I’ve felt like a real piece of you-know-what lately. I’ve let people down, gone back on promises, and figured new things out that made past beliefs look downright stupid. This life business… it’s hard.
There’s a core idea I keep coming back to in order to help. Our thoughts and the facts about anything we experience are never the sources of pain. But our feelings are.
As David R. Hawkins discusses in Letting Go, it’s our feelings that trigger our thoughts. The feels come first.
Now, if we’re sad about something, the feelings are where we need to go and start untangling, not the event, or the fact, or the thought itself. Why?
The feeling, which has our identity all wrapped up inside of it, needs to be freed. Or at least sat with.
We can’t change what we’ve said or done, or whatever others have said or done to us, but we can accept it. We can let go of the negative feelings we’ve attached. As it goes, if we want to get on with it, we usually have to let go of something first.
This post isn’t (just) therapy (for me). There are other practical sides of this too.
If feelings trigger thoughts, the same works for good feelings. There’s a reason all of those winning athletes are on your Wheaties box after all.
Engaging with the world fills all of us with memories and their associative feelings. Understanding what we, and others, do with them is a key concept to making progress, decisions, and yeah – even happiness.
Letting go of feelings tied to negative events may be one of the hardest things in the world to do. Letting them exist without letting them control us is some Master Yoda/Pema Chodron level stuff. But, knowing it is the first step towards actually practicing it.
At least that’s what I’m telling myself. Feel the feels. Let them go, let them be, make some peace. Life is short.