Being Identified With Feelings
Return To Essence: How to be in the flow and fulfill your life’s purpose by Gina Lake
Another challenge to being in the flow and staying there is feelings. Like ideas and beliefs, feelings are generated by the ego and can’t exist or be sustained without thought. Ideas and beliefs, including unconscious ones, fuel feelings, and feelings fuel actions.
Feelings can be very compelling. Often more ideas and feelings arise to fuel the initial ones. Before long, an idea has solidified into a story, which is a point of view that leaves out a lot: “She was a terrible mother to me. No one loves me. I’ll never be happy. He’s always mean to me.” Our mind creates stories, and those stories stir up feelings that result in certain responses or actions.
We can become very busy as a result of our thoughts. This process perpetuates the egoic state of consciousness. The story is always in service to the ego in some way. It upholds the self-image, a belief, a way of life, or something else we are identified with. The story maintains the idea of an I in the midst of plenty of proof to the contrary.
Without the story, there would be I be. The stories we tell about ourselves are made up. They could be anything, but your story goes a certain way because you are programmed to see yourself in a certain way. Your self-image, which is just an idea, is part of your programming, and your stories are designed to explain the image to others and to yourself.
We feel some comfort in being able to describe ourselves in a certain way. Even if the story isn’t a happy one, at least it’s a story. At least you exist. The ego is afraid of the nothingness that is our true nature. When that is experienced, the ego runs back to its thoughts and stories. Not matter how terrible they may they seem better than nothing.
When we are experiencing a feeling – anger, sadness, depression, hatred, jealousy, hurt, resentment, hopelessness, guilt, shame – it is a sign we’ve bought into an idea. We have become identified with a certain way of looking at something. That story is what causes our pain, not anything about the actual situation or experience. The story creates painful emotions, and then we move farther way from experiencing the whole truth about the situation or experience by trying to justify those emotions and the actions that follow from them with more stories. Around and around we go, stuck in our particular perception.
Being in the flow is much simpler. When we are in the flow, we experience whatever we are experiencing without telling a story about it. Thoughts may arise, but we recognize them as thoughts, as an attempt on the part of the ego to define the moment, because that is what the ego tries to do. Meanwhile, we just stay in the experience of the moment, which is forever morphing into something else. We are in the flow, we know ourselves as what is are our thoughts, not someone who is thinking them.
Watch the mind as it tries, in every moment, to co-opt experience by translating it into a story. It tries to draw us away from experience into a mental world that simulates the experience. It tries to draw us into an imagined story about the experience. If it succeeds, that story becomes our reality. If we agree to go to that mental world, feelings will also arise and add reality to that world, but it is still a mental world. Once we act on those thoughts and feelings, we create new experiences.
In this way, the ego does manage to shape our lives, and that will go on as long as we allow it to. Most people’s lives are shaped nearly entirely by the ego. Essence allows this because it enjoys the growth that results, but living this way is full of suffering. Essence offers other possibilities for our life that we may miss if we aren’t in the flow.
Commit to Now
What About Now? Being in the Moment by Gina Lake
The ego doesn’t want to commit to anything – a place, a relationship, a career – because it believes that something better may be possible, and it is willing to forgo what is present for the possibility of something better that isn’t present. Essence, on the other hand, is committed to whatever is. It doesn’t commit into the future because all that exists is the present, so it commits itself to that. That is the essential difference between the go and Essence: The ego dreams of something better in the midst of whatever is, while Essence simply enjoys and commits attention and love to whatever is. In fact, committing attention to anything that is present results in enjoyment. The ego enjoys so little because it commits attention to what isn’t present and to what it doesn’t have, and suffers over that, instead of committing attention to whatever is. It loves its fantasies, dreams, and desires more than it loves reality.
Notice How Untrue Your Thoughts Are
What About Now? … being in the Moment by Gina Lake
Once you are aware of your thoughts, you can evaluate them. You can ask, “Is that true?” What is able to be aware of and evaluate our thoughts is Essence. One way Essence liberates us from the tyranny of the egoic mind is through our capacity to notice and evaluate our thoughts. This capacity belongs to Essence. Ignoring our thoughts becomes much easier once we learn to notice them and when we see how untrue, irrelevant, and negative they are. If your thoughts are untrue, irrelevant, and negative, why would you give them your attention? Recognizing false and unhelpful thoughts are naturally frees d us from them.
Inspiration For The Day
Heather Young, owner of Time for Self
Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) / Yuen Method™/ Holistic Practitioner
Certified Personal Transformation Coach / Alternative and Energetic Medicines
403-358-2362 — Red Deer, Alberta, Canada