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I am not my feelings

Before I found out through my struggles about this visualization of the guest house to process my feelings and understand my self better, I commonly took on the following misconceptions or false beliefs about who I was.


  1. I am an angry person

  2. I am emotional

  3. I get anxious easily

  4. I am unfocused or easily distracted (I get easily bored)


Anger, stress and anxiety were there three core feelings I experienced when I got triggered. On a normal day, I am also a fun, loving and caring person who is creative and likes to explore new things, ideas, places and ways of doing things. So who am I really?


We are not our feelings

Let's begin by exploring the extent of our identity as an accumulation of our past experiences in which feelings are dominant in amplifying the richness of the experience. Are they also more negatively or positively skewed? In my above example, it would seem like I am an erratic and emotional person who gets into uncontrollable anger fits. Perhaps that is because the negative consequences of my anger and anxiety were more severe than the other positive experiences that over time, I acquired a sense of identity of being these emotions. 


The journey of who I am can be better mapped out with the right balance of emotions and placing past experiences into context. In most days, I experience joy and peace, and spend time loving and being loved by friends and family. I also experience fun through experiencing new activities and hobbies such as being a freegan, learning to cook natural, gluten-free meals for my son with eczema, experimenting various methods of composting, and bringing fresh insights and creative angles to situations at work.


The feelings wheel is a great way to bring out our feelings in a balanced perspective. 

Feelings Wheel.png

Yet having feelings is not the same as being our feelings. Feelings come and go. In nature the deer flees for its life when a predator is in pursuit. The calm soon sets in after the threat has dissipated and survival is momentarily secured. It quickly goes back to what it was doing, stress disappears. For some of us, we find it more difficult to let the feelings go. Although it takes time, it does eventually settle into a different emotion (unless triggered again between the process of discharging the previous episode).


For others, feelings of happiness, joy, peace, inspiration, excitement are fleeting. They come and they go, just as butterflies do from flower to flower. This method of visualizing the guest house helps us allow good feelings (consolation) to linger and last longer, and negative feelings (desolation) to come as they are with full acceptance, and leave after they have brought wisdom and enlightenment to our life.


The wisdom imparted through feelings

Feelings come and go in our lives. Perhaps an example would be that of feeling happy on Christmas day unwrapping a present. To most of us, the excitement and joy gradually fades with time. Thinking back, I now cannot recall what I received as a gift from my wife last Christmas! Some feelings linger longer though. Those of sadness, despair and anguish seem to take forever to pass us. Yet it is true that all things shall pass, either through distraction over a passage of time, or from true healing. 


The path to healing is to uncover the wise lesson the feeling seeks to impart. Feelings are neither right nor wrong. They come to gift us a message, a learning or a consolation. This method of visualizing our feelings in the Guest House will help facilitate the delivery of the message. Deep within your heart will guide you on the path of healing in the case of a traumatic experience. In the case of a pleasant feeling, the visualizations will also help anchor them in so you experience the occasion fully and are able to embrace with hope the next sets of feelings with a knowing that they shall come to pass, and you have the full confidence, trust and ability to integrate the experience and learn from them, making you a better version of your current self.


All things shall pass

As mentioned above, letting go of the feelings and integrating the wisdom of these life experiences only bolsters the hope and trust that all things come to pass. With this belief, there should be no lasting traumatic experience that you will not be able to embrace and allow yourself to come out of, as a better version of you.


This hope is further rooted in firm foundations of past consolations that have been anchored in you. You become conscious that there is a deeper sense of purpose to your life and you begin with curiosity to see what plans God or the universe has installed for you.


At the end of the book, you will bless yourself with an internal compass of good feelings (consolations) and less ideal ones (desolation) which you will be able to start using as a framework to govern the actions and thoughts in each moment, to reinforce and further anchor in consolations. With that, I pray that you will be endowed wisdom from within, inspiration from God or any higher form of being that you believe in, to see the wonders and miracles that are already occurring around you, and the gift of intuition that is already stirring within you.


Let's begin.

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