Our feelings seem to be the stuff of life. They mark our biggest milestones, whether it’s getting our first promotion, giving birth, or experiencing the death of a loved one. Our feelings clue us into our lives and what action we want to take next. Without them, we would likely exist like a buoy in an ocean, bobbing up and down endlessly. Instead, our feelings infuse us with the energy of the waves, sometimes crashing violently onto the shore and at other times breaking like a gentle caress. Again and again, we feel the ups and downs in response to whatever Life is bringing to us in that moment. We feel emotion in response to what we are bringing to ourselves. Our feelings are how we know we are alive.
Sometimes we experience extremes of emotion that seem to take us over. Maybe it’s that feeling of frustration at the child who won’t stop crying, embarrassing us in a public place and drawing disapproving glances from those around. Or extreme bliss when we fall in love, which suddenly infuses us with the energy and creativity to accomplish long overdue projects. These extremes of emotion can often feel like in that one moment, the particular feeling is who we are. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. You are not the emotion itself. Who you are, is the experiencer of the emotion, the intelligence behind it. Just as the ocean is not each wave crashing against the shore, you are not the emotion passing through you at any one point in time.
It is important to understand this difference because the implications can change your life. Once you understand that your feelings are merely a part of your energy moving through you, you can recognize that they are drawing your awareness inward for some purpose. The frustration at the child might be a sign that you have been neglecting your own needs. The utter bliss of falling in love can be an expression of deep gratitude for Life and a sense of connection with all beings. You can use your emotions as a roadmap to your intuitive self. When you feel a strong emotion, focus your awareness on it and the location it occupies within your physical body. This alone can be a transformative practice for many, but once you locate the emotion, become open to the message it is trying to communicate to you. Likely, it is acting as an invitation for your awareness to address unmet needs, or to connect more fully to the flow of life. And while your role as the experiencer is not to appease the individual emotions that may arise, it is to derive information so you can make conscious decisions about your life.