Recently I was feeling quite emotional about something. I sank in it so deeply I thought I wasn’t going to recover from it any time soon. That I really needed some time alone, off from work, away from the kids, and so on. But the opposite was true. I recovered. And rather quickly. Within a few minutes I went from feeling like an absolute mess to feeling calm and peaceful.
What made me shift so quickly? When checking in with my Innertruth Lady (remember her from my last post?), the shift came from three words:
“Emotions mean nothing”
Yup, emotions mean nothing. The idea is that we have to interpret them, draw conclusions from them, make decisions because we feel X, Y, Z.
But this was reality for me that night: I felt very emotional. And the moment I didn’t give meaning to these emotions and knew they were just emotions, a temporary sensation – I started to feel calm. Nothing had changed. I just let the emotion be the emotion, and not try to solve anything, not change anything, and mostly not believe anything – in any thoughts that came up because of it.
Just by allowing the emotion, it softens.
Emotions come and go. Like a cloud in the sky, drifting past. All we can do -and should- is have them fully, look at them. Not act on them.
When we know the emotion is meaningless, that we don’t have to act on them or that they don’t say anything about us, we are no longer occupied working out what to do with them. We have actually created a space to look beyond the emotion. And that is actually quite exciting.
When we feel space, we can ask ourselves: What in me makes me feel this way? What sits behind the emotion? What need perhaps?
For example: the need for confirmation? To be seen or heard? To feel loved or valued? To feel we matter? The need for security, for safety? For control, for recognition? And so on.
The emotion is merely a message, a piece of information, it shows us what really needs our attention. It shows us where we can grow.
Positive emotions are also meaningless
So, emotions mean nothing. They are just our messages. This also applies to the so-called positive emotions. Here too we can ask ourselves ‘what in me makes me feel so happy or energetic right now?’ Maybe our emotional need gets fulfilled. We feel loved, valued, we get the confirmation we are longing for. But… can we also feel this without that ‘external thing’ that made us feel so uplifted? Do we still depend on ‘something or someone’ to fulfill our emotional need?
What we need from an external something or someone, can we give it to ourselves?
For me, there was an emotional need behind it, and it wasn’t getting fulfilled by this external something. And when I asked myself what in me makes me feel this way? I could pinpoint my needs and found my material for growth.
It always starts with seeing. And for that we need to allow. Simply allow.