband Mark, who is a big fan of anything
on the Discovery Channel, was watching a show called, The Planet.
On the broadcast, the narrator was talking about the difference
between weather and climate. Personally, I never really thought
much about this, but weather is what the atmosphere does today,
tomorrow, next week, and climate is what the atmosphere does over
a much longer period of time.
So, I thought, climate is like the baseline of who we
we generally perceive things and operate in our world. But the
weather is like our feelings; they can change, sometimes
from moment to moment .
In the course of the day, most of us can go through a wide array
of feelings: an edge of annoyance at having to wait too long in
a line, sadness at listening to a touching story on the news, pure
joy at watching the beauty of a sunset. Feelings give texture to
life. But like weather systems, they come and they go.
In fact, the key to experiencing the richness of life is to do
just that: let our feelings come and go. You can’t hold on
to the “good” ones, any more than you can hold on to
these cool, dry days that will soon be home to summer’s heat.
And resisting the clouds of sadness or anger will just cause them
to hang on longer, blocking the flow of what is to come. Feelings
are not negative or positive-they just are. It’s what we
do with them that’s make the difference.
Your feelings are meant to inform you. They give you feedback
on your experience, and can sometimes provide you with clues as
to what is the best action to take. But feelings do not define
you; they are not who you are.
So step into your feelings: notice them, breathe into them, and
listen to what they have to share. But then, like passing clouds
on a sunny day, watch them go.
Until next time…