Possibility Warrior

Lighting The Way Forward

You Are Not Your Feelings


For most of my life I’ve defined myself by my feelings. If I feel sad, I am sad.  If I feel frustrated, I am frustrated.  If I feel apathetic, I am apathetic. If I feel lonely, I am alone.

My mother used to tell me:  This Too Shall Pass.  As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized she’s right about all things passing.  But far from being comforting, this has led to an identity crisis.  If I am defined by my emotions and my feelings are always changing, then Who Am I?!

I am all that has happened and will happen to and through me, and what I choose to make of my circumstances in each moment.

Who I am is up to me.  Who you are is up to you.  We not only get to decide, but we get to decide in each moment.

That’s kind of a lot of work, deciding who you are each moment.  This is where (good) habits come into play.  I want my life to be centered in gratitude, so I have a Gratitude Practice in the hopes that I will train myself to come back to gratitude more readily more frequently.  I want to remember that my feelings don’t define who I am, so I have a new Mantra:  I Am Not My Feelings.

When I remember that I Am Not My Feelings, then I remember that my feelings are just Waves — they come, they go, and I can ride them out knowing they will pass.

If they are going to pass anyway, perhaps I can help them along their way?  Encourage them to move along a bit faster?  Maybe by not indulging them, coddling them close to my chest, ruminating on them endlessly — wallowing, you might call it. Maybe by envisioning what I will be like shortly, once these current feelings have passed. Maybe by taking some actions sooner, that I would take once the feelings have passed.

Easier said than done, but practice makes habit.


  1. we’re all singing, all dancing crap of the world!

  2. Dear Julie –
    Rich for thought as usual. I notice your mantra is in the negative “I am not my feelings”. ah, our brains don’t understand negatives and by focusing on what you’re not, you’re reinforcing the opposite of what you’re wanting to move towards. Building on something you say in the next paragraph, that your mantra reminds you of, I invite you to consider using that directly as your mantra: ” My feelings are just Waves — they come, they go, and I ride them out knowing they will pass.: feel into the gentle undulation of the natural ebb and the natural flow …see the wave gently washing out …”
    xoxo –
    Danila, your sister warrior with “POWA”

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