Why is there sadness? Why is there happiness? We feel along the spectrum of these emotions—the million between, or so—as well as a myriad of different emotions. We feel. Why do we feel?
These are all important questions. When we explore further the meaning behind our emotions we can find a great deal of complementary meaning in life. Life makes more sense.
For instance, there’s a pocket of knowledge beyond the physicality of feeling—where bodily nerves play their role. It’s just that we’ve been cut off from this knowledge because of our fear. We all struggle with fear, much of which is fathoms deeper than the fear we even feel. Deep below is found a mystery. But to some intents of purpose we can redeem this meaning if we’re open to it. There’s very little to actually fear.
Enquiring Of The Encroaching Emotion
Not all emotions are negative, and this practice, below, may be practised on the more positive emotions, even bringing them to a halcyon joy.
When we ask, at the encroaching emotion, in the moment of feeling, ‘Why is that?’ we:
1. Halt the negative manifestation of the emotion (e.g. anger, pride, etc), and
2. We begin learning about ourselves because our inner curiosity sees beyond our sense of guilt, shame, etc.
In positive emotions both these above steps increase our joy because we interpret the emotion as cathartic and we just sit with it; enjoying it. We allow all the joy that can be extracted to prevail over us. We learn about our responses to such joy; like how good it feels and how we want to bless others’ lives in the process.
The encroaching emotion is, hence, something we can reflect upon within the moment. The positive emotions reap more joy by this practice, and the negative emotions halted and learned from quell the consequences of these feelings. More happiness and less regret results.
The Employment Of The Higher Mind
What we’re doing in asking a simple question—‘Why is that?’—is employing the higher mind. Everyone is capable of this level of more discerned, considered thinking. All we must do is slow our reaction time; to act only after an adequate sense of self-enquiry has been entered into—one that simultaneously weighs the pros and cons of various lines of action.
The higher mind will help us by facilitating better thinking if we’ll allow it. This, itself, is a learning journey. Merely stopping to ask ‘Why is that?’ is enough to engage the higher mind. It’s a healthy distraction from the risky immediacy of our emotions; responses which, in the main, we can’t help.
Curiosity of feeling is exploring why we feel the way we feel when we feel. None of our feelings are bad; but perhaps we’ve been taught they’re bad. This is wrong and should be corrected. We feel feelings for important reasons. Exploring the reasons is a big part of what life’s all about. Exploring feelings opens the way to freedom.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.
Graphic Credit: Joe Lapiana.