Thinking, Feelings, and Finding Peace

Much of your life is spent thinking; even when you wish it would stop, it doesn’t, does it? We tend to think about how we feel too, which, of course, is not feeling at all — it’s thinking.

Through thought, our mind tells us that it is too uncomfortable to feel our feelings. We then get caught in a loop of thought about how painful we feel without ever really exploring our feelings. We can even have body sensations that confirm our thoughts about it. This tendency of the mind leads us down an exhaustive path of pain and suffering.

The truth is we must begin to notice this ploy of the mind to break free of it and then feel our feelings fully. However uncomfortable that may be—resisting them leads to a much lengthier healing process and an increased level of suffering.

Feelings are energy, and as such, they must keep flowing. Resisting them means we hold onto them, and the energy gets stuck in our body, which can cause physical pain and even illness.

Recognizing this truth or knowing it on an intellectual level is not enough; you must have a direct experience to embody this truth. We often end up stopping short on the spiritual path and in life of realizing this because the mind tells us that we know it already, whatever it is. Then we get distracted by thought again and sent down another path without ever having a direct experience. The mind has endless offers to distract us, and many of us can spend our whole life seeking and not finding. How many years or decades have you been looking?

Therefore, the next time you find yourself suffering, notice if you are in your head and having a conversation with yourself. Bring your attention down to your chest, the heart area, and notice that your thoughts begin to slow down. Then focus even more attention there and begin to feel your feelings. They literally are your friend and not something to fear. Know that the mind will try to stop you through thought, physical sensation, and intensity.

Be with your feelings, let whatever needs to arise, and let the energy flow again—knowing that you are entirely safe. Some of you may feel the energy flowing along with the emotion, and some may not. Either way is perfect. Do not let the mind come in and question whether you are doing it right or not; it is just another distraction. Keep your attention in the chest. If you are guided by the feeling to another part of the body, follow it. Just stay with your feelings and keep breathing. If it feels too overwhelming, you have the power to slow it down or stop it at any time.

The mind may tell you otherwise, but I can assure you this is the most loving thing you can do for yourself and your body. You are the only one who can offer yourself this kind of unconditional love. We have all felt someone’s love for us being taken away before because it was not unconditional. However, once you feel this kind of self-love, you will know it can never be taken away by anyone. Therefore, do not be afraid to feel your feelings because what is often disguised as pain can blossom into something beautiful if you let it.

The Root Cause of Your Disturbances

Are you feeling frustrated because things are not going the way you want in life? Perhaps you are looking for a job, relationship, or you have a desire that will not manifest. Maybe your fearful of all that is happening in the world today.

Do you know what the root cause of your disturbance is? Does your mind immediately tell you that it is another person, outside circumstances that cause it, or maybe it is something you perceive to be out of your control, like covid19 or something personal like your age?

Have you noticed that all these reasons that show up in the mind are entirely unsolicited? They do not come from critical thinking; they just show up spontaneously. What would happen if you did not immediately identify with these thoughts? Would your life unfold differently if they never appeared?

Let me answer that last question for you; yes, it would be very different because your thoughts would no longer be in control of guiding your life. You would be free from doing things in the same conditioned way you do them now, and you would have a stronger connection to your intuition. You would be free from frustration and worry, or it would be significantly minimized. You would have more energy, and your life would change in many unexpected ways.

The question is, how do we take our power back. I can offer you a simple process that works. It may feel challenging at first because we are unconsciously habituated to listening to and identifying with our thoughts without question. The extent of this varies for each of us. But we have been doing it for years, if not decades, so do not think that you are the one person not impacted by it.

Most of us will make gradual progress over time rather than giants leaps or the expected instant gratification the ego wants. Our progress is based on our ability to connect with greater awareness and then bring this awareness into our experience, which may feel uncomfortable at first. Particularly for some people, they notice the volume of unsolicited and negative thoughts; previously unseen is much greater than expected. Many of these thoughts can sound ridiculous once we start to pay attention to them.

So, what is this simple process? It is the observation of your thoughts, feelings, and body sensations that arise from them. When we can observe them occurring, without identification, we create some space or freedom from them. The mistake many make is trying to stop them consciously. You will only find yourself identifying with them more, a subtle trick of the mind to distract you.

When we no longer perceive ourselves as the thought, we notice that all thoughts come and go, just as everything does in personhood. This is an essential recognition because we often begin to THINK that uncomfortable circumstances will last forever. Our thoughts reinforce this misunderstanding. You can verify this by looking at past experiences. By having this erroneous perception, we begin to experience frustration, anxiety, fear and worry. We begin to have pointless conversations with ourselves in the mind that reinforce this story and keeping us stuck. We can no longer see a way out, which causes tremendous suffering. Suffering that is unwanted and unnecessary. The desire to not have this experience can intensify our suffering because we now have conversations about how bad it is, so the cycle persists.

We must regain command of the mind, our thoughts, and feelings if we ever want to be free from suffering. Therefore, I offer you this simple and effective way to begin breaking the habit of the cause of your suffering. Begin today, observing your thoughts and any feelings that arise as often as you can. Notice when you get pulled into a conversation with the mind and question if it is essential. Are there body sensations that clue you into being caught by the mind? Notice and see. Bring more awareness into watching this unfold in your daily life, and I guarantee that you will begin to see how much time is wasted being dragged around from one meaningless thought to another by the mind. Feelings arise from these thoughts, and cause disturbances in the body, pay attention.

With some attention and awareness, a little practice, and some time, you will begin to master this innate ability, and your life will change. You will experience more peace, suffer less over things that do not need your attention, and find your way back to the present moment.

The Real Cause of Our Pain and Suffering

The mind and our conditioning tell us that we should never suffer, feel pain, or have difficulties; that the perfect life is problem-free, and this becomes our belief and pursuit. Many religious people think and are taught that if they find God, all their problems will go away, and the spiritual seeker often believes that enlightenment will free them from all of life’s complications.

Is this your experience? Can you tell me that this is true, that you have escaped the challenges of life through these pursuits? Following this concept of freedom, when presented by the mind, will only keep you trapped in an endless quest. You will always feel that you are getting closer to your desired destination, why it’s just one more step, the mind will say. Yet somehow, you never seem to arrive.

If we want to be free, then we must awaken from the mind’s blinding influence. We must be willing to take a step back from what it is saying for a moment because real freedom comes when we allow all of life to flow through us. We cannot continue to follow the false narrative that the mind presents, where there should be no pain or suffering at all.

We must allow and feel whatever arises, to embrace and experience it. Being mindful when resistance appears, because whatever flows will go, be transmuted, or transcended. Whatever we resist will get stuck and persists.

Take a step back, become the observer of your thoughts, and watch how the mind frequently influences your life. Then let your unrest awaken you to the present moment and your True-Self. Let feelings and facts destroy the imagined storytelling of the mind and be open to receiving grace and the guidance of your True-Self that is always available to everyone.

Resistance or Peace You Decide

There is a belief by many that the perfect life is a pain-free life. This is a false assumption brought about by our own conditioning and misguided thinking. With this belief, a perfect life is unattainable. Why, because there will always be pain in this world, it is an unavoidable part of our life because we have physical and emotional feelings as human beings. Without them, we would not be having a human experience; it would be something altogether different.

You cannot resist pain and embody peace at the same time this is not possible. Real peace comes from the understanding that pain is necessary, and it is not a punishment. It is only by changing your perception about pain that you can begin the journey to finding lasting peace.

You must no longer see your pain as a punishment or a problem, but an opportunity to heal. It is an indicator that something in your life is out of balance and once it is put back into balance, the pain will disappear or no longer matter to you. If you continue to resist this guidance, then you will suffer.

To avoid suffering, you must embrace what is happening, move into acceptance when you are faced with the truth and let go of any resistance to that truth. Once you do, you open the door to connecting with your innate nature, which is always in a peaceful state. From this place, you can remain peaceful no matter what is happening outside of you. It allows you to see things more clearly and make better choices in life. This shift does not just affect yourself but also the collective energy that connects us all.

Pain

Pain is part of our journey and something we will all experience. Suffering, however, is optional and not a requirement. Jesus did not suffer on the cross. He experienced pain, but he knew how to forgive and love unconditionally. The ones who suffered were his accusers and attackers because they lived in fear and hate.

Every experience of pain brings opportunity with it; we only have to look for it. Pain teaches us all how to live a better life when we are willing to listen. Once we do, our suffering melts away, leaving us with a stronger connection to who we really are, the Divine clothed in humanness.

Release Your Suffering

Our resistance to yesterday’s pain and the unwillingness to feel it is why we suffer today. Facing our fear and feeling the hurt, frees the body and mind from the prison of our own making. Finally, we can connect to the oneness of all things and reveal the eternal beauty of our spirit to those around us, and the world.

Allow Healing

Pain

“If we do not transform our pain, our pain will transform us, and we will in turn transfer this painful energy to those around us and the world.”

The Transformational Power of Love

When the windows of perception are cleansed, everything appears… as it is. You will see that love is the foundation of all creation. This means all your upset, fear, worry, anger… come from love. When we stop resisting and surrender to the truth of our feelings, we begin to see that only love could create such a gift of transformation. Furthermore, only love can help you release your upset, fear, worry, anger… allowing you to connect with your True-Self and release you from the bonds of your False-Self. Only love can heal your pain and suffering. This is not about feeling the love from another person, but feeling love for yourself, just as you are and especially when you do not like what you are feeling.

Obstacles (Part 2)

I wrote in part 1 yesterday how searching for an obstacle-free life will cause you to suffer more. Social conditioning can cause many us to look for perfection in our life. What does that mean anyway, a life without pain or obstacles? As I said in part 1, this is not possible; furthermore, even a blessing can turn into an obstacle.

The following line is from Richard Bach’s book “ONE” which says, “There is no disaster that can’t become a blessing, and no blessing that can’t become a disaster.”

This is very profound and when we recognize that all things have the potential to be good and bad, right and wrong, we begin to see life from a different perspective.

Obstacles are not something that you can avoid, resist or ignore, but something that must be acknowledged and seen. When we bring obstacles out of the darkness and into the light, they can no longer hide in the shadows and cause suffering. Therefore, the next time you are faced with an obstacle, remember you have a choice in how to be with it. Try something different, look for the possibilities hidden inside, and see what happens.