How do you metabolize your emotions ?
Posted on Tuesday, 8 May, 2012 | 2 comments
Columnist: Jann Burner
Emotions are not something that you wear like makeup or clothing. Emotions are not something that you acquire like a rash or a physical injury. Emotions are not something that are part of you like your skin. Emotions are like food. You cannot move through your handful of days without eating from the human emotional banquet each and every day. This is an "All You Can Eat" sort of Cosmic buffet. It caters to one and all be they rich, poor, educated or illiterate, male or female. This emotional buffet cares not whether you are a Christian, Muslim, Buddhist or Jew.
Many people forget that emotions, like nutritional food, are necessary for our very existence and well being, and like food, move through our system and hopefully become digested and metabolized. Too often though, we tend to hold on to our emotions for their metaphorical/symbolic significance. We often adopt our emotions like abandoned pets. We want to OWN them. Emotions MUST BE METABOLIZED and allowed to move through our entire system of consciousness. A person will often choose certain drugs like coffee, cigarettes, alcohol, chocolate as well as the more dramatic drugs, as a way of stimulating a specific emotional (or the memory of that emotion) response. These emotional memories are often selected as one would select an entrée at a grand buffet. Often people will even come together and couple-up in an attempt to stimulate certain specific emotions within themselves as well as within the other.
We are not our emotions. Our emotions are but a lingering trail of experiential sensation. Our emotions are like a foggy breath on a cold morning or like the trail of after images left by a flashlight as you attempt to write your name in the dark night sky. Emotion is not the object, it is not the event. When we experience something we have a feeling-emotion about it, there is a slight time delay there where we can assign a level of magnitude to the emotion (remember the emotion is NOT the experience). But once we assign a value and magnitude to the emotion which trails after the experience, we own it. Then the experience will move on but we will be left with the emotion (and the memory of that emotion). It will have become the event. Often we become wrapped up in these trailing emotions like tangled balls of yarn, rope, or chain. Often we cannot even find an end. "When did this start?", "How did I come to be so wrapped up in this emotion?", "Where did I pick up this feeling about…?" "How did I come to feel this way?" And a very popular one, "When will it end!" At the same time we are lamenting the presence of one emotion we are often creating others. We own them as if they were real estate! They are not real. But often we become collectors.
It is like we are cruising down the highway and we've got hundreds and thousands of picture postcards pasted all over the inside of our windshield! These postcards are dreams, fears, thoughts, memories and emotions. The only reason we don't crash is that there are small spaces between the individual postcards of experiential emotion and these let in just enough light to keep us on track, to keep us on the road. The trick is to begin to loosen and discard these postcards from the windshield in order to let in more and more space and light. Sometimes the individual postcards, the real significant ones seem to be like ceramic tile they are so hard to dislodge or remove, others come off quite easily, but then we just as easily slap up another one to fix the hole! Unfortunately we are usually slapping up new postcards at a furious rate, (we collect them) some even rush to fill in the spaces between with "post-it" notes of pseudo emotion. Emotions having absolutely no basis in any reality based experience. Reminders of "things" to think about when nothing comes to mind. But none of it is really significant except the space and The Light.
Often we try to "hold" on to specific emotions and this can cause serious blockages within our system. Imagine eating a great steak but resisting swallowing the meat because then it would be "gone"! Emotions are of course not at all like steak. They are more like ice cream. Hold them as tight as you will, but eventually they will melt away. But with practice it is possible to create an entire emotional body, a sort of exo-skeleton of frozen emotion that actually has nothing what-so-ever to do with the real you. This is not a good thing. In an extreme case it is called a ghost. Proof that you do not even need a physical body in order to still hold and be addicted to emotion.
Now how can we reduce our addiction to emotion, because that's what it is, addiction. Drugs are merely metaphors for preferred emotional states. Most habitual behavior is a searching for an emotional memory. So how can we reduce our incessant quest for emotional memories? Quite simple. Sit down, get quiet and simply "watch" your mind. Simply observe it. Don't argue, cajole or threaten. Just sit there and be quiet. It is an art of increasing the spaces, removing the old thought/image/emotions…and not replacing them with anything.
Some call it meditation. Usually when meditating I notice long trains of thought and image. The other day I was sitting with myself trying to be empty, but actually watching the train of thought going by, when I noticed that, like a real train, there were small spaces between the thoughts. It was as if I was parked at a railway crossing waiting for a long train to pass. I could see the spaces between the cars. At first I was fascinated with the rolling stock. What were the logos on the sides of the cars, how were they different from one another, where were they going, where had they been? Gradually I began to move my attention into the spaces between the individual thoughts, between the cars and then suddenly…I was in the clear, on the other side. The lesson here is to go for the space and forget the content. Emotion is a process and not a product. Release the emotion, increase the space and embrace The Light.Article Copyright© Jann Burner - reproduced with permission.