What if feelings are an indication of your thinking
We all experience feelings, but do we know what they are? Not the labels that we give them but their function in life.
Some feelings we are completely happy to experience, you know, like joy, happiness, peace, contentment, compassion, love, awe. But there are many others that most of us are not happy about. Like fear, jealousy, resentment, frustration, anxiety, worry, rage, hate, insecurity, inadequacy and the list goes on. It seems like there are more feelings that we don’t like to experience, than there are feelings that we do.
And when we get those feelings we don’t like, we often pile on a whole set of other horrible feelings on top of them, linked to self-judgement, self-criticism and self-hate.
Now if this isn’t you, that is brilliant. You are in the minority so you can stop reading now.
For the rest of us this is a normal everyday occurrence. We experience feelings that we don’t like, we try to fight them, get rid of them and then judge ourselves for being such a bad person because we can’t just be happy, calm and secure all day every day.
There is something we don’t like about these feelings. We’re afraid of the feelings. We hate the feelings. The truth is, for most of us, we don’t understand what the feelings are.
Because they are absolutely nothing to be afraid of, nothing to dislike and nothing to hate.
Feelings have a perfect function in our lives
They have a perfect function in our lives, but somewhere along the line we have missed the point about them. We started to use these ‘low quality’ feelings as a stick to beat ourselves with. We started to believe there was something wrong with us if we felt these ‘low quality’ feelings. We started to be afraid of these feelings, thinking that some-how it meant that we were going to lose control. Or some other variation that I’ve not listed here.
So what is the perfect function of feelings?
Think about how feelings come about. They are a direct result of our thinking. We feel our thinking. As Sydney Banks was fond of saying, there is a cause and effect going on.
“When the mind is filled with positive thoughts, cause and effect rule, resulting in a positive feeling. When the mind is filled with negative thoughts, cause and effect rule, creating a negative feeling.” (The Missing Link)
He was also fond of saying that “our feelings are the barometer of our thoughts”. They tell you what the weather of your thinking is like. Stormy feeling equals stormy thoughts. Fair feeling equals calm thoughts. Angry feeling equals angry thoughts.
They are also like a warning signal on your car dashboard. The oil is low, the brake pads are worn down, your thoughts have gone south.
Now we don’t judge or criticise, fear or hate the meter on the barometer or the warning signs on the car dashboard. Although I do have a lot of thinking when the low fuel light comes on and we’re miles away from a petrol station! But that aside, as a general rule I know that whatever feeling I am experiencing it’s just telling me, warning me, advising me that my thinking has changed. It’s just an indication of the nature of my thinking.
Feelings are an indication of the nature of our thinking in the moment
I don’t mean the thinking that we can label in the moment, that we can put language to. (Although sometimes that’s possible) I’m talking about the unconscious, automated, habits of thought that started many years ago, without us having any idea what we were doing. The thoughts that we don’t even know we are thinking but have been blighting our lives forever!
This is why feelings have a perfect function in our lives. Because we might not know the content of thought that is creating our experience, but the feeling certainly tells us the nature of our thoughts. And that is all we need. Because when we know that, coupled with the knowing that thought is transient, all we have to do is wait for it to pass. We don’t have to get into the fear, the hate, the self-loathing because we don’t like the feeling. Then the feeling is just something we are experiencing in the moment.
Unlike the warning on the dashboard, we don’t have to do anything about it to make it go away, because it will sort itself out. If we allow the feeling to take its course, without fighting it, as sure as eggs is eggs another thought will come along and then you will experience a new thought which will come with its own feeling.
Like I always say. Don’t take my word for it. Experiment. Observe your feelings. Pay attention to what happens when you experience ‘low quality’ feelings in particular. Do you layer a whole load of thought on top of them, to make it worst? What happens if you just leave the feeling alone? I’d love to hear what happens for you. Do let me know.
If you enjoyed this article you might like to watch our Facebook Livestream on the subject.