As a human being, you have feelings.
Feelings can be an incredible source of strength. The ability to feel in the way humans feel is a huge part of what separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom.
Who you are, at your core, is an amalgam of intangibles both near the surface and deeply embedded in your psyche. Mindfulness — thoughts, feelings, and actions — are the surface. Habits, beliefs, long-held practices, and the like are the deeper roots. All make up the sum-total of YOU.
Society tends to look at the surface and ignore the roots. For example, the current unrest and protests. The symptom is poorly trained and unchecked police forces, combined with an unsympathetic president. The disease is systemic racism inherent in a system designed to keep the power in the hands of a very small few while disempowering everyone else.
Your thoughts and feelings are a part of what make up YOU. The actual, factual, inside-your-head-who-you-believe-you-are YOU. Just as much as your thoughts, ideas, and notions matter — so too do your feelings.
Feelings can get super-messy. They can be utterly lacking in rationality and can be disruptive. Feelings can sidetrack you from any path you are on.
One of the most frustrating things to recognize about feelings is how outside influences can impact upon them.
Things will happen both to and around you
Face it: shit happens. Car accidents occur, people leave you, jobs are lost, you stub your toe getting out of bed, burn yourself on your coffee, and endless other things you have no control over ensue. Before you know it, your feelings are happening and taking you off-course.
In the moment, when shit happens, feelings tend to be immediate and unreasonable. Anger, sadness, loss, hopelessness, fear, and pain can simply manifest instantly from nowhere.
What’s more, you can feel these feelings when things happen that do not directly impact you, per se. Spend any time watching or reading any news program today and odds are you’ll find a wide range of negative feelings crop up. Between COVID-19, the protests, politics, and other world affairs it’s easy to feel deep unwanted feelings.
But that matters. How you feel over the things happening out there matters. Just because you can do little to nothing to directly impact these things, that doesn’t lessen how you feel about them. Your feelings are valid.
Why? Because no matter what you are doing with your life or who you are, you’re part of the world. It’s perfectly human to feel — especially when so many inexplicable, undesirable things keep on happening.
For a year equal to perfect vision, could matters be any cloudier?
Take control of your feelings
When shit happens, you will feel something right then. Instantly, emotion is going to crop up. You can’t avoid it and like Vulcans and androids react with logic and reason at that moment.
What you feel, at that moment, is utterly and completely valid. Whatever emotion you’re working with you do not need to explain yourself, justify yourself, or otherwise make yourself understood to anyone else. You and what you feel is valid and consequential to you.
Take grief for instance. This will produce a different feeling in everyone. For some, it’s a deep longing, others its loss and sadness. For some grief is anger. It could be any combination of these and other emotions. It can last for any period of time from minutes to lifespans.
The part you can control is the length of time you feel any given emotion. This is where mindfulness comes into play.
When you are practicing mindfulness, you are working to be aware of your thoughts, feelings, and actions. Ergo, you are conscious of what you are thinking, what and how you are feeling, and what intent (if any) is behind actions you are taking.
By being conscious of your mindset you open yourself to altering, changing, and ultimately controlling it. This is why you can take control of your feelings.
For some people, this is like flipping a switch. Becoming conscious and aware in the moment of your feelings lets you flip a switch to change them. For some, this takes longer. There may need to be a more drawn-out and involved process to alter what and how you feel.
Either way, your feelings are valid. However, how they impact and rule your life is up to you.
Whatever they are, your feelings are valid
People will tell you that what you are feeling is inappropriate. Some will say that because a situation doesn’t truly impact you that your feelings about it don’t count.
What the hell do they know? Are they inside your head with you? Can they feel what and how you are feeling? Are they capable of thinking for you?
Nobody can tell you how you should feel about anything. They don’t know, they are not inside your head and experiencing the world as you do. So they can piss off. Whatever you are feeling, however you are feeling, is valid for you.
However — one word of caution. Be mindful that your feelings do not completely override logic and reason. Feelings without the check and balance of logic and reason can misdirect you. They can overwhelm and override your true desires.
I mentioned above some people will feel grief for an entire lifespan. That’s valid — when you lose somebody you love, nobody can tell you how long you will grieve their loss.
But when that grief overrides everything you do, disconnects you from life and all your potential and possibility — what happens to you? All of your plans, connections, and experiences are darkened and overridden. This may be harsh — but that kind of emotional living is not truly living.
This doesn’t make what and how you feel any less valid. But mindfulness will tell you if you are still doing things to make life how you desire for it to be — or letting emotions rule you and take you somewhere undesirable.
We currently live immersed in utter uncertainty. What you are feeling during all of this is valid. But do you know if your feelings are negatively overruling your thoughts and actions and denying you control?
Finding positivity isn’t hard — but it does require thought, feeling, and action
Knowing that whatever you are feeling is valid, you can then work with mindfulness to determine if it is balancing or unbalancing your psyche. When you are mindful of your thoughts, feelings, and the intent of your actions, you can choose to alter, influence, and control them to enhance your life experiences, as well as how you impact the world around you. That ultimately empowers you.
When you feel empowered, your mindfulness increases, you become more aware overall, and that can spread to people around you. It can create a feedback loop of awareness and positivity.
As such, you can build more positive feelings and discover more reasons to feel positivity and gratitude. That can be the impetus to improve numerous aspects of your life for the better, help overcome the overwhelming negativity of the current situation, and generate yet more positivity and gratitude.
That can then spread to change the world for the better.
An attitude of gratitude is an attitude of immense positivity that can generate even more good energies — and that, like you, is always worthwhile.
You are worthy and deserving of using your mindfulness to find and/or create the reality in which you desire to live. When all is said and done you and I matter, whatever our feelings may be.
Originally published at http://titaniumdon.com on June 8, 2020.