It’s the love month. And the honoring of this much-celebrated (and often misunderstood and undervalued) emotion culminating on Valentine’s Day is worth more than just a second look.
Not just a day for lovers and romantics at heart, Valentine’s Day and the feeling of loving and being loved deserves to be expanded, more wholistic. That’s right. Focus on the word “whole.”
To be whole in the realm of wellness is really all about loving and caring for the self. It is the integration of body, mind and spirit. Sure, to many disbelievers this is simply another excuse to focus on the “L” word. A mushy viewpoint of the self.
But how else can we see ourselves if not as human beings worth being loved? And yet, the capacity to harness this strongest of emotions is rooted in the self. So there—back to you. Bottom line is, you cannot escape from yourself. Let’s do this, as inspired by Gary Zukav in “The Heart of the Soul.”
We cannot be just a face in the mirror. The physical and the superficial can distract you from the truth. If you stop right there, then there will be no effort on your part to go any deeper. Most people refuse to look more deeply inside of themselves. This is because they are overcome by fear of the unknown. Heaven knows what you may unearth right? But if you are after the treasures, you will find the courage to move forward.
As with the emotional landscape, the expression “You will see more, the closer you look” has never been more true.
Why is there a need to dig within? Because all emotions need to be identified and recognized. Certain circumstances may trigger them to surface. But if you are unaware of the flow of feelings within you—anger, rage, jealousy, impatience, tolerance, inflexibility, withdrawal—then they will continue to plague you.
1. Examine your emotions. Practice awareness of every feeling and thought. If you see a repetition, then you are unable to identify them.
2. Write down what you are feeling in your body each time an emotion seizes you. Example: Every time you lose your temper, there is pain in your chest, constriction in your throat, a knotted feeling in your stomach.
3. No judgement. Try not to judge yourself, whether the feeling is good or bad. Just observe objectively and write it down.
Connecting the dots
The objective is to be able to trace the source of our reactions to all situations and challenges life (and all the people in it) presents.
To remember is to know. And to know means to understand. Once we understand, we exercise better control of our emotions. It will contribute to a deeper appreciation of those people who play a significant role in our lives today. We will, eventually, stop the blame on them for the emotional challenges as faced from the people in our past.
Thus today’s emotions can be traced to past feelings. And the real purpose of this thorough investigation is to know yourself better. This can be called creating the map of your emotional territory.
Want to be powerless? Don’t be aware of the present moment. Allow the seconds to tick away. By doing so, you are mindlessly abdicating your control over external circumstances.
In short, everyday happenings will control you. But we all have the option to create power by deciding what we will say or do and the consequences our words and actions will create as a result of this.
Every present moment offers possibilities.
This is liberating. And this truth will set us all free. The more absorbed we are in whatever consumes us, the less aware we are of the present moment. Is this a contradiction? No. Example: You are on your laptop. Time passes so quickly. Before you realize it, the sun has set and it’s dinnertime. So you rush through supper and stay up late to finish your reading. It is the same with office work, homework, housework.
Listen well. Yes, work is part of your life. But it isn’t life itself. It is only what you do. When we are intently focused on an activity, it’s like we have blinders on. And like a train on its tracks, we are unable to see anything but the railroad tracks. We miss out on the landscape that it presents before us.
In short, we cannot begin to appreciate our outer landscape if we are not aware of our inner landscape.
And like a train that misses its tracks, we lose our bearing because we missed the point. We allowed life to pass us by.
Some people believe that they:
Do not have feelings
Never cried even as a child
Felt no physical or emotional pain punished by the parents
Try as they might to justify their unfeeling behavior, truth is, there’s no running away from emotions. All emotions, even non-emotions, are rooted in a decision to feel or not to feel.
Moreover, people who claim not to feel anger, jealousy, compassion, are actually feeling persons. They simply learned how to suppress it and successfully mask it with a poker face. Armed with an “I am cool” attitude, it seems that nothing fazes them. But, the opposite is true.
This is where the archaeological digging must begin.
Because unearthing the richness of one’s inner self will reveal treasures of the heart and soul beyond even one’s expectations. In truth, you are precious.