Today’s article was written by Change Coach Anton McCarthy
Some time ago, the sky was blue, and the waves were gentle.
But I felt a creeping uneasiness. It was gradual at first, but my suspicion was it would build.
I had become familiar with how a persistent collection of thoughts seemed to do that — hang around.
How could I feel this way in such a beautiful place?
I don’t like this feeling. I need a different one.
But I was wrong.
Thoughts and feelings aren’t the truth.
We believe what we think and feel is paramount.
It’s even simpler — we BELIEVE what we think and feel.
That little voice we hear. It must be telling the truth because it’s coming from within us.
And ever since about age four or five, we see the narrator as a truth-teller. If it says something, we must act. We must address it.
Or analyze it to pieces if it sounds negative or urgent.
But we’ve been fooled.
Thoughts and feelings are nothing but energy. They just are. They arise outside of our control.
They are nothing but energy, until we rush in to make meaning of them (innocently):
We label them.
We judge them.
We categorize them.
We turn them into stories.
We treat them as accurate and truthful — proof of how life is going.
But here’s fantastic news (please share it far and wide).
Those thoughts and feelings are not ours to begin with.
They are no more personal to us than the waves in the sea.
Like many people, I used to spend time ruminating.
I would analyze what I labeled a repetitive set of thoughts. I didn’t need to, and they never asked for that. I could have let them go on their way, but I made them stay anyway.
I didn’t know any better!
And most people in the world do the same. They hold onto this passing energy and wonder why they feel terrible.
Time passed — and I learned the truth of this.
The secret? We don’t need to worry about feelings.
And how little they matter.
In his amazing book “Letting Go”, David Hawkins explains how feelings are like survival mechanisms. They are our inner protectors.
As they see it, they are doing their job to keep us alive as best they can, away from anything threatening or even uncomfortable.
I like to use the example of impostor syndrome. Let’s create a feeling of inadequacy to keep you safe, small, and out of the limelight.
But we can let all that feeling energy GO.
Unless a lion is chasing us, and we need the fuel to flee, we can let it pass on by.
To feel free, feel your feelings.
You can feel your feelings no matter where you are, who you’re with, or what you’re doing.
Bored? Feel it.
Tired? Feel it.
Angry? Feel it.
Sad? Feel it.
How many arguments would not happen if people didn’t propel that “anger energy” into action? And felt it move through their bodies instead, paving the way to a calmer feeling.
How many of us wouldn’t move from sadness to depression if we could see it was “sadness energy”? That can never touch our true, joyful, peaceful nature and resilience.
Would we live our lives now instead of mourning a past that was perfect for us then?
Take love and our partners.
How many relationships would continue if we didn’t take our feelings about our partner as unquestioned “truth”?
Do you see how we can feel something, slap a label on it, and call it real?
And if it’s real, we must act on it or at least assess or analyze it, right?
Don’t be fooled.
Feel the feelings to let them go. If you can’t do it all in one go, do it in pieces as best you can.
The key is to notice feelings. Observe them.
And if you can’t let those feelings go right now, let them be. It’s all good.
The key is to keep looking in this direction.
In time, you won’t need to do this conscious letting go. You’ll start to see feelings and thoughts for what they are.
Not something to be conquered or managed — but harmless, neutral energy in motion (emotion).
You’ve got this life-changing secret. Now go live your life!
Life is happening anyway. Our feelings are not “it.”
We don’t need to worry about thought and feeling energy. It’s harmless, and only doing all it knows to do.
You have innate well-being and resilience — built into you.
And take your time. You only need to keep looking in this direction.
Keep looking towards how you are the remarkable, ever-present awareness behind it all.
Learn more about Anton here: https://antonmccarthy.org/