Feeeelings, nothing more than feeeelings.
Gosh feelings seem important don’t they?
So demanding of attention.
I mean, it’s not like we can ignore when we’re hurting, can we.
Often it seems vital to change or make it go away.
And holy cow there are so many approaches out there for dealing with feelings.
Sit with, Allow, Welcome, Breathe into, Listen to.
Go deeper. Find out what lies beneath.
Interpret and find out what it means.
So many methods.
So much mythology, confusing and confused thinking about feelings.
Though maybe we don’t really need all that expert instruction. Maybe we can just check our own experience.
For instance when we’re hurting, there’s no question we’re alive, is there?
Lots of people only feel alive when they’re feeling intensely.
If things are too peaceful, they feel bored, numb, empty.
In fact if there’s too much peace, mind often soon starts looking for the next problem to fret about.
As if we can’t bear to be separated from pain for too long.
As if, “I feel, therefore I exist.”
Could it be that feelings are a trick designed to draw our attention away from something?
A problem arises, we feel awful, we can’t focus on anything other than trying to feel better.
And what are we not noticing while every ounce of our attention is drawn to pain?
Well for one thing… we don’t notice what exactly is doing the focusing, allowing, sitting with, validating, and interpreting feeling.
What is feeling feelings?
And what benefits from all that focus on some sensations?
Maybe we could consider, with curiosity, the scandalous suggestion…
That feelings are a strategy to solidify the sense of self.
“I am hurting / sad / scared / ashamed.”
“I AM (insert intensity word here).”
Feelings seem to prove us.
They’re our only real evidence.
“How do I know I exist? Well I feel it. I sense it. There’s a sense of me.”
That’s our proof.
The decoy works.
Intensity creates the story of self.
Never mind that there’s no one provable who’s experiencing, that nothing real is threatened, or that there’s nothing actually benefiting from all that attention.
Yeah, pay no attention to that nothing behind the curtain.
And though intensity might indeed diffuse with all that focus and welcoming…
That's only after it's established the ‘you’ that is feeling it.
When we focus on how things feel we solidify the self, we solidify the sense of being a body, and we miss entirely that…
It doesn’t matter what nothing feels.
So we might find that relief doesn’t come from allowing or sitting with.
We might find that relief comes from noticing that feelings have nothing to do with us. At all.
That it doesn’t matter what the body does, because it’s not us.
To be clear, I’m not belittling feeling. I know hurting can feel awful.
I’m just calling your attention to something different for a change.
Something instead of pain.
Something that’s nothing.
Because nothing isn’t capable of hurting.
And isn’t that what we’re hoping for by dealing with feelings in the first place?
So enjoy nothing.
It can’t hurt.